MY OLD SCHOOL
Director: Jono McLeod
2022, Scotland/U.S., 104min.
Screenwriter: Jono McLeod
Cast: Alan Cumming, Clare Grogan, Lulu
It’s not every day that Cinestudio gets the opportunity to screen a Scottish documentary about a real-life scandal with the irascible Alan Cumming filling in for the elusive main character… and knowing us, we jumped at the chance! In the mid-90s, the media went nuclear with the story of 17-year-old student Brandon Lee, who turned out to be somebody else entirely: a 30-year-old man named Dave McKinnon, who wanted one more year at Bearsden Academy, his posh alma mater outside of Glasgow. As Brandon Lee, he was embraced by his classmates, sticking up for the bullied, taking friends on adventures, and starring in the school’s performance of South Pacific. Was he a clever trickster or simply delusional? And was anyone hurt by his scheme? My Old School looks for answers with inventive cartoon recreations, archival footage, and Alan Cumming lip-synching the camera-shy McKinnon’s interviews. But most intriguing are his classmates (including director Jono McLeod) as they come together to trade memories, look for clues, and find explanations for their willingness to be so wholly fooled.
“Wildly entertaining! A sly commentary on memory and ambition.” — Esther Zuckerman, The Best Movies at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival.