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.

Murder on the Orient Express


Murder on the Orient Express 05.11.17

Murder on the Orient Express. It's a film about the luxury train, with a murder on it. What else is there to say of this enjoyable, nothing-special film?

I went for visual stimulation and escapism and I think it's what I got given, like caviar or some other overrated thing. I knew I would get a glimpse of how the other half lived in this movie, the glamour and the glitz. The train looks ridiculously good, even after the avalanche that knocks it temporarily off the rails. The train, in fact, is the real star, along with the mountainous backdrops.

What I'm left with, in fact, are edgy, repressed reflections, tainted by a killjoy spirit I didn't know I had. Given the opulence and style of the vehicle, I would have loved to see the high-class service of the Orient Express give way to bare minimum. Have jewel-encrusted Judy Dench outside on a rock, chewing on a rabbit raw with her hands. Watch civilization fall apart. These are passengers who are barely knocked out of their comfort zone, despite the potential predicament of being stranded in the mountains. Throughout the film, I wondered at Kenneth Branagh's Poirot and his fastidious attention to personal appearance, including his ludicrous moustache. Oh, that the train had been derailed a little more, and that moustache had become shaggy and unkempt. Poirot in his socks and underwear, numbing the pain of some wound from the crash with morphine, to which he gets addicted. Poirot and his dark side, as he becomes the thing he hates. A dirty Poirot.

We got none of this, of course, and perhaps I'm missing the point, by expressing the desire for something more brutally inconveniencing. What we got were lots of pristine characters – too many characters for too little time – looking dapper, without a hair out of place. They all looked annoyed at the delay that the murder created. The service continued to be five-star. The haute cuisine kept coming.

Murder on the Orient Express is really a fantasy about the super rich, of an age when that kind of wealth appears wholesome and romantic. There is no talk of the 1%, or right wing – left wing. The only raised voices and passions involve murder or punctuality. We are meant to be amused by the pedantry of a carefully-coiffured Poirot sending a poor Middle-Eastern boy out to get boiled eggs that fit his exacting measurements. But there is something slightly off about this elitist luxury, one I would have loved to puncture with food supplies running out, the class divide between passengers and staff blurring, and the murder becoming a side show to a bigger crime, of the remoteness of a five-star bubble that so few people enter. 

The Florida Project
Thor: Ragnarok


No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
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...