The Party

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The Party 03.12.17 It finished so abruptly, there was hardly time for disappointment. The Party is a film that imagines what a soiree in London looks like. With the dialogue slightly dull, I stopped thinking about the minimal plot and wondered how much these characters would earn: Kristin Scott-Thomas's House of Commons Minister would have a salary...
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What's On?

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What's On 30.11.17 It doesn't come out until April 2018, but I'm going to mention the next Avengers movie because its trailer is on release. Yes, that's how big the Avengers franchise has become: even its trailers are newsworthy. It looks good, if what you enjoy are the myriad superheroes from Captain American: Civil War – because Avengers: Infinit...
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A Difficult Week for Trans Rights

Gender-Kristeva
A Difficult Week for Trans Rights 26.11.17 Since I joined Twitter a month or so ago, I've become aware of the vitriol about trans and non-binary rights. Effectively you can boil the debate down to one side battling for its own existence, while the other side attempts to strangle this possibility at birth. It is a seismic debate. It is effectively d...
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Battle of the Sexes

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Battle of the Sexes 25.11.17 This was a sweet, uplifting experience, of a face-off in the zero-sum game of patriarchy, where on this occasion the right person wins. Emma Stone is a strong Billy Jean King, her battle for women's respect blended within a tender LGBT love story. Steve Carell is a surprisingly likeable Bobby Riggs, a little-boy-lost wh...
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What's On?

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What's On? 23.11.17 There are no new blockbusters this weekend, just the accumulation in the multiplex cinemas of Blade Runner 2049, Thor: Ragnarok and Justice League. I'm happy to avoid them all, I was absorbed but now I'm looking for something new. Is this the hallmark of my generation? There is The Battle of the Sexes in the Cameo cinema and it ...
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Justice League

Justice-League
Justice League 19.11.17 I'm still not sure why they needed Aquaman. He has a trident, and he swims really fast; fine, but the single oceanic scene comes and goes in the shake of a fish tail, and for the rest of the movie, he really is a fish out of water. I want more female superheroes, and fewer macho, gruff-voiced bodybuilders, whose presence in ...
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Trans Remembrance 2017

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Trans Remembrance 19.11.17 We gathered, commemorated, and also celebrated our identities. I wish I had promoted the event more successfully, and yes, more professionally, but that's a thing for another time. Elaine Gallagher, our guest speaker, spoke movingly about unemployment, about being single, and the awkward, probing questions that she's aske...
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What's On?

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What's On? 16.11.17 I've never watched a Justice League film. I'm going to take a leap of faith and assume you'd like to know why, with the added question: will Gina finally go to the cinema this weekend and break her vow with this awful-looking franchise? But first, my reservations. Let's start with Superman, even if he died last year or the year ...
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Happy Fucking Transgender Remembrance

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Happy Fucking Transgender Remembrance 14.11.17 Trans Remembrance, that white, middle class thing that I do. I guess that could be your perception, for I am white, in a slightly Celtic-looking way, whatever that means. Last year I organized a screening of Tangerine, about African-American prostitutes in LA, a film I grow to love more and more with t...
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The Florida Project

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The Florida Project 12.11.17 Like Harry Potter and the Enid Blyton stories, The Florida Project is partly a world seen from the perspective of children. Around them on the sun-drenched strip of cheap motels and garish junk food cafes, little girls and boys play together, are noisy, and seem not to realize the challenges faced by the adults. Providi...
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What's On?

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What's On? 10.11.17 He's already famous for directing the low-budget Tangerine, one of the most uplifting accounts of transgender characters ever caught on film. Now Sean Baker returns with another low-budget special, The Florida Project, starring Willem Defoe and some unknown, brilliant child actors. If it's anything like as good as Tangerine, it ...
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Is Tintin Transgender?

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Is Tintin Transgender? Last week I wrote about other dimensions. This week I'd like to take the plunge into alternative animated worlds: what if we could see beyond the published cartoon frames of my favourite character from childhood, Tintin? There was always something about Tintin's androgyny, his anodyne spirit about making the world a bett...
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Murder on the Orient Express

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Murder on the Orient Express 05.11.17 Murder on the Orient Express. It's a film about the luxury train, with a murder on it. What else is there to say of this enjoyable, nothing-special film? I went for visual stimulation and escapism and I think it's what I got given, like caviar or some other overrated thing. I knew I would get a glimpse of how t...
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What's On?

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What's On? 03.11.17 How many classic films have you seen? There are plenty that I haven't, including perhaps the most famous one of all, Citizen Kane – whose reputation, like Joyce's Ulysses, is of an art work more celebrated than experienced. If I ever make it to retirement, or better still to a post-studies settling down (with own home, car, and ...
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Out Of This World: A Tribute To Brit Marling

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Out Of This World: A Tribute To Brit Marling 29.10.17 There are moments, they appear before you on screen or in a book or in a song, and they capture what you yearn for. This might be the case for anyone, and is certainly so for those who repress something. But then, doesn't everyone have something they can't have? Isn't that how the psyc...
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Thor: Ragnarok

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Thor: Ragnarok 28.10.17 Two thirds of the way through Thor: Ragnarok, there's a superlative piece of slow-mo action that should have lasted longer. We see in a historical flashback the Valkyries – an all-woman army on winged horseback – approaching the story's villain, Cate Blanchett's Hela, in a final role of the dice. It's a scene akin to those o...
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What's On?

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What's On? 27.10.17 Perhaps the superhero I have the least connection with on our screens today is Thor. I never watch his movies; I feel nothing for the super-serious Norse world that he comes from – it strikes me in the trailers as bland, a pompous landscape of furrowed brows, facial hair, formal tones of voice and shining breastplates. As f...
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Trans vs TERFs

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Trans vs TERFs 22.10.17 It's the red rag to a bull, from a transgender perspective: radical feminists, or trans-exclusionary radical feminists (TERFs) and what we're meant to think of each other. I read this week an article in The Big Issue (October 16-22) about violence at a protest from some weeks ago, between trans and anti-trans activists ...
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The Death of Stalin

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The Death of Stalin 21.10.17 My first issue wasn't with the film but the cinema. Two price hikes by Cameo within so many months left me with the cost of £9.20 for a film, on a student membership. It's strange how the little things can unsettle you beforehand, but the Cameo always felt like my cinema. Given that they've given a make-over to the...
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Reflections on Sense8

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Reflections on Sense8 15.10.17 The Wachowskis have made art with messages before. The Matrix asked questions of reality, while bringing cyberpunk style into Western fashion – Neo, Trinity and Morpheus became our vulnerable superheroes for the computer age. Who hasn't thought about which pill they'd take, the red one or the blue one? For that matter...
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