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.

Beast

Beast

Beast

I spent most of yesterday alone, after an exhausting week of ambivalent conclusions, and this made the dark and brooding Beast weirdly appropriate. The movie focuses on two outsiders, psychologically traumatised Moll and poacher Pascal Renouf, both inhabiting an island world of rugged coastlines, crashing waves, and an anally-retentive middle-class suburbicon. The isolation reminded me of two literary works, Iain Banks's Wasp Factory and Luke Sutherland's Venus as a Boy, of human ecosystems on cut off islands breeding all kinds of violence and social subversions and agitated adults trying way too hard to cling to order.

I really liked this film for its first half, thinking: this is like Bronte's Wuthering Heights, only better. Then it became too graphically disturbing, too much of a headfuck, as the works of a serial killer of young women combines with the dark back stories of Moll and her lover, leaving you appalled and bewildered. Is Moll psychopathic? Is her handsome, outsider lover? I've read elsewhere how the dynamics riff off of Lawrence's Lady Chatterley's Lover with an overly-protected girl and the rugged poacher releasing her inner-animal, and I loved this dynamic in the opening half. Moll's mother is all edgy and domineering, descending into bullying and insensitivities that make you root for Moll to break away. The other men in Moll's life, it should be said, are wankers: ingratiating village policeman Clifford, and Moll's wet and petty brother Harrison. When gorgeously rough and sinewy Pascal enters her life with his rifle (no phallic symbolism, I'm sure), you want to see Moll whisked away a la Lady Chatterley.

Of plot I won't say any more, because I recommend this film for its visual beauty and haunting portrayal of the unspeakable, be it repressed past experiences or the acts that shock and shake protagonists. File it, though, under films that fuck you up and leave you leaving your cinema unable to connect completely with the world around you, at least for a few minutes. I haven't used so many swear words in a review before, and I wonder if my unsettled mood is residue from an emotionally shattering week, or this emotionally shattering movie.
Lean On Pete
Avengers: Infinity War
 

Comments

No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Guest
Tuesday, 19 March 2019

Captcha Image

What's On This Week

My Latest Posts

March 09, 2019

Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi

in Books

Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi The author, Akwaeke Emezi, calls herself trans but also Ogbanje, a spirit depicted in Igbo culture as inhabiting a newborn baby soon to die, though possibly allowing it to live. These are dark conceptions already, embracing fatality and negotiating both intrusion and malevolence, and they contribute as themes to Emezi's ...
March 02, 2019

The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein

in Books

The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein This may be one of the most important books on the 21 st century state of the world, an analysis of the global socio-economics that makes sense of the chaos of post-9/11 Iraq, of the collapse of democracies of Latin America since the 1960s and 70s, and the democratic false dawns of Russia and South Africa since the...
February 17, 2019

Alita: Battle Angel

Alita: Battle Angel A week has gone since I watched Alita: Battle Angel . It's a film that left me feeling similar emotions to the cyborg-driven techno-fireworks in Ghost in the Shell (2018), the emotion of 'almost.' Visually, there's a lavish sci-fi splendour to the film, bearing the wonders you desire in a mixture of escapist sci-fi and fantasy: ...
February 03, 2019

A Brexit Feminism That Fears And Excludes

This article follows a number of events that shook me this week. First of all, the filmed harassment by two Trans-Exclusionary-Radical-Feminists (TERFs) of trans woman Sarah McBride at McBride's workplace. I watched it online and thought: that could be me, caught out, disoriented. How do you respond to the equivalent of door-stepping, as out of the...
Vice
January 26, 2019

Vice

January 26, 2019

Vice

Vice A lukewarm reaction from critic Mark Kermode and a condemnation from political writer Simon Jenkins are a strange way to start this review of the Dick Cheney biopic Vice , given that I really enjoyed it. Jenkins's is peculiar, believing it reduced the U.S. invasion of Iraq to the work of a few shady men in the U.S. administration. But wasn't i...
January 21, 2019

The Gospel According to Jesus, Queen of Heaven

The Gospel According to Jesus, Queen of Heaven I entered a dark, candle-lit auditorium, finding a dining table stretching the length of the floor, draped in a pristine white tablecloth, with candles and cutlery. Audience members trickled in, free to sit in the auditorium or at the table as guests of a transgender Jesus. Queer, and just a bit contro...
January 20, 2019

Queer Two-Spirit Poetry: Fabian Romero

in Books

I can't remember when I ordered Fabian Romero's chapbook*, sometime in September or October 2018. The investment made, the months went by, enthusiasm slow-cooking into defeat, guessing it had got lost in the mail. Then last week I found a soft white envelope in the post. Fabian Romero's chapbook, Mountains of a Different Kind , waiting for me. I re...
January 12, 2019

Transgender Venezuelan Poetry: Esdras Parra

in Books

Transgender Venezuelan Poetry: the Collected Poems of Esdras Parra (2018) I've seen your dreams In the foliage of your eyes Opening in a horizon of ash Ready for death And the innocent flame That leaps from branch to branch Brings you the color of earth Which you should get used to Before the fog Grows within you (taken from the collection Este Sue...
January 06, 2019

2019 I am ready for you

2019 I am ready for you After a Christmas of deadnaming, trans-shaming and get-in-the-car-quick confidence-maiming, I am back, like a fist through a million-dollar painting. I am adult enough now to disregard what's not important, as I survey the field before me. I am unlikely to romance or murder anyone. I'm also not planning to die. I will work h...