Brave – The Pride of the Clan!
Posted August 3, 2012 12:49 pm by Andrew Martin
Scottish audiences are getting ready for the unveiling of the latest Scottish heroine when the much anticipated Brave opens in cinemas across the country. For a few weeks now there has been no escape from images of the gallus wee lassie with the red curls, her bow, and her kenspeckle family.
When we were working on the summer exhibition Going to the Pictures: Scotland at the Cinema we had to ensure that we included Brave in advance of its premiere. For a brief wonderful moment we thought we were going to get a life-size figure of the bonnie wee princess – but settled for a “teaser” poster and the only one of the official books available in early June.
We already had however, at least one other independent curly-headed lassie in the exhibition, from another era altogether. In 1917 Mary Pickford – then the biggest female star in the world – took the title role in The Pride of the Clan. Here “Little Mary” plays Marget MacTavish, the leader of her community on a remote Scottish island. She’s a feisty wee thing who whips them all into shape –literally – and who wears the full tartan rigout, and sports a head of golden curls. This was Mary’s trademark till she bobbed them in the 1920s and caused a sensation.
Nearly a century has passed since audiences all round the world saw their favourite in her Scottish guise as Marget MacTavish, and here we are welcoming another Scottish heroine, just as wee, just as independent, and just as blessed in the hair department – Princess Merida in Brave.