It Follows : A Film Review

Dir: David Robert Mitchell. Starring: Maika Monroe, Keir Gilchrist, Jake Weary, Olivia Luccardi. 94 min.
The terrifying thing that is the teenage mind adjusting to a largely unknown inexperienced world. Born in the USA is a paradise for the horror genre.
Firstly the terrifying Brady Bunch and all the generalities made can be chewed up and spat out with undue repentance to harm and the devil take the hindmost John Carpenter sense of freedom of suspense driven drama.

Spooky and hooky all the teenager vulnerabilities are played upon with a force and vitality which brims with jeopardy.

The horror opens as the child becoming a teenager in an instant, Maika Monroe as Jay , takes on and into her life through the opening terrifying incident at her home, the stricken future promised to her by this it thing.
It is the shape of things to come.

Deliciously and delightfully the standard United States of America suburban landscape is visited once again, not by hurricanes, the industrial implosion, the swathes of reposed houses and the shopping mall culture but by the vicissitudes of the any town pathway between the green blades scorn to a certain height. Even Dallas Buyers Club had this suburban presence.
The landscape is purposely the container of more than.
The film club wishing for reality through the morality of recent movies from Twelve Years a Slave, Selma, Boyhood, Still Alice, Her, The Theory of Everything, even Dallas Buyers Club and with relevance here drawn to the studious Under the Skin – identified here! In a previous critique as a certain cult classic is restorative like a new age enlightenment – showing the questions are astute and plentiful.
Oscar my dear
Julianne Moore has secured an deserved Oscar. So many years a custodian of the woman’s voice of filmic portrayal of – remember the Short Cuts legacy as a reality check. We are in a period of perturbed America. Still Alice is persuasively what the title projects and Julianne portrays.

Unexplained It Follows is a Horror movie of studious independence and holds no golden moment of revelation so standing apart from this reality fix found across the Film industry.

This should be a modest box office for its (normal meaning inferred) set of deserving collaborators. The credit list for extras is practically the entire roll call of a school which I didn’t see coming but shows these days everybody counts.
Horror maketh the known
Except it is all a lie over a truth never revealed.
Not when the puerile lapped up diet of Sniper and the passable comedic escapism of sentimental passage of youth films which are every young persons diet of cinematic large screen initiation.
We of later years use cinema for different purposes. Listening to the traffic of themes passing we are underwhelmed often by genre pics.

That said this is a film intelligently drawn and delivered. It is widescreen America as well as the manicured lawns of middle America. The claustrophobic nuanced interior life’s are quickly brought to the filmgoers attention with the preoccupation with the ordinary disrupted.
Director excels
The writer-director, David Robert Mitchell has excelled in adding to the stalker in every guise and at every possible inconvenient moment.
The pass it on theme is quickly up and running.
Is it running in the terrified mind of the teenager, is it a part or deposit of life which must be cast off or erased? The horror requires an entourage to protect the followed Maika Monroe. They come in the form of her friends with a newish older friend whose few years advantage later becomes a more assured voice of the possible reach of the follower.
Nighty Nighty
Firstly there has to be, one third in the sleepover to stay within the home of dreaded encounter. The sleepover follows on from the Educational Campus of State education. The Pavlovian essentials of the locked doors and the experience within and between the walls is extremely well delivered and built around the experience only being felt initially by Maika Monroe.
The Relay of Horror.
And then some. It is on the prowl and becomes the unseen except by the Maika playing visually her literal disturbed self with deft darkness and dark sorrowful eyes often wet with crying. Her mind implants these figures as we see them getting closer and closer in their relationship to herself. They are progressively from her past.

The old woman who appears early I was unsure of, except it being Carpenteresque. The indulgences only heighten Horror movies it (normal use) seems, it is the enhanced carried knowledge. Like a relay of Horror. I love this exhibit of entailing dragging film cross fertilisation. In terms of Under the Skin we are between the lens and film, between the innovation of inverted thought. The prospect of reading in our purview these recollected reflections are very artfully profound occurrences. This is what the Croneburg, chronological contextual shifting verb and adjective. The piece of derision laden depiction of failed and troubled humanity is absolutely spine tingling in places when it gathers on the senses.

DisasterPieces is the music ensemble that delivers a score which is modern tone shifting tension riven rifts and shifts true and plentiful. It requires it’s auditory piercing stabbing, point making double six hit. It carries.

The work becomes a journey between past places revisiting the past and the left behind desolated part of any town another place destroyed and the reverse side of the coin.

The deeper reading of this is the stripped back past place which is in the present time replaced by relative comfort.
It may represent the Troll. After I was musing on the internalised Ibsen like influence of narrative taken along a path. Such as the Wild Duck. The inescapable place within that we reside alongside buffered by the use of conformity as well as the device of useful escape mechanisms.
Ibsen Ipso Facto
Why did the mind attack Maika Monroe so? Why do the appearances occur within one without another. They are alone not shared (often the genre requires bulk packaging so resorts to it it The Damned etc.!) there you have it – one genre deconstructed as I do with the mighty Ibsen once more my compelling lead to this place.
The Lady from the Sea anyone?

Talking of which water and swimming feature. There is a visit to a pool and you can mix music with water.
Local band featured here are Go Swim. They are cool to explore the water environment but the film takes on water in an entirely unmethaphorical way. It provides the close to dangerously good cinema wished for but shocking in its effect.
For Go Swim Go See.

Death of the Pilgrim? Death of the Follower? Death of the Followed?

The irredeemable inexhaustible truth is that before long someone else will be along with an even better version of the stalker as self or unself.

To visit the place first try the widescreen of the world.

Conclusion. ###+ 3+
How is the shape of the film let of the hook by being similar in its (normal use) trace to Horror films familiar and of the recent past?
The famille is everything for the genre. The psychosis a very confrontational deep dish. We eat of the plate from the forest floor and survive the increasing complexities and more conflicting stories the senses take in.

This is a film with plenty of shocks and conveyed terror. It is not a slasher context movie but handled with dexterity and skillful ness by its young cast, the exception being the old lady whose part is all make-up! And a meander through the sets. This is a continuum narrative with no (apparent) flashback. It follows the film is a notable watch. Be watchful.

John Graham

26 February 2015

The purview is laid out in the shape of cartoons storybooks, space age science interlocked to the bourgeois system that divides down the line whatever your background the curriculum becomes you unless your mind has opened

What is more terrifying than growing up believing the World is a b

The Duke of Burgundy : A Film Review

Dir. Peter Strickland, UK, 2014. Cert. 18. 1hr 44mins.
Cast. Sidse Babette Knudsen, Chiara D’Ana.
Cherií as in Burgundy
Some strong hints, in fact heavy hints are deployed by Writer and Director Peter Strickland in positing his films theme.
It is a poor and lame set of metaphors unnecessarily deployed.
The simple fact is most viewers relying on this inroad to the story are not in need of this engagement let alone the subject plainly central, the sum of insects and chiefly the butterfly are infuriatingly numbing.

The sole characters are, save a few lecture hall speakers and a distant neighbour given to leaf sweeping are Cyntia, a dominatrix role playing Lepidopterist – that of said butterfly motif, by Sidse Babette Knudsen, and Evelyn, played by Chiara D’Ana, the younger hireling.
It is almost a costume drama as the clothes Sidse wears are vintage decent decadence and poor Chiara gets to don the simple peasant dressing befitting her sub-servant role. You can never be certain what in the spaces between is offered as equalityoutsideof the roles.

The only thing not depicted in metaphor or on the deployment of graphics is the possibly phallic slim antennaed body of the butterfly pairing the stations of the dual wings. The absence of maleness is opening of the forebearing recurring receptiveness of the gynaeceum. The host and house.

An Ottoman becomes the house. Becomes the chamber and is deployed into action in the more illuminating scenes of relationship needs.
The levels of entry to the story are vexed and misshapen male concepts reporting on the female attitude to her sexual role. That role is well evoked in some of the sado-masochistic approaches.

