A Movie Lover’s Guide to Glasgow’s Cultural Gems
If you thought you preferred your culture in a yoghurt pot rather than an actual day out, think
again. GlasgowLiving has taken the time to introduce you to cultural gems in our fair city, all based on your
Between 17th til 28th February Glasgow celebrates it’s film festival,
why not get into the spirit of things with a cultural day out beforehand?
A movie lovers guide to Glasgow…written by Sara McQueen.
Film: Star Wars
Ideal Destination: Glasgow Science Centre (http://www.glasgowsciencecentre.org/)
Part of the great appeal of Star Wars is the immense intergalactic battles which probably
couldn’t really happen in space, but you’ll never know for sure until you get down to the
Science Centre and discover all the extraterrestrial fun for yourself. Just next door to the
IMAX; which is definitely a great place to catch Star Wars: The Force Awakens if you haven’t
already; the highlights include the planetarium and the soon to reopen Glasgow Tower,
which just happens to be the tallest, fully rotating freestanding structure in the world. Look at
you, learning new things already and you haven’t even left the sofa yet!
Film: Harry Potter
Ideal Destination: University of Glasgow (http://www.gla.ac.uk/hunterian/)
If there are any Glasgow Uni students skimming over this one thinking you’ve seen it all
“arresto momentum” (that’s ‘slow down’ in Potter speak for all you muggles), and keep reading.
As well as the iconic buildings looking about as close to Hogwarts as you can get, the uni is
also home to the Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery. Highlights of the museum include 300
year old animal specimens worthy of Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Class, whilst the gallery
boasts a fantastic array of paintings which haven’t come to life yet, but hey, stranger things
have happened. Both are free entry, and offer free tours throughout the day, so get the
broomsticks out and get down there.
Film: Anna Karenina
Ideal Destination: Sharmanka Kinetic Theatre
Admittedly, my interest in the adaptation of Anna Karenina was more due to Aaron
Taylor Johnson than Russian history, but this particular Glasgow gem is too unusual to be
missed. A Sharmanka performance involves a compelling collection of moving sculptures,
created by one man from the scrap found dotted around both St Petersburg and Glasgow.
The machines move to music and tell a story of their own. For a really unique day out, get
yourself booked in for a ticket; and don’t worry, mini binoculars (not unlike Miss Karenina’s at
the races) are provided so that you don’t miss any of the drama.
Ideal Destination: A Tour of Central Station (https://www.glasgowcentraltours.co.uk/)
Okay, so I am joking a bit with this one please don’t turn up expecting to get “mad wae it” at
a lock-in. In saying that, the Central Station tour is wonderful in the way that it introduces us
to the nooks, crannies and secret underground platforms from a largely social viewpoint. The
guides are interested in bringing the older parts of the station to life by reimagining all the
people who have walked in its halls for hundreds of years, going all the way back to Grahamston
forgotten village which was moved to make space for Scotland’s busiest railway station.
Film: The Wicker Man
Ideal Destination: Glasgow Police Museum (http://www.policemuseum.org.uk/)
Glasgow established the first police force in Britain (take from that what you will) back in
1779, so this unassuming little first floor museum in the Merchant City has assembled a
veritable collection of memorabilia, often discovering strange and remarkable facts about the
people historically associated with the police. Whilst The Wicker Man mystery may have
been fictional, there are plenty of real ones enduring today, and perhaps your fresh pair of
eyes will spot a fascinating clue in centuries old crime investigation?
Film: The Life of Brian
Ideal Destination: St Mungo’s Museum of Religious Life and Art (http://www.glasgowlife.org.uk/museums/stmungos/pages/default.aspx)
The religious protest surrounding The Life of Brian even managed to get it banned in Ireland
and Norway for blasphemy with the result of an ad campaign tagline in Sweden reading ‘So
funny, it was banned in Norway’. My point is that all publicity is good publicity and this
marvelous museum, packed with fascinating artwork and artefacts, deserves all the publicity
it can get. Aiming to promote respect between people of all faiths and none, it is the home of
an incredible Day of the Dead skeleton from Mexico (there’s an excuse to rewatch Spectre
as well, don’t say we aren’t good to you) and a bronze statue of a dancing Hindu god so
special that it gets its own room. Enjoy the amazing views from the third floor, grab a cup of
tea in the Zen garden, and whatever you do, don’t utter the words ‘Jehova’ before the whistle
has been blown.
Film: Atlantis: The Lost Empire
Ideal Destination: The Govan Stones at Govan Parish Church (http://www.thegovanstones.org.uk/)
Please forgive me for mixing up my time periods the carved stones at Govan date from the
9th century which, whilst being pretty impressive, doesn’t quite match up to the imaginary
stone carvings in my favourite disney film, which would have been several thousands of
years old. The Govan Stones are mysterious stone carvings, whose makers seemed to have
been influenced by viking and celtic traditions to make incredible hogback stones and a rare
sarcophagus which was discovered buried in the graveyard, having been used as an animal
trough at some point in the last thousand years. Think of your visit as a trip to the
non-swimmers version of Atlantis (if you really need to go for a swim to relive the film then I
suppose the Clyde is just outside) and you’ll no doubt enjoy it immensely.