What's on this week

What's On? 21.10.16

What's On? 21.10.16

What's on? 21/10/16

It's received middling reviews, but My Scientology Movie at the Cameo cinema at least looks interesting. One of my favourite 'what-the-hell-is-this?' movies was The Sound of My Voice, the film that got me hooked on the genius of actress/writer Brit Marling. I will write about Marling another time, she's worth an article by herself. In case you're wondering, it's also a film about a cult, with two journalists trying to infiltrate and expose it. And while we're talking about this, Martha, Marcy, May, Marlene – the indie movie that helped launch the career of Elizabeth Olson – was about cults, brilliantly so. Both of these latter films are among my favourite films; weirdly they remind me of working for the British Council in Saudi Arabia.

The closest I ever came to joining a cult was working door-to-door in America for the Southwestern Company (they recruited students from university for summer work). We had a dance-ritual we had to perform every day. We had to cross a yellow line of thread, which was cut into pieces, and we made bracelets out of them to remind ourselves of our commitment. We had small handbooks full of mantras (I will persist until I succeed, I will persist until I succeed . . .). Another mantra was 'Who's next?', we were supposed to say it the moment we got a door slammed in our face. I woke up one time, at around four in the morning, bolt upright, and said 'Who's next?'

I also got passionate about Islam for a time. What's the difference between religion and a cult? No disrespect to Muslims (or Christians, or Jews, or whoever), but there are overlaps, of course there are – to some degree, cults are religions that haven't quite made it yet. But I think the secretiveness of cults makes them different, and fascinating, with that reputation of never letting you go (although there are religions that punish you for letting go). It felt a bit like that with my summer book-selling job that I wrote about last week. Maybe a cult doesn't have to be religious. And therefore, religions don't have to be like cults. Bolshevism was a kind of cult. Naziism too, to some degree (to others, just an excuse to bully and hurt people, and for others still, payback for a shit life – I wonder if we're headed back there? Donald anyone? Brexit?).

I digress. Louis Theroux has a documentary out, and it's received mixed reviews. It's a three-star documentary. But it's a three-star documentary about a cult.

I still haven't watched Girl on a Train. Do I go crazy and watch two films in one week? I will let you know next week . . .

What's On? 27.10.16
What's On? 13/10/16


No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Saturday, 26 September 2020

Captcha Image

What's On This Week

My Latest Posts

July 01, 2020

Silenced by The Scotsman

​ On 11 June, The Scotsman published a deeply hostile article against transgender rights and activism in an opinion piece about the JK Rowling furore by its deputy political editor Gina Davidson. After much distress, I wrote a counter article which The Scotsman quietly ignored, after they had offered to pass it on to their Comment Editor. I experie...
May 11, 2020

The Book of Queer Prophets, curated by Ruth Hunt

in Books

  The Book of Queer Prophets: 24 Writers on Sexuality and Religion The historically fraught relationship between Abrahamic religions and LGBT+ identities provides the backdrop to The Book of Queer Prophets , a collection of twenty-four meditations by public figures who identify as both religious and LGBT+. The book's curator, the for...
May 09, 2020

Queer/Transgender short film: Mesmeralda

Joshua Matteo's short film, Mesmeralda , merging horror with esoterica, is now out on youtube . As with his previous work Metanoia , we see youthful trans actors racing through the empty streets of a moonlit New York, haunted by symbols and stalked by a masked figure of violent intentions. Mesmeralda , as described by Matteo, is the companion ...
March 08, 2020

Sterile like the moon: the joys of transgender healthcare

Sterile like the moon: the joys of transgender healthcare Summer, 2016: Gina's Big Bang, as transitioning begins A bureaucratic question in a sun-lit room. My medical practitioner asks me if I intend to have children. The question lingers, but the self-loathing is instant. No, I won't be having children. The practitioner nods. She moves on to the n...
November 10, 2019

General Election

General Election 12 December 2019 I spent the last election in an office, alone but for the company of a colleague. We watched the BBC's coverage while I drank wine, downbeat and expecting austerity and the absence of hope to triumph. Then we saw the exit poll and hung around, disbelieving at the sight of the kindled embers and lukewarm glow of a f...
October 05, 2019


October 05, 2019


Joker The trailer did its work, flashing images of anomie and fury perfectly pitched for these unstable times of precarious working conditions, grievance and institutional indifference. For these same reasons, Joker , directed by Todd Phillips and starring Joaquin Phoenix as the protagonist, has attracted pre-release criticisms like few other recen...
September 29, 2019

Resisting Whiteness event 2019

Resisting Whiteness one-day event, Edinburgh Returning for the second consecutive year, Resisting Whiteness came yesterday to the Pleasance Theatre in Edinburgh, providing an intense and inspiring series of panels, as well as a wonderful spoken word section, and a final segment based around the documentary short Invisible by internationally-acclaim...
August 21, 2019

Hearty by Emma Frankland

Hearty by Emma Frankland Raw and dripping with punk aesthetic, this one-woman-show's one-woman emerges in ripped tights and a T-shirt that paraphrases loudly the words of anti-trans theorist Germaine Greer: Lop Your Dick Off. My first impression of Emma Frankland is edgily uncertain and in awe, her Lady-Gaga-looks combined with Heath Ledger's mesme...
August 21, 2019

Pronoun, Pass, & Amnesty International

Transgender drama: Pronoun To be clear at the outset, this was the production of a youth theatre group, not a highly resourced team of experienced, professional career actors – although some of the performances left a powerful impression, and the show as a whole achieved some remarkable moments. Pronoun , written by Evan Placey, follows the transit...