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.

Get Out 04.06.17

getout

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 meet the family, as an African-American man with a white, upper-middle class girlfriend. Particular stereotypes of the black man are thrown his way in the form of cringe-worthy compliments by family friends. The film has a Stepford Wives vibe to it, a community that is eerily accepting while in the background are suggestions that the welcome is not what it seems.

At this point I can say there is much that is funny and much which will make you jump about this film. I enjoyed sharing these moments with those around me in the cinema; the protagonist's best friend is particularly important with the comic relief, in calling with his opinions from the city beyond. By the end, though, I did think the film resorted to type, a just-about happy ending and an increasingly two-dimensional performance from the cast to make the linear narrative and resolution work.

Get Out, of course, comes at a time of increasingly strained debates in America about the experience of its African-American citizens. There is even a moment at the movie's end when you wonder if the protagonist will get framed for all the horrific deaths, but this might have been a step too far, from comedy to the bitter reality. Get Out instead tries to walk a sliver of a line between surrealism and that reality, and in providing a safe-of-sorts ending, leaves enough food for thought: how similar am I to the white community members smiling their vulpine smiles.

I recommend it as a horror comedy, therefore, and aren't the best horror films effective in saying something about the larger society? Get Out does this; it's not a great film, but it is unsettlingly entertaining and with the jumps and the laughter comes a reflection.

Back to me, and I wonder what a trans equivalent would be, or whether such an equivalent Stepford Wives film would even be possible. Aren't trans-women already supposed to be caricatures of the real thing? How, then, could we be reduced to a further caricature of ourselves. Does being trans in fact include its own identity, to be caricatured? Or are we just so focused on blending in as the gender we've always identified that there really isn't a 'trans' identity to mine? Perhaps this will change over time, but in the meantime, the one thing I don't doubt is the tension involved concerning a trans woman meeting her lover's family, and this would make for fascinating cinema, if and when it happens.
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