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.

A Ghost Story

inside-ghost-story-movie-casey-affleck-7d3b27c2-49fc-4658-95a4-6da15ff563da

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 throughout A Ghost Story was loneliness, and even some irrelevance, concerning death. Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara strike a handsome, disconnected couple, Mara wishing to move somewhere else. Their minimal dialogue is in fragments, the most poignant passage Affleck's song sung to a ghostly, stop-start fading melody. He is a musician, lost at times in his work. She broods but we see little of her beyond postures and the suggestion of boredom.

Affleck's character without warning dies. He awakens in a morgue and returns home, a ghost under a sheet. He is doomed to exist in a loop at this single location, impassively watching tenants come and go. He cuts a wretched figure.

At one point, in a party, a bloke reflects on existence and how people endure while yearning to be remembered. He concludes with a melancholic confidence that whatever legacy we strive for will evaporate eventually, if only in a billion year or so when the Sun swallows up the Earth.

I can see I'm explaining the plot more than shining any light, but the plot of this movie is also the observation. We live, we die, we are forgotten, and even if we linger as ghosts, eventually that aspect of us too will disappear. It's hardly inspiring stuff, but may reflect what many of us silently suspect, the thought of our oblivion when it's over, of life continuing without us and we are nothing.

Was I underwhelmed with this message? I did not cry like I'd thought I might when I decided to watch this film. In the darkness of the screening room, I too felt impassive, like the ghost, to the film and also to my own fate in life. You will find little profundity in A Ghost Story beyond this bleak mirror, but in turn it may be a sign of honesty on the director's part: of how death is a simple, non-event to the one who gets it, and is there anything to reflect on beyond this sad but empty feeling? I wish I had something better to say, for the reader and for myself; some films fill me with the joy of life. This isn't one of them, but given the subject, perhaps that's the movie's quality.
Logan Lucky (29.08.17)
An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power
 

Comments

No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Guest
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...
Joker
October 05, 2019

Joker

October 05, 2019

Joker

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...