Chapter 1 introduced us to Tartantry, Kailyard and Clydesideism, three familiar, mythic stereotypes consistently deployed in television shows and „lms depicting Scots or using Scotland as a setting. Critics have very often noted that these myths offer portrayals of Scotland that are, in many ways, false idealisations (Craig 1982, McArthur 1982, Hardy 1990: -Š, Petrie 2000, Oria Gomez 2008, Martin-Jones 2010, Balkind 2013: 5). At the same time, however, these myths have also served an important purpose in helping to shape and form an image of Scotland as a unique place with its own special essence.
In recent times a cinematic countermovement has appeared that de-empha-sises Scottish uniqueness, depicting Scotland as a place largely indistinct from, or indeed interchangeable with, other locations around the globe. Authors such as Duncan Petrie, Ian Goode, David Martin-Jones, Sarah Neely, Simon Brown, Sarah Street and Nicola Balkind have previously commented on this emerging phenomenon in Scottish Cinema in which, as Brown writes, we „nd, ‘Scotland itself literally receding into the background’, so as to act as a ‘mere location for a universal story’ (Brown 201: 6). While on the one hand serving to undermine some of the old, familiar and at times cherished ideals associ-ated with Scotland, this countermovement has also helped to create a new way of thinking about the nation, emphasising it as a place much like any other, and thus highlighting it as part of a larger, world community. In this chapter I examine the nihilistic dynamics of this new cinematic countermovement, which I shall call ‘the myth of Scotland as nowhere in particular’.
This new myth takes the countryside and cities of Scotland as raw mate-rial for the telling of stories having transcultural and transnational interest. In this, Scotland becomes a kind of space or clearing with no particular de„ning characteristics of its own that might distract from the dramas themselves, thus allowing for the unfolding of narratives that, while they use Scotland as a location, have little if anything to do with things uniquely Scottish. In trying to understand this phenomenon I shall draw upon the insights of Martin Heidegger, in particular his discussion of Being as a ‘nothing’ that underlies and supports the emergence of worlds.