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 hor...
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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 reg...
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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 classi...
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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

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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)

Logan-Lucky
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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Adam (Drama, Edinburgh Festival) 28.08.17

Adam
Adam (Drama, Edinburgh Festival) 28.08.17 This was a slick, creative piece of theatre, inventive in its use of characterisation, stage and language. The duality of particular words is turned into a key recurring theme, and language itself – English compared with Arabic – is explored in relation to gender. As I left the theatre, having been part of ...
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Eve (Theatre, Edinburgh Festival) 27.08.17

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Eve (Theatre, Edinburgh Festival) 27.08.17 Actress/writer Jo Clifford's telling of her life story, Eve , to the accompaniment of photos and occasional background music, produces the expected; it is poignant and sometimes sad, though ultimately has you feeling relieved for her. Like Kate O'Donnell's You've Changed , it charts the trans experience fr...
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What's On? 23.08.17

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What's On? 23.08.17 A trove of good films coming out, clashing with the final weekend of the Festival. I haven't even seen Charlize Theron's kick-arse action movie Atomic Blonde but how can I say no to Soderbergh's Logan Lucky with Adam Driver and Daniel Craig doing a heist in the American Mid West? And what of Kathryn Bigelow's Detroit about the r...
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Cirkopolis (Circus, Edinburgh Festival)

Cirkopolis
Cirkopolis (Circus, Edinburgh Festival) 21.08.17 Cirkopolis does not lack ambition. Filling a conference room on a daily basis in Edinburgh, drawing audiences with its eye-catching promotion of themes of dystopia set to acrobatics, it offers a conceptually alluring promise of extreme highs (literally) and a brutalist background of 1920s German sci-...
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Charlottesville 20.08.17

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Charlottesville 20.08.17 Morning has broken with a quiet Sunday, the only interruptions a crow cawing in the distance, and the sound of typing from a student on a table nearby. My mind drifts. I became addicted to the news this week, lesson preparations taking hours more than necessary as I kept returning to the stories about Charlottesville. ...
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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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