Showing posts from January, 2016

In Defence of The Danish Girl, A Medium Film

On Twitter and in private conversations I have stated that while The Danish Girl is a completely medium film, I nevertheless recommend seeing it, or rather don't recommend avoiding it, because I think it does some interesting things. People whom I have said this to have then gone on to see the film and found it dull. It is! Let me explain what I think those interesting things are.

The complaint I have heard most often, about the film and about Eddie Redmayne's performance as Lili, is that it is artificial, giving us no sense of Lili's interiority. The critic Simon Price complained that the film suggests "that trans people are born from the outside in, not from the inside out". This could be a valid criticism (although the film does take pains to tie Lili's trans identity in with something within her from childhood) but The Danish Girl isn't about trans people. It's about one person, Lili Elbe, based on her diaries. Elbe would have had no precedents fo…

Safe Sex with the Tory Party

You'd already seen him a few times, at various house parties: he's a friend of Sarah, and Ivor, and the two Petes. He's sort of handsome, tall but doesn't seem it, is shy, has a smile that makes him seem immediately less attractive. You spoke to him once at, was it, that weird Thanksgiving party where no-one was American? Maybe. You made a joke about your host's tray of tit-shaped ice cubes, and he laughed.

Today you found yourselves out at a club together - you with colleagues, when post-work drinks became raucous and your boss shanghaied you into joining a hunt for further booze after closing time; he with a bunch of dead-looking people, on a stag do that he blushed to mention when you approached him at the bar.

"The music here is terrible," you said.

"Yes, it's awful, I want to die," he said.

"And have you seen those two white people with dreadlocks on the dance floor? Headbanging?"

"Oh god, don't," he said. "…