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

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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 thr...
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An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power

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An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power 12.08.17 There I sat in a front row seat in the Cameo cinema (the room sold out), waiting for the film to start. A mawkish musical montage came on once, and then a second time, to groans from the audience. We waited as Al Gore prepared to have his question-and-answer down in London at Picturehouse HQ, simultan...
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Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

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Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets 05.08.17 It's meant to be terrible, but all I can think about right now is how Luc Besson's Valerian is better than James Cameron's Avatar (2009). There are, I insist, comparisons to be made, none of them flattering to the inexplicably lauded Avatar. Let's start with the overview: they're both sci-fi bloc...
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Dunkirk

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Dunkirk 29.07.17 Dunkirk is a strange film, as much about the channel of water between two countries as the aforementioned nations at war. I read somewhere that director Chris Nolan sailed the English Channel in his youth and the experience was formative to him. This is evident, the film's photography sometimes shows the war as pinpricks on th...
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War for the Planet of the Apes

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War for the Planet of the Apes 22.07.17 Another slick, exciting offering from the Planet of the Apes franchise, War for the Planet of the Apes (WFTPOTA) is as tense a piece of story-telling as it is emotionally uninvolving afterwards. I left wondering not what happens next in this franchise, but why I felt so detached beyond the screening room door...
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David Lynch: The Art Life

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David Lynch: The Art Life 16.07.17 I had a choice, to go and watch the latest Planet of the Apes blockbuster, or a documentary about a director whose art deeply disturbs me. Well, there's always next week for the apes, or next year for the sequel. I don't think there will be a sequel for David Lynch: The Art Life , simply because his storytelling i...
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Song To Song

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Song To Song 14.07.17 Wendy Ide of The Guardian says of this film that 'it all adds up to a beautiful nothing.' But is 'beautiful' ever only nothing? Do I now sound like a character in a Terence Malick film by voicing such a question? Malick's Song to Song is the kind of movie I would watch in multiple, accidental viewings in my previous life, as t...
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Spiderman: Homecoming

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Spiderman: Homecoming 08.07.17 Hardly anyone was there in the theatre auditorium and I was surprised, at the first Friday night showing of this third iteration of Spiderman at the Cameo cinema. Perhaps people are going to Cineworld , Vue and Odeon for the super-technology experience. I had the intimate cinema screening room almost to myself. I'm gl...
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Baby Driver

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Baby Driver 01.07.17 The reviews have been effusive (97% on Rotten Tomatoes), yet what to make of a film whose ending seems to have been directed by Roland Emmerich? But I'm getting ahead of myself, especially when there's the beginning to discuss, with its similarity to Spiderman 3 . Baby Driver has, let's be clear, received five-star reviews from...
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Dalida

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Dalida 24.06.17 The Edinburgh Film Festival, at the Odeon . My first impression: I don't care for the Odeon . As a cinema, there's nowhere to sit and wait, at least the Cineworld complex has a couple of rows of airport seating and then upstairs, a Starbucks. I milled around after getting my Odeon ticket, the weather too windy outside to return to, ...
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The Mummy

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The Mummy 19.06.17 I can't say I wasn't warned. The reviews had been middling to terrible, not least Mark Kermode's, of The Mummy being made up of lots of bits of other movies that made you wish you were watching those instead. I will be honest from the start, I'm going to include spoilers to this review with the justification that The Mummy is suc...
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Berlin Syndrome

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Berlin Syndrome 13.06.17 A disturbing descent into a loner's existence, Berlin Syndrome is the film that all single people should avoid. Its premise is simple: an Australian backpacker arrives in Berlin and has a chance encounter with a handsome guy who shows her around. She goes back to his place. Later, it's more difficult to leave his apartment ...
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Wonder Woman

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Wonder Woman 06.05.17 It started like something from Tolkien, became delightful, and ended with a formulaic series of bangs. Director Patty Jenkins's superhero story to a large part responds with style and no little substance, with Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman a strong and feisty female lead. In the film's hugely enjoyable middle section, when Wonder W...
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Get Out 04.06.17

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Get Out When, eventually, post-op romance will happen for me, how much of an issue will it be to be trans? I know it could be strange for my future other half, and not just directly. What will their friends think? Their family? Enough about me, for now. Get Out is a horror comedy which mines the tensions of being brought home by one's beloved to me...
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The Beatles: Sgt Pepper and Beyond

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The Beatles: Sgt Pepper and Beyond 01.06.17 Is The Beatles' ' Sgt Pepper ' album the greatest ever made? Is it even the greatest album The Beatles ever made? Better than Rubber Soul or Revolver ? Better than the flawlessly diverse Abbey Road ? Perhaps let's just agree that Sgt Pepper is an album worth celebrating, fifty year after its release. To s...
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The Red Turtle

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The Red Turtle 28.05.17 The weather was changing; two days of scorching sunlight in Edinburgh had turned to clouds and the first big rainfall. I took shelter in the cinema to watch an enigma, the virtually silent Japanese-Dutch animation called The Red Turtle. I don't think I've cried so much after a film, and I'm wondering why. The Red Turtle as a...
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The Lost City of Z

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The Lost City of Z I'm wondering why it's hard to say what happened, or how it moved me. Because in the latter case, it didn't? The Lost City of Z ticks the boxes for those looking for an Edwardian-era true adventure, with explorations by historical figure Percy Fawcett into the Amazon jungle. Was it the relative absence of wildlife in the film tha...
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The Handmaiden

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The Handmaiden 13.05.17 The film was incidental, in a manner of speaking. A South Korean special, of dark sexual themes and exquisite detail and torture, it was a film that left no trace on me, or so I thought as I walked home, into Edinburgh's midnight mist. I went to bed soon after. I don't remember many of the dreams I had that night, but I reme...
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01.05.17 Mad Max: Fury Road

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Mad Max: Fury Road (Black and Chrome special release) The Cameo 's large Screen 1 auditorium was near packed, for a 2015 film now regarded as a classic. It has been altered to the colours of black and chrome, arguably to give it a grainier, more nightmarish quality. I thought it was fine. It's a road movie in a desert world, the characters have the...
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26.04.17 Neruda

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Neruda This is a film of glacial beauty, of a noir-like detective who should be evil, hunting down a poet of the revolution through Chilean towns and villages into the snow drifts of the Andes. The detective though, is barely one at all, toyed with by the poet, Neruda, to the point where he questions his own existence, or whether he's just a charac...
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