Edinburgh Cinema

Edinburgh’s cinemas have their own, different feel. When I visit them, I’ll be writing about both the film and the place, giving you the organic experience. Film critics on the big scale can’t really cater for this, so I hope my reviews bring something extra in this respect.

Beast

Beast

Beast

I spent most of yesterday alone, after an exhausting week of ambivalent conclusions, and this made the dark and brooding Beast weirdly appropriate. The movie focuses on two outsiders, psychologically traumatised Moll and poacher Pascal Renouf, both inhabiting an island world of rugged coastlines, crashing waves, and an anally-retentive middle-class suburbicon. The isolation reminded me of two literary works, Iain Banks's Wasp Factory and Luke Sutherland's Venus as a Boy, of human ecosystems on cut off islands breeding all kinds of violence and social subversions and agitated adults trying way too hard to cling to order.

I really liked this film for its first half, thinking: this is like Bronte's Wuthering Heights, only better. Then it became too graphically disturbing, too much of a headfuck, as the works of a serial killer of young women combines with the dark back stories of Moll and her lover, leaving you appalled and bewildered. Is Moll psychopathic? Is her handsome, outsider lover? I've read elsewhere how the dynamics riff off of Lawrence's Lady Chatterley's Lover with an overly-protected girl and the rugged poacher releasing her inner-animal, and I loved this dynamic in the opening half. Moll's mother is all edgy and domineering, descending into bullying and insensitivities that make you root for Moll to break away. The other men in Moll's life, it should be said, are wankers: ingratiating village policeman Clifford, and Moll's wet and petty brother Harrison. When gorgeously rough and sinewy Pascal enters her life with his rifle (no phallic symbolism, I'm sure), you want to see Moll whisked away a la Lady Chatterley.

Of plot I won't say any more, because I recommend this film for its visual beauty and haunting portrayal of the unspeakable, be it repressed past experiences or the acts that shock and shake protagonists. File it, though, under films that fuck you up and leave you leaving your cinema unable to connect completely with the world around you, at least for a few minutes. I haven't used so many swear words in a review before, and I wonder if my unsettled mood is residue from an emotionally shattering week, or this emotionally shattering movie.
Lean On Pete
Avengers: Infinity War
 

Comments

No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Guest
Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Captcha Image

My Latest Posts

June 15, 2018

Anxiety Dreams and the Cisgender Label

Anxiety Dreams and the Cisgender Label I know it's bad form to talk about one's dreams but I'd like to start this post by talking about how I woke up in darkness last night, after an evolving, unpleasant, anxiety dream about being trans. In the first half of the dream, people saw me in a nice apartment, and wanted to take it for themselves because ...
June 09, 2018

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom Darker and more disturbing than any Jurassic Park film before, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is an epic, popcorn movie that channels our pessimistic current zeitgeist, leaving me to leave the cinema with a feeling of unease. I watched this film and thought of the way the real world is going, with a feeling of dread. ...
June 03, 2018

The Breadwinner

  The Breadwinner Afghanistan. The Taliban. A youthful female protagonist, gender-bending for the sake of her family's survival. The Breadwinner is a hypnotic, enchanting animation that has, at its core, the tensest of dynamics, sometimes re-calibrated with kaleidoscopic colours and emotions. Mixing brutal realities with recurring fa...
June 03, 2018

On loving a film that others hate

  On loving a film that others hate Instead of going to the cinema yesterday, I stayed in with my flatmate to watch a film I really like, High Fidelity (2000). How to describe the 'oh shit' moment when you realize a film you recommended is going down really badly with the other person? Following the ending, my flatmate spoke of it as if emergi...
May 30, 2018

Star Wars Spirituality

  Star Wars Spirituality I'm sitting on a plane as it's rising; it hits the clouds, breaking through, and the tension in my shoulders gives way to the smile across my face. Sunshine glistening against my window, with fields of cloud below me as far as I can see. I sit back, waiting to sip at the plastic see-through cup of blood-red wine. A hun...
May 27, 2018

Excluded by Julia Serano

in Books

Excluded by Julia Serano When she poetry-slams , the conviction and the eloquence Julia Serano possesses as a writer is there for all to see. Her style of fierce, funny, thoughtful insights is also present in Excluded (2013), arguably Serano's transgender manifesto, with a particular focus on issues of trans exclusion and commun...
May 27, 2018

Solo: A Star Wars Story

  Solo: A Star Wars Story Growing up as a Star Wars fanatic, my favourite character was Han, the reluctant Star Wars hero who grounded the original trilogy with a cynical humanity. Luke and Leia were just too perpetually honourable to have arcs: only Han, you felt, might genuinely have contemplated a descent into the Dark Side. Such darkness i...
May 20, 2018

Transgender Art: Metanoia

Transgender Art: Metanoia Transgender art comes around rarely, I've found, or perhaps I just haven't felt touched by it before. One of the most famous trans artists, Del LaGrace Volcano , is the kind I don't feel drawn to, images of the artist all gurning and grotesque, seeming to depend on shock and incongruity. Their work for me prompts thes...
May 20, 2018

London: Digital Identities Conference

  London: Digital Identities Conference 18.05.18 Presenting at a conference on deprived sleep is like wandering Peruvian forests on Ayahuasca The last few days have seen me emerging from hypnotic tortures of sleep deprivation, of days blurring into nights blurring into dawns and hotel breakfasts. Train journeys taking me to speak at a conferen...