Both women wish to experience the interior lives of their own sexuality each needing different urges to be satiated.

The Fall to Winter
Now it is the season of love, a love for all seasons is as inextinguishable. For most encounters encountered are inhabited timelessly making anything possible if one closes another season of loves fervour responds to the sun or moon also rising. The Duke of Burgundy opens in the fall.

The landscape is European. The atmosphere is surreal. It is dense, forested, isolated, with in the choice of cinematic excursion here set in Hungary. The place able to offer the unusual heightened but faded opulence with a strangely unregarded temperature. Clothes are mere adornments, uniform for signatory place.
So it is excusable, given the subject of love, to begin with an Audrey Hepburn anecdote. The one – according to Hepburn herself, of her discovery when she was stationed with the 1952 film production company of ‘Monte Carlo Baby’ in the south of France for brief location filming, the fairly unnoticed assignment part of a standard contract. Hepburn at the time little known after the Armistice in a European film industry devastated by World War II. This week her co-star in ‘Gigi’ Jean passed away aged 93.

The springboard for exploring the relationship between two women is the entwined shared domesticity and setting found in all relationships eschewed or avowed. Either that or the external issued fan tasty world of ‘Gigi’ were one the fabric is lifted on demand and at a price. Similar fantasy role play is engaged here in this film taking its name from a rare butterfly.
Is there a further feminine Cher, Central France it’s being Bourges?

Cheri is the colour of Burgundy. The least said about that apocryphal use the better. It didn’t appeal on any level as a movie device.
Was it in the least necessary as the thoughts and portrayals were – when you leave and set aside thoughts of the butterfly – more productive.
Butterflies may be ephemeral and beautifully corporeal but that is baggage whereas this film has two sets of thought contesting each other’s extent of loving.

The loving felt is at its tenderest in the bed and touching is singularly a recovery for their relationship. It is also a place of command and struggle but is a place of recoiling physical bonding.

Colette chanced to see the young Hepburn walking across the lobby of the hotel and immediately said to her companion of the moment, “There is my Gigi!”
Colette whose 50 something novels were the French antidote to war and they created the ‘Belle Époque’ world as escape and no one came close to the wise naturalé, evocative, erotic, gravitas with which the French traverse as a fine line between hypocrisy and cant and are able negotiated inside and outside reality, with of course due recognition to Colette.
Léa, in what some regard as the finest of all novels Chéri she demonstrates all the survival skills which Colette associates with femininity which this Duke of Burgundy lesbian affair courts by introducing us to an (unknown?) element of seduction and control which is another inbound s+m chase.

Butterfly Error
The negotiation of romance, intrigue is the whole quotient vessel filled to near overspill in the tumbling dice world of The Duke of Burgundy.
It may involve the fragility of a butterfly.
In the acting of role play inevitably, given time, given devotion, flaws creep in and that grates alike with the viewer and the pair. The imperfections show up the love and utter dependence on this device as a focal part of their loving. It exposes the dynamic a little but not the intrinsic belonging which obviously exists between them.

Perfection is often implied as a goal and the butterfly has this consciously but, well, it’s best left alone. Go onto pleasure in its messy way seems to be one outcome, one possible learnt path on which we happen to tread.

Filmmakers find little to do when love making is underway except use genitailia as the excursion trip without being inside or outside the carriage.
Therefore the use of nudity is ignored so we can use the imagination from early on and absorbing the style of ‘reveal’ the author has chosen.

The actors are blessed with separate forms of beauty. One waif like, suitable to play the submissive. The other more mature, more curvilinear, suited to the solid mind games.

It is where pornography lives, repeat the feat, repeat the feat, are you finding this repeatative, but without the porn. This film does repetition in an entirely provocative way and through strangeness.

Bound over
Colette has given her characters feelings recognised everywhere, by that literal skill she deployed in life and literature. “What a beautiful life I’ve had.” Is her reported reward despite her later life being wheelchair bound.

Feminine Guile
The Duke of Burgundy is not an old fashioned tale of courtesan and pupil.
The femininity is capital currency taken at a slowness, the Milan Kundera slowness lovingly French again, with space and air between the bodies sufficiently involved to suspend, put time away.

One leads, petit mort, the Colettish murder of the passion enflamed.
It is one who leads who falls into the trap set by the victim who in the words of Bukowski suggests ‘Find what you love and let it kill you.’

The game awaits
Ways is there. There never is anything but a complicit and propulsion for the sexual frisson to take the external internal. Have a same word and act out the game. Who is the finest? Who loves the most in whatever role? The play you need to find the deepest pairing without measure is what challenges them? To know how far it can go.

This is a game based film. The erotic of an internal but visually consumptive union replaces repeative sexual performance that film after film produces as the literal filler content. Seed planted, bread rises. Will you do that again? Also the written story they have constricts their reaching their goal.
It is not that straightforward.

Firstly do not ask. It is not for you to ask. You need to listen for the instruction. Do it again. Then the previous interaction is repeated.
Same timeline, touch, pace, continuity precisely as before.
Here it is marked on the floor. The scene has a theatre direction, the Film Director aware of the frame line as well as the entire appearance.
It is exquisite compelling controlled love and the ultimate join up.
Sometimes I found myself analysing the occasions went outside, the nature and occasional v shaped frames of the descending stairs, steps down from the house. The wide cinema and the dense heavily wooded body of the frame.
Does the film work?
Perhaps it does but it is at times very structurally slow. It through the narrative of role play accounting for nearly two thirds of it highly repeatative. The descriptive tale told is of the proximity of the antecedents of the developed and developing relationships and who chooses the effects physical and mental. The music by ‘Cats Eyes’ is Schrodingers Cat. It is at times excruciatingly over indulgent as soundscape as are the clouds of the flights of insects. Overblown.

Is it quotidian?
Certainly the beauty of the spaces in which these beautiful habitations are not. The quotidian is the place in the minds seeing what eaches need is.

Conclusion. ###3.
What is a film without a few kinks?
The strangeness of certain relationships are worth looking at for how well drawn they are as explorations of unique sexuality.
To communicate this simple two woman chamber piece ponderously slow, repeatitiveness is almost pathological. Prudent in dialogue and each character, I don’t recall even a name for the principles, – they have them of course, Cynthia and Evelyn – the butterflies get the names is unfortunately for me not convincing but a worthy attempt and anti-dote to other cinema treatments gotten into with the self same subjects.
It is very, very watchable with the portentousness of over visually satire like? approaches it becomes relatively indulgent.
It is not markedly English or European even. The book I am reading currently is Henry Fieldings, Joseph Andrews and Shamela (1742) which is full of firm settlements and ejectment all in the course of a virtuous life sought. The plainer it is written the more complex it’s direction becomes and is well equipped for our own obedience to our times?

The playing is tangentially cool and neatly if not inescapably drawn – they are after-all actors acting people acting role play. A candour exists.
A safe word exists! The actors have the burden of constraint heaped upon them unfortunately but deal with it decorously, methodically and beautifully.

Love sometimes passes you by. Only when its past will it become clear?
Can I leave that as an note from which to seek your own tuth?

I’m off to see if I can find where the Chalkhill butterfly, (its one in a frame above their bed) lives it’s short life.

John Graham

19 February 2015


Opening at QFT Belfast this Friday 20 February through to Thursday 5 March 2015

Selma : A Film Review

Selma 2014 US/UK Cert. 12a.
Director. Ava DuVernay. Cast: David Oyelowo, (Martin Luther King Jr.), Carmen Ejogo, (Coretta Scott King), Tom Wilkinson, (Lyndon Baines Johnson), Andre Holland, (Andrew Young), Omar J. Dorsey, (James Orange), Tessa Thompson, (Diane Nash) Colman Domingo, (Ralph Abernathy), Wendell Pierce, Tim Roth, (George Wallace), John Lavelle, (Roy Reed), Jeremy Strong, Dylan Baker, (J. Edgar Hoover), Oprah Winfrey, (Annie Lee Cooper).


