Skin (Dance, Edinburgh Festival)

Skin
Skin (Dance, Edinburgh Festival) 19.08.17 Dark, smart and serious, Skin emerges like an urban sci-fi, combining euphoria with torment in low-lit orange lighting, the spotlights and the menace of the dancers. The ending is one of several moments that leave a lasting image: of balaclava'd figures, their backs turned to the audience and to the protago...
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A Ghost Story

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A Ghost Story 19.08.17 It's a meditation on death and what happens after, as the trailer suggests. The reviews too have come to this conclusion and I agree, David Lowery's A Ghost Story expresses something of what death means to us, the awful emptiness of it, if you really think about it without the gloss of religion. Because the emotion I felt thr...
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You've Changed (Drama, Edinburgh Festival)

Youve-changed
You've Changed (Drama, Edinburgh Festival) 14.08.17 After the crude and clichéd anti-climax that was Testosterone, I approached Kate O'Donnell's one-woman show about her transgender transition with trepidation. You've Changed as it turns out is both less offensive and less of a risk-taker as a show; true, O'Donnell strips and presents her vagina as...
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Testosterone (Drama, Edinburgh Festival)

Testosterone
Testosterone (Drama, Edinburgh Festival) 12.08.17 It started well, a personal story by Kit Redstone about his trans journey to manhood. Then a moment came when one of his co-actors donned a blond wig, corset accompanied with tassles, sparkling underwear and black stilettos, in a narrow, sexualized expression of male-to-female gender cross...
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An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power

Inconvenient-Sequel
An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power 12.08.17 There I sat in a front row seat in the Cameo cinema (the room sold out), waiting for the film to start. A mawkish musical montage came on once, and then a second time, to groans from the audience. We waited as Al Gore prepared to have his question-and-answer down in London at Picturehouse HQ, simultan...
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What's On?

Gore
What's On? 11.08.17 This is usually a small and simple post to do, but with the Festival in full swing in Edinburgh, my head is turned a dozen different ways. There are trans-based shows in Edinburgh at the Traverse theatre, one named Adam (about being a trans man) and the other predictably called Eve starring the playwright and actress Jo Clifford...
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Something Off My Chest

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Something Off My Chest 11.08.17 I've been on hormones for a year, and perhaps it's time to say something about the way my body's changing. How to do so without sounding crude? But I'd earlier thought a suitable title for this post might be Tits Up, so already this post is better than it could have been. For a few weeks now, I've started to go out w...
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Edinburgh Just Festival 11.08.17

Just-Festival
Edinburgh Just Festival 11.08.17 I haven't been on stage before as a trans person, but I will have my fifteen minutes this coming Friday, on 11 August, at Edinburgh's Just Festival. The festival-within-a-festival serves to create a safe space for dialogue, and I'm joining that dialogue, as I discuss perceptions surrounding trans people in modern so...
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Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

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Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets 05.08.17 It's meant to be terrible, but all I can think about right now is how Luc Besson's Valerian is better than James Cameron's Avatar (2009). There are, I insist, comparisons to be made, none of them flattering to the inexplicably lauded Avatar. Let's start with the overview: they're both sci-fi bloc...
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Donald Trump's Latest Transgression

Trump
Donald Trump's Latest Transgression 29.07.17 It's a slow news day, so I've decided to write about the latest travails of the USA's 45th and current President, Donald Trump, whose views on trans people seem to drift ever further from friendship to compromised indifference (see the Mike-Pence inspired repeal of trans rights in high schools)...
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Dunkirk

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Dunkirk 29.07.17 Dunkirk is a strange film, as much about the channel of water between two countries as the aforementioned nations at war. I read somewhere that director Chris Nolan sailed the English Channel in his youth and the experience was formative to him. This is evident, the film's photography sometimes shows the war as pinpricks on th...
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Dining Out

Scotmid
Dining Out 28.07.17 Edinburgh is well into pre-festival mode, and I have already attended its film festivals (one quite good film for £10), its jazz and blues festival (one quite good band, also £10) and its food one (one burger for £5, a single-scoop ice-cream for about £3 and a bit of free cake). You may say: Gina, you're really splashing the cas...
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Summer in London: interview with Ash Palmisciano

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Summer in London is a play written and directed by celebrated playwright Rikki Beadle-Blair, and is currently being performed at the Theatre Royal Stratford East in London (8-29 July). It features an all-trans cast, including up-and-coming star Ash Palmisciano, who has kindly agreed to be interviewed by me for Edinburgh Trance. Ash, first of all, c...
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My Love of Ozzy Osbourne

jakeelee
My Love of Ozzy Osbourne 23.07.17 That's of, not for, in that the object of my passion is a band whose 1980s heavy rock I still feel something for. As for the man called Ozzy Osbourne who fronted and sang, and whose charisma and status gave the band its stardom, I have mixed feelings. Why write about him, about them, the band? Perhaps simply, I've ...
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War for the Planet of the Apes

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War for the Planet of the Apes 22.07.17 Another slick, exciting offering from the Planet of the Apes franchise, War for the Planet of the Apes (WFTPOTA) is as tense a piece of story-telling as it is emotionally uninvolving afterwards. I left wondering not what happens next in this franchise, but why I felt so detached beyond the screening room door...
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David Lynch: The Art Life

David-Lynch
David Lynch: The Art Life 16.07.17 I had a choice, to go and watch the latest Planet of the Apes blockbuster, or a documentary about a director whose art deeply disturbs me. Well, there's always next week for the apes, or next year for the sequel. I don't think there will be a sequel for David Lynch: The Art Life, simply because his storytelling is...
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Friendships in Edinburgh

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Friendships in Edinburgh 15.07.17 Saturday evening, and outside a band is playing. It's July and the festivals are coming back to Edinburgh; already, the park at the centre of George Square has been taken over with fences and security and people in red coats whose purpose is mysterious. Just over two weeks from now, this city will become the larges...
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What's On?

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What's On? 15.07.17 I remember the disturbing nature of Planet of the Apes when I was young. Not so much the first one with its iconic, Statue-of-Liberty ending (1968), but subsequent ones including the creepy Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970) with its scarred, surviving ancestors of humanity's nuclear victims. Then Escape (1971), imbibed with ...
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Song To Song

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Song To Song 14.07.17 Wendy Ide of The Guardian says of this film that 'it all adds up to a beautiful nothing.' But is 'beautiful' ever only nothing? Do I now sound like a character in a Terence Malick film by voicing such a question? Malick's Song to Song is the kind of movie I would watch in multiple, accidental viewings in my previous life, as t...
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Finding Work as a Trans Person

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Finding Work as a Trans Person 08.07.17 A second week of part-time teaching work passed on Friday, and already, it's not about being trans. I enter the classroom, the lesson begins, and I am from planet teacher. The students are nice, and everything is about them, not me. I always wondered how it would be as a trans-female teacher. Last year I...
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