Edinburgh Cinema

Edinburgh’s cinemas have their own, different feel. When I visit them, I’ll be writing about both the film and the place, giving you the organic experience. Film critics on the big scale can’t really cater for this, so I hope my reviews bring something extra in this respect.

31.01.17 Trainspotting 2

31.01.17 Trainspotting 2

31/01/17, Trainspotting 2 (T2) at the Cameo cinema

On entering a full Cameo cinema with a tight, rather ugly hat on (£5 from Scottish Co-Op), I asked the doorman if I could go through to the screens and use the bathroom. 'Certainly,' he said, 'the gents' are just over there.' I was wearing a skirt, I wasn't tomboyish or androgynous in my look (or not deliberately, though the hat didn't help). I ignored his advice and made my way to the disabled toilets, my soul deflated.

Thus began my night at the cinema with T2, the sequel to the era-defining original of 1996. Having already written one full review, available on a new website set up by friends, www.the-ogilvie.com, I'll try to avoid repeating myself. Instead, I'll recast my gaze to the moments my earlier review doesn't cover, a more personal angle to an evening that became quite personal. At times during T2, I wiped my mascara-smudged eyes at the emotion of the film, especially in the scenes involving the character Spud. Spud is harmless, he is hopeless, also weak, well-meaning, sensitive, perceptive, he comes across as stupid, with his up-and-down nature he sometimes is stupid. He is what I could have been if I'd succumbed to drugs. He is sometimes how I come across anyway. Near the beginning of the film, he tries to kill himself for the shame he causes his family. I really wanted to cry at this point. I did cry at this point.

I cried at other moments. When at the end Mark Renton makes up with his father (the mother now dead), moves in with him, finally the rounded, loving human being his parents have always deserved. I was moved by the constant dabs of schoolboy photos of Renton and Sick Boy, when they were best friends. They become best friends again, eventually, when it really counts. I'm sorry for all the spoilers, but this isn't a film to watch for Shyamalan surprises. T2 is a film about growing up, past the point of realizing – or caring – you might not become the star you dreamed of being when you were young.

The film's screenwriter, John Hodge, joked in an interview how T2 – with its twenty-year gap between first and sequel – is like the Oscar-winning Boyhood (2014), a film made over several years to show the development of a boy to man. Kind of, but not. Boyhood was boring and overhyped and left me nonplussed. T2 had me sitting at the end in reflection, about how I'd watched the original back in the 1990s as a young man with the world at his feet. How I sat there twenty years on in an Edinburgh cinema as Gina, a trans woman awkwardly transitioning, 'living the dream.'

And yet I don't know if T2 is that good a film. It's getting four stars from five by most critics, it lacks the savage edge of its predecessor, the concluding zero-sum-game. With its sometimes cartoon violence – especially regarding Begbie, who is almost a caricature, even if psychos like him really exist, and I know that they do – it's a film that sometimes dips into British 1980s comedic violence, like something from The Young Ones (1982; 1984). But Begbie is ultimately a plot device in this film, the avenging angel that Renton must face at the end. What really matters are Renton, Sick Boy and Spud. When they're together, you become uplifted by the obvious love they feel for each other, despite everything. And in my own awkward way, for the rays of sunlight that shone intermittently from it, I think I loved this film as well.
19.02.17 John Wick 2
27.01.17 Ghost in the Shell
 

Comments

No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Guest
Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Captcha Image

My Latest Posts

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...
August 13, 2019

Transgender Dance: Sound Cistem

Transgender Dance: Sound Cistem It starts with a heartbeat, the dancer-directors Lizzie and Ayden in slow-motion entry, setting the scene of a nightclub featuring two young transgender bodies who are in fact multiple. Sound Cistem is theatrical dance set to a series of pulsing, dance-floor rhythms and the voices of several trans interviewees projec...
August 04, 2019

Drone by Harry Josephine Giles

Drone by Harry Josephine Giles The blurring of human and machine reiterates here in a comedically surreal, startling performance by the performance poet Harry Josephine Giles. Drawing on visual and aural effects, Giles presents the disturbingly evocative middle-class arc of the life of an electronic, military drone. With Giles as both narrator and ...
August 03, 2019

Burgerz by Travis Alabanza

Burgerz by Travis Alabanza Playing currently at the Traverse Theatre is Travis Alabanza's poignant and comic one-person show, a thought-provoking meditation created out of a jarring personal experience. Back in 2016, Alabanza, a non-binary person of colour, was abused in a London street, with a burger thrown at them by a stranger. The show's series...
August 03, 2019

While transphobes get more hateful, I become more freckly

While transphobes got more hateful, I became more freckly Written weeks after the conference Transgender: Intersectional/International There's nothing good to say, even the films I enjoyed watching this past week, Midsommar and Apollo 11 , I've lost the Sunday will to write. Perhaps Brexit Britain will become like the village cult in Midsommar , bu...
June 09, 2019

Dark Phoenix, John Wick 3, Godzilla: my reflections

Three fantasy movies within three days: X Men: Dark Phoenix; John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum; Godzilla: King of the Monsters The Lacanian feminist Kaja Silverman says about cinema, we go because we need the affirmation, to see the things we hope to see and fail to see in the real world. In Lacanian-speak, Silverman says we go because 'the desire ...
June 02, 2019

Personal Reflections on Transgender: Intersectional/International

Personal reflections on the conference Transgender: Intersectional/International (28-29 May) ​​Note: these reflections do not represent anyone else who contributed to Transgender: Intersectional/International I got involved with Transgender: Intersectional/International in order to create an LGBT/queer space that accommodated discussions on racism,...
April 28, 2019

Gina's Moving Castle

Saturday afternoon 27.04.19 Enough with marking papers. Enough about conferences. Outside is a blue sky. There's a book shop nearby, my temple, its owners are trying to remove stickers of transphobic messages pasted on their door. Yesterday I met a guy who'd been set upon by a group of 17-year-olds. He still had the scars, and the trauma. They saw ...