Selma in the 1960’s
When the Television hit the living rooms of modern life in the shapes of mass produced plastic boxes, carrying life through the lens of the Networks and state Media outlets which quickly had become the news digest medium of moving image broadcasting.

The war in Vietnam covered a long period but when in 1960 US President Eisenhower pledged American assistance to the South Vietnamese after decades of sporadic involvement which went back to the early days of the century and further the Television was there there to bring pictures.

Ava DuVernay the Director of Selma clearly is aware of the media presence, the new media, in tackling Selma and the story of the war fought inside America in respect of Racism. The division of white black and other races was a complete unresolved and to a large extent still remains an unresolved mammoth in the Politics of the United States of America as well as every continent on the planet.

Lyndon Blaine Johnson was only a small part of it.
As far as Martin Luther King Jr. was concerned he was the principle obstacle.
So what linkage has the Film with LBJ and what he was at?
There were 5 U.S. Presidents during its involvement in the Vietnam War. They were:
1. Dwight Eisenhower (1953-1961)
He wanted the breakup of Vietnam to stop the influence of Communism in South East Asia.
2. John F. Kennedy (1961-1963)
He decided to use Machinery sending masses of aid. Three weeks before he was assassinated he had organised a coup against Diem who he was also ‘aiding’.
3. Lyndon Johnson (1963 –1969)
He became embroiled in 1964 vastly upgrading the inner war by the Operation Rolling Thunder. US Combat troops had hit the ground in March 1965. He instituted the draft in the face of anti-war protests across campuses and Wider America.
In 1964, the Gulf of Tonkin incident occurred and its resolution gave Johnson more powers to wage the war in Vietnam. He was the President who ordered the bombing campaign called Operation Rolling Thunder and sent the first combat troops to South Vietnam in March 1965 after an attack of Viet Cong on U.S air base in Pleiku. The draft was instituted soon after that and caused many anti-war protests nationwide especially inside campuses.
4. Richard Nixon (1969 -1974)
He decided Vietnam was not enough and decided to go into Loas and Cambodia. His Christmas bombing of 1972 an especially personal act of retribution on North Vietnam
So this is the background to the film.
The Proximity of War
To wage war you need troops and so for Texas anti-communist Lyndon Blaine Johnson it must have been obvious that as he had a war of continuous making; it was an inherited war against Communism, sometimes fought with the US also.
The arms industry was a widescoping and labour intensive work and profit wielding operation, giving with it the supremacy of power sought against the Eastern Bloc of Communism post-war that Russia had become and the quite Maoist China had grown into against its agrarian broadly egalitarian principles, the modern America had within it the black community disenfranchised and treated as second class citizens.
Producing Product
Brad Pitt in Producing role and Ava Du Vernay the Director must have sat down together and looked about at a script or treatment to sort out into Selma. The casting is odd and the Criminal Americans, George Wallace, LB Johnson with principle British Actors complete with wavering Texas, Alabama accents and frankly dumbed down ‘psychotic minds and blood thick contempt’ are cop outs by Americans not wishing to put that nest of vipers on their own doorstep.
It makes you wonder do they have what it takes to tell a complete story.
The counterbalance is also that perversely the Mr and Mrs King performances of the good characters is splendidly accurately and deeply prescribing the emotion and humanity both these people undoubtedly possessed. Oprah is not sole a exception in delivering a stunning and extraordinary memorable acting part. There is seldom an American who does not inhabit nor convince you this reality is now in the room.
Civil Rights
To tell the story of Martin Luther King is a grand project. Quite literally he alone turned the United States of America to the mirror and look into itself.

The hatred , the division, the sectarian, the discriminatory, the exploitation, the inequality the cultural gulf was theirs to own in the USA.
David and Carmen
David Oyeloyo is introduced to us as Martin Luther King in the Brad Pitt peacock way, in a plush hotel room with the peacock feather flock wallpaper alongside the doting wife Coretta played beautifully and smartly by Carmen Ejogo. The Nobel Peace Prize awaits and The scene is our introduction as the Ascot tie is unfurled and retired as with customary and honest reflection, David Oyeloyo conveys the differences existing throughout America as they both have come to this citadel of honorable notoriety.

A very Scandinavian backdrop of pastel mistreatment sand geometric clashes of subdued angst cover the walls behind him on acres of canvas as he receives the acclaim and he has the opportunity to deliver his soliloquy.

The stage is set and we are next to see the memorable, very, very, accomplished performance of the central embodiment of the issue in the form of Oprah Winfrey as Annie Lee Cooper, a nurse sought her right to vote in Selma Courthouse. It is a scene of oppression and dignity plainly conceived and effectively delivering for its writer Paul Webb his and our grasp of where we shall be going.

It is the straight and narrow path which it has been the vision of Martin Luther King to symbolism, focus and harness around the odd gospel doctrinarians that stood the Black communities in good faith through the venal hardships of white slavery and which manifested all over the world in various non-believing forms.

The he actors are well up to this task as most and probably all a have a large part of the memory, the history, the feelings of hurt manifested and manifesting in every core of their existence. This is the story as noted above of holding up mirrors and seeing the reflection inside and out. Of seeing through the impressive though tangibly flawed concept of film another reminder of ourselves flawed and unable to breakdown fears.
Black Power for a War?
Tom Wilkinson as Lydon Blaine Johnson plays the role of the US President (the one the film ignores who saw the need for troops and Black troops suiting his warring ambitions against Commmunism) as a vexed, lagubrious control freak leader manipulating all about him in an ill fitting suit and displaying cockamayne bullshit language as a means of acting plain stupid when he utilised it as another tool in the armoury. David Oyeloyo is never outplayed and neither is given the reign to overbalanced the other in direction. Quite literally this combat of words and gestural conflict are brilliantly handled by Ava DuVernay.

The same is with almost every passage through the film.

The delivery of the Selma town as being atypical Alabama and spokes town for the cities. The Boston’s, Philidelphias, the Chicagos of America as MLK distilled into a real life narrative to focus, focus and bring explicitly and implicitly onto the new TV screens of America.
Ferguson another Ulster name.
DuVernay composes the bridge scenes when the central plank of the film which is the march to set out from Selma to the town of Montgomery (I wonder now about the white settlers from Ulster? erstwhile fundamentalists?) which has as it’s first physical obstacle the Edmund Pettus Bridge. This happened in 1965. It’s was a scene of passive activism meeting with violence unleashed under the authority of Alabama’s Wallace and with the probable blessing of US President Johnson.
Neither of who wanted any power to reach the hands of ordinary people bearing in mind the Black majority in States of the South.

Such was their land theft and exploitation of white and black workers the whole edifice of control was part of an even broader picture of modern empire.

The scenes on the bridge are pivotal and while large parts of America are adjusting to difference, that it was there to stay in many immigrants from Europe’s eyes, it is was entirely different for the Native American and those whose own history was the relatively young slave nations and continued exploitation throughout America.

DuVernay delivers vividly the issue through pieces of dialogue between for example, Malcolm X played Nigel Thatch and Coretta with Carmen Ejogo understanding only too well how personally high the stakes are set against them both.

There is also the civil rights movement, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee whose players have the raw anger of youth and played out by the respective actors superbly.

On March 7th, “Bloody Sunday,” is the centrality.

Lorraine Toussaint as Amelia Boynton,is brutalised on the march, likewise Tessa Thompson as Diane Nash.
Bloody Sunday and the Courts
In the Courthouse Martin Sheen as presiding Judge has a small role and this must have been another tilt at Hollywood’s finest remaining in the room under the invasion of outsider acting.

