Why would I go to the cinema at 12.45 on a Saturday? This weekend sees the calm before the storm, with next week's Black Panther as well as the trans movie A Fantastic Woman both poised for release on Tuesday, already like the gentlest rumble of thunder on my horizon. There are no films I want to watch this weekend, but at Cameo cinema tomorrow, in the afternoon slot, is a documentary called Walk With Me about a Buddhist retreat, with the voiceover by Benedict Cumberbatch.
I've never considered Buddhism or retreats, but for the longest time, I wasn't out as trans, either. Now, I'd like to imagine myself unpacking in a delicate abode, just me and some books – assuming you can read at Buddhist retreats. Then wandering through a garden.
I wrote about such a fantasy in the only novel I've ever written, a place for the repressed to disappear into. I imagined it as somewhere you'd never want to leave, an approximation of heaven. From this perspective, I'd quite like to see Walk With Me, just to see how it's done.Tuesday evening, however, is when Cameo shows the film I really want to see, Sebastian Lelio's A Fantastic Woman. It's been on my radar for a year now, an award-winning depiction of a trans woman in Chile, whose lead, Daniela Vega, is tipped for great things. There's something about Chile that has increasingly intertwined with my life these past three years, and having loved the Chilean movie Neruda – my favourite film of 2017 – I'm trying not to get too excited, trying in fact to be all Zen.