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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What's On?

Stalin
What's On? 08.10.17 I was a Twentieth-Century boy – before later updating to this Twenty-First Century woman. Born in 1975, I grew up with the dying of the Cold War: a Soviet Union whose danger I didn't countenance, and a USA whose glamour and glitz bewitched me. How could it not? I started on a diet of Disney and Hannah-Barbara – not to ...
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Blade Runner 2049

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Blade Runner 2049 06.10.17 I sat there in the full auditorium thinking about me as I often do during the special films. Then again, it's difficult not to with a film about cyborgs, when you're transgender and you witness again that born-in-middle-age imagery. When you realize the Grail in the plot is the discovery that cyborgs might be able to give...
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Wind River

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Wind River 30.09.17 Yes, finally. Wind River is a film that combines suspense with art, to the backdrop of a bleak winter whiteness; a girl's death is captured and a story enfolds. There are so many reasons to watch this film. The Nick-Cave co-written soundtrack blends into the hostile, pristine scenery where native Americans battle their demons an...
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What's On?

Wind-rover
What's On? 28.09.17 I've been scared off these last two weeks by a middling review in Empire magazine, but I think I will finally go and see Wind River this weekend. It has Elizabeth Olsen, after all, and few actors can conjure ghostly bewilderment, with those round startled eyes of a winter sky-blue. I saw Olsen in her breakout movie, the indie Ma...
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What happened to the thing I loved?

The-Catch
What happened to the thing I loved? 24.09.17 American football, like nothing else, rose before me in the 1980s while I was still working out how to be a boy. In Wales we had semi-professional rugby and a football team that never quite qualified for anything. The Darwinian in me stared from across the pond and sighed in awe at the San Francisco 49er...
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What's On?

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What's On? 21.09.17 Flags are funny things. For countries they're so pivotal, and actually can be nice to look at. I used to have a bedroom poster of all the flags of the world, I was drawn especially to Africa, and the flags of Kenya and Uganda, and for their colours, Botswana and Tanzania. Favourite flag of all? Obviously Wales, but Ireland's fla...
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Communities

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Communities 17.09.17 With Edinburgh University still in Fresher-Week mode yesterday, I participated in an LGBT info event, with myriad groups manning stalls. I met with organisers and took their literature as they took from mine – I have a feeling that my event-organizing this year is going to be a much more collaborative effort. This means bigger ...
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Mother!

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Mother! 16.09.17 I'm going through a crisis of faith with my reviews: I thought It was nothing special last weekend, and having just returned from Edinburgh's Omni Vue cinema, I have to say Mother! is also a film to avoid. How could The Guardian's Peter Bradshaw have given it five stars? The movie is a Monty Python sketch turned into Hollywood horr...
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What's On?

Close-Encounters
What's On? 16.09.17 The big movie event this weekend is Mother! starring Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem (with Michelle Pfeiffer and Ed Harris supporting), a disturbing psychological horror about terrible things in the adult world, to follow last week's It and the focus on childhood. I'm looking forward to Mother! because I could really do with...
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The Sadness of Immaturity

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The Sadness of Immaturity 10.09.17 Although I'm a T in the LGBTQI acronym, I was reminded yesterday at the cinema of some shared inter-acronym experiences when I watched the celebrated movie God's Own Country. Enough, in fact, to make this ostensible film review the basis of today's diary posting. Briefly, first, a recap of the film: a guy in ...
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It

It
It 09.09.17 It reminded me of The Goonies and Stand By Me, of a group of kids spending their small town summer playing in the sun. The best parts of this latest adaptation of Stephen King's horror novel occur when the horror is absent, the characters Beverley and Ben in particular depicted sensitively and in three dimensions. Part of me almost regr...
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What's On? 07.09.17

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What's On? 07.09.17 I was around 14 when I fell in love with the works of Stephen King. There was one particular summer when I picked up my older brother's copy of It, a book I knew he adored. It should have taken me weeks but I finished it in around four days, and I'm not a fast reader. A day or so afterwards I started on another of King's classic...
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The Limehouse Golem

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The Limehouse Golem 06.08.17 Was it the pint of Heineken – £3.30 at the stylish Fountain pub – that made me feel dizzy through this film? The Limehouse Golem is a stylish whodunnit horror, channelling Victorian London and a Jack-the-Ripper ambience. Yet the film itself left me unmoved. I think I understood the ending, and don't care much in hindsig...
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Detroit

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Detroit 03.08.17 A film to be endured as much as enjoyed, Kathryn Bigelow's Detroit is a brutal, engrossing recreation of horrific events in America's not so distant past, the Detroit race riots of 1967. Yet other reviews will tell you why this film is good and exhausting simultaneously. I will talk instead about how it made me reflect. As I watche...
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Autumn Serenity

Gina-Serene
Autumn Serenity 03.08.17 September has started, the month I hated in adolescence, when it meant school, a place to survive and not enjoy, and definitely not thrive within. But now? I'm coming back from a sun-drenched Wasteland, of a summer spent abandoning my studies for work, the kind I thought I'd left behind in 2015. Of the positives, the s...
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What's On? 31.08.17

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What's On? 31.08.17 There are three films in the Cameo cinema this weekend enjoying top billing: Steven Soderbergh's Logan Lucky, I've already seen and thought was a bit pointless, and that's despite my finding the American Midwest a fascinating part of the English-speaking world. Leaves of Grass (2010), for example, I would happily part cash with;...
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The Uplift 30.08.17

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The Uplift 30.08.17 Let's start with the picture. It's my first effort at using an online tool called Photo Editor, because I had two photos that I wanted to share simultaneously: one taken early morning, 7ish, in July, with me about to go to work as a summer school teacher of adults. The other, last weekend, with summer school about to e...
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Logan Lucky (29.08.17)

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Logan Lucky 29.08.17 A film about nothing, Logan Lucky is the kind of fun, slightly-not-clear heist caper you put on when you're not really in the mood for a film. It has likeable, slightly boring lead characters – Adam Driver is likeable in a leaden, inexpressive way, Channing Tatum is likeable in a leaden, butch way, and the series of stick-...
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