I noticed and it is not a spoiler, that as well as being a continuity key, DuVernay has a black and white girl on the central steps of the Court staircase conversing leisurely as the case is awaited, adjudicated and discharged.

It is a bit of sisterhood over the male violence which is at the fearful root of the hatred.

Conclusion. ####4

This is a very pivotal film for America to be making as it will be soon bro into the habit of commemorating and making sense of these times after and amid conflicts fought since elsewhere.

The film is a great accomplishment regardless of any caveats, Americans and Foreigners bring to it. It is smoothly achieved without being overwrought. Without rancour it repeats sometimes in the frame of the old footage of TV. Black and white footage without the sight of blood that it had excess of and it is for people like Oprah to get this story told over and over in countless ways. The witness of the United States of America needs is of campus, State museums right in the heartlands telling each part of the story from wherever it reveals the truth of the divisions. The inter gyration of communities need united in principles and seem through the mirror of History.

Despite misgivings on casting and they are in my mind intentionally non-committal moves of intent, the lack of addressing the Politics in an analytical observant way by critics and commentators, it delivers a many vectored and visually impressive and solid story of Historical narrative handheld with excellence by writer, director and the vast bulk of the cast.

It is a wonderous achievement – the achievement of Martin Luther King that is brought In no small part alive and it should not be the only vehicle to explore and inhibit more adventurous filmmaking in looking into the mirror of America. US Cinema should be up for it having so long relied on false narrative, escapism, fantasy for its Cinematic canon.

Less fantasy please America, more of this opinion shaping medium.

The USA needs this continued analysis and the connections run back in many directions, slavery, imperialism, religious division, to the dislodged from the little Island of Ireland for one. Further as well to the more worrying presently pressing, fore bearers of Jewish diaspora from Europe whose religion is like Middle East politics entwined in the industrialisation of War and all have completely undermined their futures in failures to contend with content of the Bible. The commandment not to kill a fundamental evidence of blind faith.

John Graham

4 February 2015

Go see it at QFT from
Friday 6th February to Thursday 16th February 2015

“Glory,” a song by Common and John Legend ends the film.

The Gerard Conlon Memorial Lecture 2015 Democratic Bankruptcy by Michael Mansfield


The Gerard Conlon Memorial Lecture 2015
Beginning with the dedication to Gerry Conlon in whose memory we were gathered for the inaugural Lecture in keeping with Gerry’s short and troubled journey through life Michael Mansfield summoned up the Collectivism in St Mary’s College on the fortieth anniversary, 23 January 2015 of Guiseppe Conlons death. His death in prison not going unnoticed under this Lectures range.
Election Year 2015
Michael Mansfield for so many years has seen the broad and the minutiae of the Law and State across the planet operate as he advocated on the rights of people where others declined thus discovering and reciting for us now the true connective tissue with which mankind has found itself bound into. This collectivism being manifest throughout a varied and wide ranging career.

A letter formed the central tenent of the lecture and it was written by Gerard Conlon. It was on the subject of Gerry Conlon’s expressed concerns on the kind of Democracy deficits Michael Mansfield takes up as Democratic Bankruptcy.

That letter appeared from the Gerry Conlon’s archive courtesy of Garth Pierce’s obtained and permitted publication of it on 24 December 2014.

It was a letter to Barack Obama, that well known ancient recidivist Irishman, whose continued practice of using drones to inflict a death trail in War zones outside the parameters of humanism and the false imprisonment of prisoners of difference within Guantanamo Bay haunts the world today

Describing in the letter the conditions of his capture, rendition, torture, beatings, interrogation, imprisonment and eventual stitch up by the British Intelligent Forces Gerard Conlon drew stark comparison with his own journey. Again it is forces operating alongside and directing the security forces, the police and army intelligence ensuring, ensured justice and the value of human life to be consigned to worthlessness rhetoric for the mss to consume in their name.

Just as that the Guildford Four faced, the prisoners of Guantanamo Bay whose journal dairies are currently continuing to be produced in The Guardian faced and had the strength to take expose hypocrisy to the world.

Against the British Sovereignty Establishment, the corrupt vested interests and the manifestly corrupt and contagiously violent and constantly morally and ethically bankrupt regimes of state and new fledgling terrorist anarchists Gerry Conlon sought alongside the elucide and clear thinking Mansfield to explain the workings from the Belly of the Beast, the extraordinary injustice visited upon him and that carried on in a form after release which tormented both him and Paddy Hill of the Birmingham Six, fellow framed prisoner – both entwined against their will in the same bind.

The mental bind and grip of innocence was a bodily interference as well as a mental colossus for which they could not agree on a word to describe the inner ‘guilt’ felt – for bringing the burden of innocence spent under guilt in the years across their families lives inside and outsiderison.

Paddy Hill described that. The strap inside his head I imagined keeping to himself for scrutiny alone the facts, the experience, the ongoing.

Most of us could not even conceive of the original violation of justice for it seems so possible but inconceivably in ours experience.
These servants of corruption who treat others the way they were and many continue to do, were born to the same humanity as us all.
How could they take so wrongfully, into their hands and minds,the lives of innocent people and produce the failures God warns us against?


Michael Mansfield continued to read this letter. To take us into the field of universal commonality. The letter which Gerry never received a reply to.

The support for the Guantanamo prisoners was fierce and fulsome.
It contained vision, experience taught and learnt not by being suppressed by the anti-Christ of the beast that is the the perpetrator of violence, the facilitator who knows far less and is far greater the administer of evil than the fledgling defender who confronts evil.

There was an insular atrophied scattering of Politicians in the room who when Michael Mansfield continued to criticise the GB government, repeatedly refering to a lack of actual close insight to Northern Ireland he made the point clearly enough to suggest that he despised the duplicity of Politicians.

He estimates 200 of the Houses of Parliament MP’s have interests in companies they continually vote on affairs affecting them. “Conflicts of interest we used to call them” he said.
He bought up the thing most people have hitherto been outlay unaware of – the TTIP deal being fostered by Global corporations giving them globally the Power to sue Governments – Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.
It is being hammered out – (post recent years Bildenberg no doubt) between US and EU handshakes. http://www.38DEGREES.ORG.UK/TTIP.

Our own Politicians rely on the trade as back offices lackeys and any industrialists worth their salt here who are true innovators and inverters will themselves find a gorilla in the room in form of the trade conflicts and resulting wars, yes wars are founded on a lot less than mere material access, thus caring forward in our name corporations largesse over people’s government. Sinn Fein are against it but other parties here are not yet coming clean with their position.

The parties here, Michael Mansfield for politeness sake, were kept onside without failing to bring to our attention issues they decline to engage on.
The sectarianism is abundant and clear as the mantra driving politics here and he has never made any bones about it being our downfall.
In the midst of him telling us things politically, the absences of some and the presence of others here at this lecture signified a great deal.
The hangers on to the Gerard Conlon legacy of course were there.
The quest for truth and justice – jolly god that is that is. Let’s rally.

While various people from the floor, during questions, illustrated on behalf of Michael Mansfield you might say, providing his arguments, it was a stream of stories of the type brought by Gerry Conlon’s revised for a different age. Now. Stories as well telling us that everyone knew – speaking again clearly to us shockingly the falsehoods of the peace, the failure of inquiry and investigation.

The returning Advice from Michael Mansfield was his own mantra to never give up. Your own humanity is of nothing compared to the pursuit of goodness abiding in us all and clearly the given gift of our lives and duration on earth forever enhanced by the love of ones neighbour.
Gerry Comlon a sought to his dying breath to speak up for the Ilene’s and the oppressed and the immensity of what he did was not lost amidst this gathering.

New Movements
The judiciary have been slain here in their pursuit of justice, something which Michael Mansfield said concerns him greatly.
The judiciary are the participating Legal voices. Some are advocates others judges and many aredily living floes to extermination. In some countries.
The public are still setting the agenda. Now the practice of using oral and written confessions has nearly entirely been removed due to the well known abuses. The movement has been to take back their lives.
As Martin Luther King said “Our paradigm is Justice.”

