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
Monday, 08 March 2021

Captcha Image

What's On This Week

My Latest Posts

December 22, 2020

Lacanian Icarus: when Gina flew too close to the sun?

On the recent experience of nearly being no-platformed There are two identities in one when it comes to being part of a disempowered minority. The first is for yourself: all your failings, your insecurities, your doubts, and connected to this, your curiosity and quirks. Let's be Lacanian analysts for a moment: what we're talking about is the transg...
November 17, 2020

If I were to detransition, this is what I would write

Warning: this is a speculative piece of writing, not an official announcement, although I have recently begun to imagine an 'ideological' detransition (from trans woman to GNC male). Here, I'm trying to articulate and reflect on my thoughts and feelings, and imagining myself from a different perspective. In this post, I'm Gina v...
November 17, 2020

Trans Hell-thcare

The picture accompanying this post is important to me. I took it yesterday, 16 November 2020, unsure what I'd find. It's been nearly eleven months since I came off oestrogen for reasons I'll get into in a moment. Undoubtedly this has had an effect on me, bodily and therefore psychologically, but the accompanying selfie gives me a reassura...
October 17, 2020

What if gender-critical feminism came to power?

This scenario is inspired by a dialogue I had yesterday evening with a gender-critical feminist just before I went to bed. Here is what I dreamed: In the summer of 2021, the Conservative minister Liz Truss introduces legislation, making women-only spaces legally accessible only to those born female. This U.K. law includes a provision for funding al...
October 13, 2020

Responses to my blog post (1)

A frustrating aspect of my website is that when people write in, there's no trace of an email address so no way of getting back to people, and also no way of publishing their messages. However, I received such a nice response to my article just now that I'd like to include it here. It's from some who for the sake of confidentiality (in case it's ne...
October 11, 2020

On adopting a more gender-critical transgender activism

On adopting a more gender-critical transgender activism Note to the reader: This post is intended as a contribution to addressing the current tensions between transgender activism and gender-critical feminism. The way I see myself in relation to female i dentity, and the ideas I express here, are not a prescription for other trans women. The t...
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...