Venus as a Boy by Luke Sutherland

Venus as a Boy by Luke Sutherland
​Reviewed 23/09/2016 How to categorize this story? It has moments of magical realism, as well as gritty darkness: bullying, racism, homophobia and rape. It's about a protagonist who becomes a prostitute and turns to gold, and whose sexual contact allows people to see heaven. It is only a novella, but has resonated with me since I first read it back...
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What's On! 22/9/2016

What's On! 22/9/2016
What's on? 22/09/16 I have a much better idea of what I'd like to do over the coming weekend, no David Bowie uncertainties for me this time. Speaking of which, following last week's entry for 'What's On?', I didn't follow it up with a review of the Bowie film The Man Who Fell to Earth because – although I did go and watch it at the Cameo cinema – I...
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The Beatles: Eight Days a Week

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week
21/09/16, The Beatles: Eight Days a Week I didn't think the Cameo cinema would be near full on a Monday night, but then, I hadn't bargained for the enduring popularity of The Beatles. In a cinema culture where so many people want to see superheroes, from Batman to Avengers to the Justice League, here was an opportunity to see the real thing: four y...
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On Paranoia

On Paranoia
Gina's Trans Diary, 17.09.16: entry 5 On Paranoia It starts with a couple's laughter. I have spent a peaceful late afternoon at Waterstones and am walking along Edinburgh's high street when I come to traffic lights and I wait. I'm staring into space, perhaps too much, like a zombie. I look up and I see the two girls giggling opposite me, having tak...
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What's on this weekend

What's on this weekend
What's on? 15/09/16 There is a very good chance I'll finally go back to the Cameo this weekend to watch The Man Who Fell to Earth. I know David Bowie's in it, it's his vehicle, and the fact that it was made in 1976 and I haven't seen it yet suggests I've never been into Bowie. I've never understood how venerated he is. I read a rock n' roll encyclo...
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Weather for Transsexuals

Weather for Transsexuals
Gina's Trans Diary, 11.09.16: entry 4 It was sunny and cool this morning in Edinburgh, perfect for walks. It's half past one now, and the clouds are obscuring the sky and the wind is up. Ah yes, the wind; no ordinary wind here on the east coast of Scotland. We're talking the kind that destroys the weak umbrellas in seconds, and turns strong ones in...
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Anthropoid

Anthropoid
11/09/16, Anthropoid, Dominion Cinema There are two kinds of war films, in my limited experience. Those that capture something of the horrific nature of war, as well as the dabs of humanity that go with it, and those – like Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds – which completely miss the point. Last night I visited, for the first time, the Dominion cin...
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Colonia

Colonia
09/09/16, Colonia Although this film is no longer in the cinema, I downloaded and watched it the other evening, the premise – based on real life events – fascinating and a prompt for reflection. It's set in Chile in the 1970s during the rule of the fascist dictator, Augusto Pinochet, and focuses on a mysterious cult led by a former Nazi émigré. Alr...
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What's on this week

What's on this week
What's on? 09/09/16 This is not a great weekend for cinema or theatre; I have to wait until 23 September when the Richard Alston dance company comes to the Festival Theatre (brilliant last year), and none of the films in the city's different cinemas jumps out at me. However, there are options: for a Nazi flick (always absorbing, unless Tarantino's ...
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Things to come, Filmhouse cinema

Things to come, Filmhouse cinema
​'Is there a more commanding screen presence than Isabelle Hubbert?' asks Mark Kermode in The Guardian, when critiquing this movie. To which I can answer, yeah, I think there is. I think Macaulay Culkin had more presence in Home Alone I and II, and even in his somewhat inferior Richie Rich. Vin Diesel, too, had his moments in Pitch Black. Dolph Lun...
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Gina’s Trans Diary, 05.09.16 Clothing I can't wear?

Gina’s Trans Diary, 05.09.16 Clothing I can't wear?
What to make of this T-shirt? I saw one several years ago with 'gay' instead of 'trans,' then saw this T-shirt during the Edinburgh Festival. First thing's first: Stonewall are a civil rights group that have championed the rights of LGBT people since their creation in 1989, and deserve credit for their courage as well as helping to make the UK a mo...
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Gina’s Trans Diary, 02.09.16 My First Selfie

Gina’s Trans Diary, 02.09.16 My First Selfie
This photo is my first selfie (taken on a selfie-stick, no less), and I'm sharing it with you all as part of a shift in my regard to myself. What does it represent? Previously, I'd got to the stage of so hating how I looked (as a man) that I wouldn't allow people to photograph me. Case in point: last Christmas (2015), the students on my course had ...
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The Festival’s Last Hours

The Festival’s Last Hours
They call it the gloaming, as something more than just a synonym for dusk. That special light, at once melancholy and life-affirming, it's a mood where people sit outside and watch the last of the light disappearing, and know that when they go back indoors, it's over. You close the curtains, and the last breath for doing something is gone for anoth...
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Teatro Delusio (Pleasance, Grand)

Teatro Delusio (Pleasance, Grand)
​Having attended only comedy and cabaret thus far, it was finally the turn of theatre for me at the Edinburgh festival. This act intrigued because of their use of masks; three men playing several roles, without speech. The scenario also has a lot of potential: we are 'behind stage' with a father and his two sons looking after the technical side of ...
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Wiener-Dog; Tickled; Wiener

Wiener-Dog; Tickled; Wiener
Some of those of an older generation have, I've observed, noted how modern cinema is rubbish. It's all crashes and bangs, perhaps best epitomized by the success of superhero movies. And while yes, I thought Captain America: Civil War was stunningly overrated and ultimately a kind of brain torture, I also think it's a belief that doesn't bear scruti...
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David Brent: Life on the Road

David Brent: Life on the Road
I loved The Office, and the humour of Ricky Gervais can be sharp and funny. I also enjoyed watching those animated podcast sessions with Gervais, Stephen Merchant and Karl Pilkington. There's something cruelly British about the humour, in a male, piss-taking, bantering, high-school way. So what to make of the movie? No, it doesn't deliver for me. B...
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Recent comment in this post
Guest — Simon Logan
That's a shame - I wonder if the influence of Steve Merchant was greater than people give him credit for?
Monday, 05 September 2016 16:00
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Gina's Trans Diary, 22.08.16 Stopped in the Street

Gina's Trans Diary, 22.08.16 Stopped in the Street
​Speaking of which, something did happen to me yesterday, out on the street near Nicolson. I was walking home, it wasn't pissing down this time, grey skies and a cool breeze, one of my favourite types of weather.  A guy was waving me over as I crossed the road, smiling like he knew me. He didn't, but began to chat confidently to me. Questions ...
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Allyson Stack’s Under the Heartless Blue and Marlon James’s A Brief History of Seven Killings

Allyson Stack’s Under the Heartless Blue and Marlon James’s A Brief History of Seven Killings
Who has time to read fiction? A quick Internet search will tell you that in 2013, 184,000 books were published in the UK, and in the US, 304,912. Where do you start? It's difficult to find the time, especially if it's a novel that stretches beyond the 400-page boundary. I'll start in this first posting on literature with a disclosure that one of th...
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