The Governments are inured from harm. They have representatives.
The MPs are succour only and e avoidance of damage is a career attribute often practiced by distance.

To create an alternative system out with the lack of agreement for a Supreme Court etc, to not involve with the London Treaty, is to come out from under these ludicrous English idiosyncrasies which is there for a tiny aloud out working which Hieda exposed we are protected from (either or is the fascism) 99% of adherence challenged is turned back to he state as a winning strident stupidity of the actual existence of it.
Sewell bridge is another strand for the Human Bill of Rights privacy is key and Article 3 prisoner detention wrongs exist.


That was not something given any detail but it is on the same hinge Human Rights Legislation swings by.
One element made reference to by Michael Mansfield was the recent Oxfam highlighting of Global Poor and Global Wealth.
The often recited polemic of the 1% having 50% of the Worlds wealth includes most Europeans earning over £22,000 with their own accumulated or inherited wealth. It is a strange statistic. Hat is because it is wrong.

Who is in the one percent? Well it turns out are 2.9 million in the UK alone
which is twice that in China and less than France. To have £800,000 gets an entry. So a house valued at a million with £800,000 paid off gets the individual in although a married couple etc. Well there is a base point this illustrates where it came from (Credit Suisse) and it remains a valid statement showing how advanced the Western Economy is.

The next statistic which was equally broadcast able – some are not as they contain secret accumulations – was some 80 people hold as much wealth as the poorest 3.5 billion on the planet. Then there is the wealth gap and that for example 400 million live in abject poverty in India.
Have we figured out the accumulated billions Vladimir Putin has stockpiled and where it is deposited?

Concealment and Maxellisation
Several challenges to suppression of Government initiated inquiry were highlighted. Chief among these was the continual blockage of the Chilcot inquiry up to the commissioning of and subsequent to a raft of discovery.
Since evidence as accumulated, material gathered and some conclusions reached, chief among these the fact it was an unlawful war on Iraq. The obfuscation is only part of the Blair/Bush/Rumsfeld/Powell/Straw axis of evil taking the US and UK into a conflict now summoning reigns of terrorist driven anew, in reaction to the support for evil through manufactured conflict.

Into the Global conflict that belongs to that confined for centuries in its own pasture, comes the Middle East. The countries of Iran and Saudi Arabia which has spread into the adjoining countries dismantling thousands of years of keeping your enemy close. The attacks now on other religions have almost completed the destruction of other faiths.
Hate crime faith based is the clear basis of all the actions once perceived wholly Nationhood based, in which joint ethnicities had – not condoned but stood aside as ‘factions’ took up what was ‘justified’ as national cause.


There is a hate at ever point of the Inquiry Process, I suggest, Mochael Mansfield has been involved in and continues to be involved in.

Take The Bloody Sunday Inquiry.
Seville conducted it. Michael Mansfield represented the unleashing of hate enraged Scottish Regimental and Government licensed murder.
The outcome though by some has been tarnished was a crucial turning point for many of the families with justice remaining incomplete.
The spiritual relief and achievement many of us were unable to be witness to but mere viewers seeing signals from the Guildhall on the carefully managed day, the almost simultaneous oral statement in the Commons put away anxieties without justice visible.
Catholics killed. Hate crime.
No one convicted. Loss of life.
The Chilcot Inquiry.
Censure exists. A Tony Blair and George Bush motive of hate, whether thought of in those terms but directing War, Violence at and directly upon and towards a perceived threat from a race and enclave wholly Muslim, took their respective Countries under their lying to their own Parliament’s threshold and beyond into a War. No second resolution.
In days were seen Shock and Awe.
No one convicted. Loss of life.
The Lawrence Inquiry. The cover-up of racial motivated murder was and still is a corrupted process. Being left to Noreen and Tony Lawrence to fight.
Only two people were ever convicted. Loss of life.
The Guildford Four Inquiry. Only when Gareth Pierce uncovered the British Government British Intellegence Force integral and directing the willing Police Force to frame four Catholics and the perceived antithesis of the British as conspiratorial Irish people, did exposure of the hatred of
Catholic Irish by the British in allowing any chosen person to fit a crime by hate. Stereotypical hate.
No one convicted either for the Bombing or conspiracy of cover-up.
Loss of life.
The Marchioness and Hillsborough Inquiries involved Police and State cover- up on behalf of the operators.
No one convicted. Loss of life.
These were not hate crimes but the facts presented by the operators concealed the facts requiring the material to be gathered, and in the case of Hillborough was only recently to reach a conclusion but without presently any convictions. The Marchioness was mowed down by a ship turning and 50 people died with one lookout for the boat hit.

Occupy and the Collective
Democratic hearings have emerged. The Peoples Tribunal – Commissions of Inquiry that being a lot like the Peace Foundation founded by among others Bertrand Russell. The Peace Foundation. Now there are Peoples Tribunals on Palestine, the NHS, Iran.
Michael Mansfield held up the Gerard Conlon strength of purpose inherent in him and contended it to exist in us. Whether you have been a part or part from (a lot has gone on on this road was the – well I gulped at the bombast from the Politician who came up with that separateness) the contamination of the Political Process and segregation to suit those ends Michael Mansfield noted in his view a change. All to slow from the sixties, seventies, etc,. Where a collectivism was in tandem.
He cited examples of Peoples Inquiry which he has been a part of and continues with. The Onion as he describes it unravels. The capacity resources multiply and the functions have been gathered by Ed Miller at MIT whose observation shows clearly we cannot nor do multi-task and instead Michael Mansfield has, in my mind, found the necessity for a Public Collectivism to arrange for us importance and direct mental and active focus. Occupy, Pussy Riot took up the important issues and prioritized and put it up on a frame each of us in the Public acknowledge.

Where we need to attend also is the ‘Molly?’ Collusion of the MP’s and the a Press. To come at that is to see the matters the Public are directed towards and away from are those salient issues we need pay attention to.
I believe it is the example of people’s inability to discern information to make decisions affecting their one lives. Being lead in certain directions.

The di-nemesis of the people it’s opposite attribute is an agent or act of retribution or punishment.

We are finding ways of taking individual causes commonly bound into a Public Collective framework.

Michael Mansfield has observed many things in other peoples lives and made them understand them beyond their experience.
As well as evaluating the source of the harm anyone has been subject to or in the loss of life the location of the responsibility causing their loss he resurrects this and them into the creative mind which is able to see.
Witness is now as well as now which has a current evaluative outcome if we chose and very often do take up. We are able to construct for the better understanding and advance of mankind; often that it cannot be repeated.

Gerard Conlon has personified all our life’s travails writ large in the midst of the dilution of ancient principles.

Imagine a time when the neurology and the minds capacity has returned, it won’t be found forward (the essay Religion: Something New) as our recurrent themes and lives forever indicate.

That return to forever to sub-edit The Mahivishnu Orchestra – many will never have heard them and I reject the impulse to take out this spontaneous connection here made will in my view be very dependant in how we approach the most important two things facing us.
The Population Optimum.
The Human Diet.

Both the movement to arrive at an optimum Human Population which is achievable with very simple and very small behaviour changes together with a reversal of diet and towards the plant based diet which the China Study evidences as our own conditioning resolution and itself the breakthrough required away from medical pharma dependency is paramount.

Thank you to the organisors of The Inagural The Gerard Conlon Memorial Lecture 2015 by Michael Mansfield.

Apologies for the concentration on the main central lecture of Michael Mansfield, to Paddy Hill whose own contribution told mostly unrepeatable in polite company

To in the background The Church of Saint Peters Falls Road who cared so long and so lastingly for the Conlon family in their lives and continued journey. Cherish also the possibility the wishes for Religious unity around our one Creator across this world within all worlds.

