Alone In The System

Alone In The System
Alone In the System 18.04.17 I broke down today, in tears, in someone's office. It's the first time it's happened, crying in front of other people like this. A colleague from the university's staff pride network, I didn't know who else to turn to. I got a job rejection this morning. So many qualifications and so much experience for a post well with...
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One-year anniversary

One-year anniversary
One-year anniversary 16.04.17 It feels slightly ridiculous to write about my one-year anniversary of being out, full-time, as trans. It is, medically (or should that be bureaucratically?) an important moment because it means you can start discussing gender reassignment surgery with your doctor for real. That meeting comes in early May for me. Havin...
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What's On? 13.04.17

What's On? 13.04.17
What's On? 13.04.17 Black cinema is not something I know much about, and that's including Afro-American; by 'black' I'm not sure what I mean, except I guess cinema within a subculture, defined by a particular, disempowered ethnicity, the one I know as 'black,' especially relating to America. Is there just one 'black' cinema? Or do I see the colour ...
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Dealing With Failure

Dealing With Failure
09/04/17, Dealing With Failure It's a pivotal moment that didn't seem so pivotal after the event, though I know things are going to change in my life now. My application for funding for my studies got rejected on Monday. It is a big deal. It means I'm going to finish my studies in two years' time considerably poorer than when I started. I'll still ...
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Free Fire 09.04.17

Free Fire 09.04.17
09/04/17, Free Fire Two teams, one warehouse at night time, somewhere in Boston. The premise is clear, the gun deal falls apart as people start shooting at each other, everyone sucked into a gun battle, everyone soon covered in dust and blood, crawling and limping around, shouting to each other and at each other. Confusion really starts to reign as...
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07.04.17 What's On?

07.04.17 What's On?
07.04.17, Free Fire Having attacked John Wick 2 as nonsensical gun-porn, it might appear hypocritical of me to feature Free Fire as the most enticing screening this weekend. I am trying to understand my own decision. The film looks fun, in a deliberately retro 1970s kind of way. The cast looks promising, especially the clash of opposites: quiet, my...
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You Are Now Mentally Ready

You Are Now Mentally Ready
You Are Now Mentally Ready 03.04.17 I wake up in the darkness as the guitar music trails into nothing. The woman's voice on the twelfth and final recording of the NHS Mental Health and Wellbeing programme has faded back into the Middle Ages along with her guitarist. There were some words I can remember about the training she'd given, telling me I'm...
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Ghost in the Shell

Ghost in the Shell
02/04/17, Ghost in the Shell Bewildered anger from one friend afterwards, in the bar of Cameo cinema. A nonplussed, unimpressed set of views from another. I was embarrassed to compare ratings with them over cider, with my '6.5-out-of-ten' against their two and four. Is Ghost in the Shell so bad? This was its first Saturday showing, and Cameo had mo...
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What's On? 30.03.17

What's On? 30.03.17
What's On? 30.03.17 I'll start with Ghost in the Shell, because I've effectively been waiting for this film since I heard it was in production last year. Having reviewed the anime version (1995) upon which it's based, I'm going into this with the gentle let-down of having already read three-star reviews. Bearing in mind I wasn't 'crazy' about the a...
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27.03.17 The Dilemma of Having Your Face Tortured

27.03.17 The Dilemma of Having Your Face Tortured
27.03.17 The Dilemma of Having Your Face Tortured From February 2016, I began to have laser-hair-removal treatment done privately for my facial hair. In December, I began the process with the NHS, through a 'photographic' session. Over three months on, I'm still waiting to hear when I can start the treatment, but in the meantime, here is my st...
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Life 26.03.17

Life 26.03.17
26.03.17 Life Gruesome and deeply disturbing, this is a film I should qualify with the caveat that I entered the cinema feeling low about life. I didn't realize quite how low; that day in Edinburgh included sunny weather and a stillness in the cool air that I love. A few days earlier, however, I'd received rejections for things I'd applied for, inc...
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What's On? 23.03.17

What's On? 23.03.17
What's On? 23.03.17 This weekend there's a sci-fi with Jake Gyllenhaal called Life and I don't know how to react to it. I love a visually fantastic sci-fi; the Tom Cruise movie Oblivion is an example of the kind of eye-candy I could happily watch and not be affected by the silly, committee-manufactured ending. Even Matt Damon's Elysium was . . . we...
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Personal Shopper 21.03.17

Personal Shopper 21.03.17
20.03.17 Personal Shopper It's always interesting when you come across two reviews of the film you watched that diverge so differently. Empire magazine makes Personal Shopper out as a three-star movie (out of five), opening with the line, 'There's no one aspect of Olivier Assays' latest film that entirely works.' Elsewhere in 'review world,' The Gu...
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Now Close Your Eyes

Now Close Your Eyes
19/03/17, Now Close Your Eyes I have continued to listen to the recordings, the ones promoting mental health. I lie on my bed on these evenings, the room is dark like the Scottish winter outside, there's light coming from the living room, and from the laptop next to me. I'm dressed in black, in leggings, vest and long black cardigan, with a basebal...
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What's On? 16.03.17

What's On? 16.03.17
What's On? 16.03.17 I am both fascinated and repelled by ghost stories. I began watching The Ring on my own and then decided not to, at a certain point, early on. Similarly with Paranormal Activity, I started to watch it alone some years ago, and couldn't cope with it, despite its fear coming from tricks with shadows and sounds. There's a ghost sto...
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Kong: Skull Island 16.03.17

Kong: Skull Island 16.03.17
16/03/17, Kong: Skull Island Confessions first: I like exotic, monster movies, even if the good ones rarely come around. I really liked the Jurassic Park films, including the most recent one, Jurassic World. I enjoyed the 1990s Godzilla with Matthew Broderick. And when I was very young, I was besotted with Conan Doyle's The Lost World (the Ladybird...
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Listen and Relax . . .

Listen and Relax . . .
13/03/17, Listen and Relax . . . My gender-transitioning nurse – my current doctor Frankenstein if you will – gave me a link to a mental-health-and-wellbeing site, full of listening tracks. Up until yesterday I'd ignored them, being too anxious about wasting valuable study time that I waste anyway. And so last night I downloaded, clicked on and lis...
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Logan 12.03.17

Logan 12.03.17
12/03/17, Logan A film in which an old gunslinger is called into action one final time, Logan has heart and a tenderness, at least for the first two-thirds. Its conclusion embraces a nondescript action sequence and that's a shame; I even wonder if the anticlimactic predictability of the end made this film appear worse, for its contrast with its eng...
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What's On? 09.03.17

What's On? 09.03.17
What's On? 09/03/17 Should I go and watch Logan? There are no easy answers, despite the strong reviews. The X-Men did nothing for me, though I do have a soft spot for the third in the series, when they're fighting on Alcatraz Island; Vinnie Jones being tricked by Ellen Page into running into a wall. But the others? The characters are too two-dimens...
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Certain Women 07.03.17

Certain Women 07.03.17
07/03/17, Certain Women A slice-of-life film about the lives of four women in a dead-end town. The camera stays on things longer than is usual, as if the character of Time is playing Best Supporting Actor. In the final scene, as a lonely protagonist is working in the stables, you wait to see the woman she loves come back to her. And you wait. It's ...
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