Canon Dougan. Morning service on 26 January 2015 chose these hymns.

‘To the one who is Love Divine, love is excelling.’

‘Be my Guardian and my guide.’

John Graham

26 January 2015


Films of 2014 remembered pre-Oscars


And the winners are….

The awards are in the cupboard for distribution on Stages floodlit and spot lit across the Globe in 2015 for works that reached us in the year just gone.

So many days of entertainment has been brought to us by the Film Industry without which the world would be more of a collective basket case than it already is.

It speaks against war,poverty, genocide, corruption and mostly our own harm on harm.
Human Harm
In a film not to go on the list ‘The English DoctorHenry Marsh tells of his career which he delftly, lyrically, philosophically, breathtakingly, heartwarmingly but last and most distinguishably honors his own skills with humility and amazing unheard insightful ness of his term as a surgeon of the brain and all that placed him there in the book his wife provided (plagurising the plagiarist himself – nothing’s new I’ll find it for you Larry Page) called Do No Harm. Hippocrates must have heard in from the Barrista or Barman at his social hut.

So already you have a Film unready for the Oven of Acclamation by the Semi-Greenhouse dwelling – LA – hothouse flowers renegades all and sundry.

Two films on Human Rights I have seen and neither makes it onto the Documentary category and one that enters my list but comes off it as few have seen it is Apples of the Golan.

Burn a list out.
My list is to be short -The Guardian listing 10 in 12/12/14 g2 do it ten down to one.

It is short because on any given day they could be in the top spot. So much film acclimation is about its timely delivery. Other times it is due to compelling world themes. Boyhood is particularly good and very good at that. So is Mr Turner, Under the Skin, The Grandmaster, Leviathan, The Imitation Game, there are more. Other film performances are battering down doors and some not having even been on General Release in the UK.
JK Simmons in a film reviewed elsewhere for instance is apparently a shoe-in for Best supporting actor – well being among the early viewers I think not.
He is limited in the role by the very nature of the part and is stereotypically the bad ass teacher with hidden gripes.

Keira Knightly is excellent and is convincing as the Turing foil which BC has in the same sphere every chance of nailing the Big one.
KK is a worthy Best Supporting Actor winner in my eyes.

I find it hard to restrict the year end list to 5 but it is a necessary task in my mind.

A Touch of Sin
Starred up
In Order of Disappearance
Two days One Night

They are however arranged in the order I table today with my favorite last.

Two Days One night is a beguiling, bewildering, belligerent and superfine edge of the nerves chilling visual narrative told with the finesse of any director you could care to name.
Marion Cotillard creates this part in the manner Fonteyn created her Fredrick Ashton roles. That is with exceptional artistic and wonderous enthrallment. In seeing this film I was literally thinking alongside the walking the movement of seeing Margot Fonteyn completely rowing us into the dance, into the path of the story and us being with her.
How could the comparison be made except through the lucidity and poetry of an exquisite serious acting performance? Only one answer sheer artistry of a performer on their game.

When you watched MF and RN but particularly the women, as all ballet of significance and importance is a homage to the body of a woman.
The waif like strength of Margot Fonteyn beholden alongside the extraordinary masculine figure of the supreme male dancer Nuryev could not be more telling.

Telling is the word. Fellow French actress Juliet Binoche who inhabited my favorite contemporary film ‘Les Amant du Pont-Nuef‘ sought to herself engage with herself and have witnessed through dance this perilous journey.

I was totally absorbed beginning to end with this film for it’s telling of our times.

It’s delicate properly respectful pride of the French people whose identity is a contested place as far as a lot of Europeans are concerned.
(Rider: a lot of this film is shot in Belguim but that’s not the point).

I love the French people though there may be one or two exceptions that spill that cannot deign to wipe it up.
The essence of the people is encapsulated, the French character, flesh and bone, not just in The mesmeric Marion Cotillard but her fellow performers who each also reach the levels of the film making intent and delivering it so extraordinarily.

For me there is no question of it every being taken off the 2014 top of the mantle pride of place. For the second year in a row a French film gets my top vote. Last year it was the quite literally incredible ‘Holy Motors.’
The beauty of film making is distinctly alive in France (..and by locale Belguim..!!)

Further up and down the see-saw are found the wonder filled Polish film, Ida which I defy anyone not to be thoroughly engaged by. It has a generosity of will and sacrifice, saviour, coming of age emotion enriched as it is treated without necessity to adjust to much for the past circumstances which are carried and refuse to leave the stage of life’s drama.

Then there is one which I do not list as it is far too close to home to be yet considered as a depiction of truth. It takes as it’s timeframe 1971, abbreviated it, ’71 and turns it into a slave of the events in Northern Ireland.
It is framed in and around the city of Belfast and uses settings configured and still standing in Sheffield as the flats.
I once was a colleague of Brian Anson the GLC Architect who employed his Liverpool guile to turn against London’s philistines and was THE prime saviour of London’s Covent Garden – not the Opera House (since reformed and Floral Halled keeping the stage and Main Auditorium as it’s appendage – but the Market. Now Covent Garden District is a lesson in retention of civic space. Brian Anson came to challenge and have pulled down the Division Flats featured in the seventies for their cumbersome social experimentation – ghettos satin is an equally applicable franchise. Franchise Architecture doesn’t work – Jean de Renet and Mies Van de Rohe – never related their compositions of buildings, streets in the sky or skyscraper hip Philosopy much farther than their adopted surfaces. France and USA.

‘71 is a depiction and a violent one. As a film it gives insight to a degree but has no insider knowledge of the huge kind which The Guildford Four had.
On which in my view was only a scratching at the truth.
I am assisted in this view with the absurd way in which Twelve Years a Slave is held in totally undeserving acclaim. It is film racial porn. Fletcher was a name used in Whiplash and that has more Fletching as integral abuse in scale.
While Fassbinder flails and assaults the scene shots of horseman in the fields is disgusting hubris given what actually went in and widely chronicled. It would have turned out to have more credibility had Sam Taylor-Wood tackled it and twice as much delivered. But there you go awards and opinion.


Who is the slave – the Film Industry?

John Graham

15 January 2015


Exodus : The Interview.

imageBefore we reach the denouement we live
Ridley Scott does interviews. The Egyptians do not do open culture.
For the Egyptian Government correctively they have decided to ban the Exodus Movie made by Ridley Scott.

Whiter than was white the film Exodus has Christian (I cannot see where this might take me) Bale, tests the credibility of Moses as he engages as a Spidermany type avenger for The God of God.
Ramses II is in flowing form, (though and this is not the contested part) gathering in his phoney rule on a high of hubris when Moses appears to the Egypt of Kadesh before even the El Giza marbles. Go Elgin with that discovery.

The Pharaoh at the time of the Exodus is not mentioned in the Bible. Instead it is the name of the city from which the Exodus began, a city built for the Pharaoh by the Israelites and from which the Exodus began. Ex. 1:11.

For banning movies, North Korea, has as media has it, in past weeks sought the film The Interview not to be shown creating a storm which became a box-office profit on ridiculing satire itself embracing assassination.
Ex-Ridicule Charlie Hebro
What came a week or so later and no one likes to make any sub-conscious connection, comes the Charlie Hebro cultural media mayhem ending in many deaths.

Morocco and obviously Turkey or is it Syria, have made the film Exodus an enemies piece of propaganda.

Taking on the Hitties in Syria, Rameses in around 13c BC seems to have upset Moses. Why else does this brother of Judaism become embroiled in what is portrayed as Egyptian to us of the Jews in slavery?

That slavery as now depicted is challenged by Egypt. History is revealing new discoveries which shall themselves create argument.
Sandstone stacks of corridors, some 30 metres long their narrow inscribed walls are now giving further insights as these walls show camps in Gebel El Silsila where the carvings for the Karnak and Luxor temples seem to have been produced. Then they were transported to Luxor.

Like the present, where a division exists between those that think the labour camps of Qatar, of Dubai, of the UAE, of China’s monolithic regions of mass production are slavery to the workers and work to the owners of the product, the description of slaves is something an answer is difficult to find so far back.

The sure slavery of our recent centuries is clear of wartime and in Chinese history. It is also ignored. The slavery of modern times is veiled and concealed often within the gaze of missionaries who turn to Amnesty or others to blow the whistle while they curate their truth.
Screen Slaves
Dismantling the hubris is Moses (I cannot see where this might take me) the hero epoch making edifice of strength with marbles. His commandments are worthy of hubristic force which is aligned with the words Jesus empowers us.

The Jewish Moses is part of (adopted) an Egyptian family whose mix becomes, became statues of the future world of Jewish and Biblical value out of Asiatic inhospitability, a group or family of extinct languages that includes cuneiform Hittite and its nearest congeners, as Lycian, Lydian, and Luwian. Did they turn away into the birthplace of Jesus as a result of the, Rameses – Moses entry to Israel, to Judaism restored, to become the source for the entry of Jesus.
Czech Egyptian Discoveries this last sx months
4,000 years of history have in the past few years found the working story of the pyramids which presently and until now been contested.

Exodus as in the Bible, is not what you see. What you see is not what is depicted. The sensation of the story is the Revalatory. Those walls found in isolated tall thin corridors within Gebel El Silsila are the finest and epoch making Cartoons of a storyboard which places any present day design into a water based pulp. 3,500 year old posters Ndebele alongside half sphinx like carvings by hunter-gatherers a mere 100,000 years ago.
Blasphemy by idiocy.
The property of renouncing the hypocrisy of Governments is a project of publishing satire as truth and describing the offence of blasphemy by idiocy of malformed truth. Charlie Hedro occupied this vein of luxury.
The vein of luxury found through a skill or aptitude for visualising the unspoken. There are no taboos to be applied. The taboos are to be taken.

The insecurity of others is the stinking pit of exploiting or ridiculing an understanding not obtained of another’s culture. It becomes a dry web of short war substitute intellectual war-heading. It is peripatetic child versions of Aristotelian philosophy. So wrong headed as to be not only offensive due author of destructive vitriol.
Alexander the Geographer
Reference to Alexander the Great makes itself a good point.

The land in which Alexander found his adventures in pleasing his parents of Greece, by obtaining and ruling over more productive fertile territory, for that is all that was at stake (Darius’s tent of captured loot was meaningless tat) only appeared in 350BCE rather appearing to entice comparison of eras as the machinery of the Exodus had marched only so far, into the Israel of the so called promised land. Alexander began the exodus for promising land.

The land of freedom and freedom from sacrifice of the person to indulgence, not the sacrifice of the people on lands newly occupied was of Moses prediction.

It prophesied the appearance of the true Creator. Dreams and hallucinations were frequent in the mind of Mose. The allegorist ran deep.

The veins of Alexander took on the geography in a totally physical sense. His burning passion for his childhood Heniylous friend, now belonging to the fertility which instead of lying west of Asia Minor; the heart being Alexandria, became instead lands of the fertile Persia which had riches aplenty.

Even greater was the green India of similar God fearing, worshiping deities which I think were found by Alexander to be far superior to any he knew.
West India has been so influential. The Gods themselves were created as expressions, fro expressions of the God given, Creator given richness some of which Alexander had only the wildest thought of.

There is in parts of India such essence as prompted out of his late found interest in Yoga Beethoven’s String Quartet No.12 the same balance Alexander may have discovered except his was a pathological illness of intense failing to subdue his violence and striving to command for the sake of his record his future lived after him. Beethoven did not have such problems only a message in alliances of sound.
Before Christ
It is a reinforcement ahead of the appearance of Jesus.
It is a militaristic approach to making decisions of human value.
It is a death nail found to be consigning the future to be hell through the actions of one man exemplifying the means on which nations are built.

The Exodus so defined and so unchallenged in Biblical times became and remains a Godless return for reference.

Mere man, so the present reasoning has it, being incapable of taking into the future the known words of Jesus – whose reckoning through the consignment In figurations of past history so absurd and contorted – they are still fashioned as an operable function and our media of destruction.

When the people within a action are seen to be separate alongside each other and divisions are made and found through a range of cultures descended upon them and carried forward it is seen that there is bound to be conflict. People literally bound in conflict.
More aggrevivng is the prospect of that being the outcome of needlessly doctrinal or forth righteousness displayed in a context outside the values which are the Creators will.

Somewhere and sometime the forgiveness will be fulfilled as when it is needed it is only for the perpetrator to seek it for it to be realised. It is in the finding not the giving.

Where shall it be found by whom and when?

All things are the will of the Creator.

John Graham

14 January 2015


Whiplash : A Film Review

On the edge of Knowing.
Learning the score
This is a lucious, glorious, engaging fast flowing film. It has an endearing pupil, intimidating teacher routine which upsets and provides the grist for the mill of the musical genre that is Jazz based but that enables escape of a kind in allowing you to determine what are the drivers within creativity.
What is Jazz and as it is so much associated with free flowing fluidity of musical timbre is it so, so fixed note mathematically cadenced and hung on the detail such as the on score message of the composers design?

Listen and watch and learn more to gain a worthwhile insight to the background and for many the foreground musical array chosen to balance their auditory needs.

The cast are firstly the Oscar leaning (BSA) JK. Simmons, as Terence Fletcher tilting over the drum kit and life of the singled out for greatness pupil Andrew Neyman played by Miles Teller whose playing is very highly fixed and skilled. Never having been in a Jazz Conservatiore I have no idea of the standards already in place at the get go but if this is the standard an around them both are the whole compliment ensemble needed as a class big band all equipped to carry this dynamic film.

Dynamism is the luxuriant array of sound which from the single stick tap in to the fully accounted for end scores peppered throughout this is foreground sound in film. It is not biographical as has been the recent entry of film to the soundscape of masters too numerous to name heck.

It takes a musically attuned ear to pick up on the note delays, tempo thrust and the delicacy of volume control amidst the disciplined Jazz-band playing which cascades towards us along with the visually arresting array of gorgeous instruments utilised to entertain us.

To cover this film properly requires a working knowledge of how Jazz has been the immigrants song creating legendary musical influences which enter Ito the repertoire we associate with Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington whose vibe was the outlet for the racial differences found into the many States of America. Soul has Jazz Funk has Jazz Pop has Jazz and as the soaks have it, Jazz has Jazz.
Story, the last thing on my mind
Where is the story to come from? Where is the earthy to come from? Where is the core moral? What is the history made or recalled? Who makes it original? Where are the truths and what is the point of Jazz?!

‘Whiplash’ is the name and it feels that way. The Jazz ‘standard’ along with ‘Caravan’ a mope familiar one describe and provide the centrality of the thread which takes us across small School based but high achieving Jazz competition episodes which act as a form of divertissement to the main score – that of the musically being drawn through Blood and Claw (a website exists!) up close and beautifully filmed – encountered which at times seem as voyeuristic torture acts. We are witness to the demands and Andrew Neyman Is equal to delivering what he has been taught.
The names are skittish. Andrews real name Miles Teller and JK Simmons aka, Terence Fletcher, the Fletch arrow tuned, chewed thoroughly.
In taped hands rest the fingertips as extensions of the human rendering the innermost on this ancient instrument the drum. There also goes Superwoman Julie Neymar as a name of the times – no connection to the film whatsoever but Native American fusion.
The only love element in the film happens to be the Rory McIlroy type.
I’ll leave that hanging. He does.

His playing (not Rory’s but close,) is figured around the classic kit.
Every beat around his circular reach is known and every measure is – and here it is massively apparent – the kit is an animal to be tamed and ever service of music is sought of it.
The fine fill of brushes matching hearts cadence while below the bass drum is everyone in the units earshot key underpinning beat.
No matter how inconsequential a note might appear the players from the trombone to the clarinet, to the soprano sax, to the strings of bass and guitar all owe their perception of what goes on to the drums.

It is never do evident when latter on several performance show that Jazz at the finest union of music delivered as a giant memorable dynamic which takes the listener into a bodily felt union with the band. It is the music of democracy and community. Played as a pure recognition of interracial and irrepressible earthly wonder.
Except in the hearing, by being in the presence of this emotive charge it is tangible while being heavens expressed.
Observatoire on life
It is up to you to use your observations and se how this fragile and seemingly era based music has no chance of remaining static and reflective. Every generation one after the other learn to discover its command over the classically trained and it becomes real time magic. Interpretation is famously about listening to the spaces within the sound. The estrangement of notes.
The Art never evaporates.
Recently, one CP, a fellow on Facebook identified a Nina Simone rendition, if that is what is can be loosely attributed as, of singing Feelings at the Montreaux Jazz Festival of circa. 73 in a movement almost Beckett inspired, of interrupting interpretation as it became obvious the ethereal was upon her, she became overwhelmed it is co-junction on several different levels as the listener. It was perilously close to being a Carl Andre pice of modern analysis.

So you think that (crit?) pretentious rubbish? Close to Pseuds Corner?
It is whatever you make it and the collective resources of your own thoughts may or may not embrace the extent to which we rely on the Arts to produce – not pre-curated thought processes but to unify and reveal the hidden there as simple evidence of a force which is extraordinarily contained in all of us.
Of Africa we are and of Africa so is Jazz as science and product.
How is that?! Listen widely. Jazz epiphany on 6 January.
We are late but what the hell. The two faces of January turn the year onto us.
It is a City sound unlike the prequel of Country folklore and imported narrative based songs associated with the vast rural spaces.

It’s hard to think of a Grand Canyon or Texas handle on Jazz.
Influences came into the big screen cinematic portrayals eventually via. The Gerswins, Berekley, big country music which suited the big screen. Oklahoma an instant nostalgia presented in the newly 3,000 seater cinemas and often Broadway stimulated show business.
Here is today’s generation displaying the art of musicianship in the form making of Jazz is an integral justification of Americas sense of self.
Both races are represented in this as the vibe. The players are youthful scholars at the fictional New York Schafer School which sucks in excellence and budding talent.
Buddy Rich the drummers big band leader supreme is the core student Andrew prime loader of studious appraisal. He is inducted into a school set up band by the industrial ferociously driven and therefore corrosive egomaniac Fletcher. Proud of his Hugh Jackman like big arms (turns out he’s a pianist!) he escorts his shine, both bald head clean shaven head, his black shod shoes into the precision of the room of the School where a band assembles. His set up and his direct tool of control. Known as the Studio, it seems this is the martial core part of the work of a Jazz semester.

America has its form of educational style which deliver greatness in awkward uninhibited professionals as dynamically American. Think Lawyers, Scientists, Medicians, Philosophers and Journalists, those last two a case apart, and compare with the spectrum educations in India, (elitist) South America (colonial) English (eclectic elitism) German (Bauhaus, Baccalaureate) and the range seems also democratic.

Unfortunately this democratic rhythm to education is in this visualisation of a musical kind brings us into the Deadman walking opprobrium that is Fletcher’s heavy homophobic, racial stereotyping, mid America hating, myosin it’s attitude which is feigned but practiced as it is in keeping with the directions Jazz in his mind congregates around.

Jazz is nothing of the sort of course. The likes of Nina Simone, Ella Fitzgerald, Aretha Franklin pursued their genius of vocal dexterity inside the macho world of large ensembles.

Andrew is faced with this acidic reckoning and the tutor Fletcher opens up implausibly – if he didn’t know of Buddy a Rich before hand he needn’t have bothered turning up but the Buddy Rich album Birdland (joe Zwaninul) my personal talisman of music, appeared to be advised! listening! As if.

I recalled the Weather Report of my own ears induction in the sound of live Jazz, then regarded as – well it was a sideline of progressive music as others would have it, – except in the band the Austrian born, Vienna born, classically trained Joe Zwaniul.

JW was not only author of Birdland but the free expressionist exponent and core influence for the likes of Miles Davis and all players surrounding, the never to be buried Jazz Gods messengers music trail. His In a Silent Way setting up another stage and level of Jazz which gave license to the likes of Herbie Hancock and Miles Davis to create their own dominion.

This is the sphere of worldly Jazz Fletcher wishes Andrew to follow on from.
You can see this in every searing, humiliating frame Fletcher knows his gift is not sufficient to carry his own broad and well rendered skills. The teacher has found a protege and that is for him a fix except he almost destroys the prospect. The driving and completion, some false excruciating scenes are exercises in non modal countenance

Conclusion. 3+###
Making their mark is the premise. As a young actor Miles Teller excels as the encouraged and discouraged but always courageous central character. JK Simmons tries his dampest, the repertoire for him is limited to serious grimacing face pulling enraged, sometimes a tad inanimate physicality, hand conduct with the repose generated by his contained thoughtfulness delivered by a face full of Bourbon or stronger muscle depletion character.

The film is a handsome piece of film making from the first film Director
and the choice is perfect imperious winter hardship at arms length viewing.
It’s entertaining and musically interesting without fail for those risen above novice, rookie – the pupil in class and I think this has been my only spoiler and it’s believe me minimal – is a squeaker – because it opens ears to the directions of Jazz. The self same name of Bill Evans with Miles Davis collaborative double album. It comes nowhere near the Jazz fusion esoteric drumming driven out by Billy Cobham and other advanced drummers.
The jazz playing gets about a three as it is schoolyard and ‘good playing’ the higher plain jazz is instrumentally there to be found live and in all cross over platforms yours to discover.

I got a thrill out of it tapping away discretely and entering the action belonging vibe that Jazz subscribes uniquely.

Looking at others stretching themselves to get there is a very common harmonious audience player relationship and seeing all those visually expressive instruments swing together is bravo musical film making.
Enjoy but don’t destroy.
It looks like being popular and students will get a kick out of it.

John Graham

14 January 2015


Opens at QFT Belfast on this Friday 15th January and other screens around.

Turns out to be True

What became of reflection?
In the day when three Algerian citizens living in France turned on a group of creative, professional, traditionalist, ridicule illustrators, one thing appeared clear. The escalation of hated is fueled by failures in the human race to communicate. To turn hate into murder is an unexplained step.

The people of who we in the UK had little idea of the activities and product of their own minds which they put across in a niche of political satirism little was said here of the families and partners left behind.
The family had become the Nation. Or so it appeared.

Blasphemous satire was the alleged motive that became depiction playing into the hands of the individuals belonging to the self determined ideology of their own basis of theology. An ideology without theology.

For centuries the art form which now depicts the extreme diversity of humanity is found like an island, abandoned by mediated satire, in an age of digitized and brutalized media it’s vulnerability to hatred has been realised in the most destructive way imaginable. Is it worse than a missionary boiled in a pot?. Of course it is. We now have the means to make sociological judgements based on wider reasoning.

Were it disseminated alongside editorial as is the case in virtually all so called heavyweight media the ‘cartoon’ vexates as the crude visual metaphor unreal he’d by the journalistic endeavours so often.
Therein lies a very clear distction. One that conducts itself inside a message not itself being the message.

Like at the beginning of the French film ‘Ridicule’ the fact is the French are ‘piss-poor at it. It is not Moliere but now men are dead and this is an unspeakable violation of the right to be free to create your own measure of the world.

For the choice of expression to find itself in print media of a circulation of 60,000, bringing representative of a nations culture and a target for incensed propagandists for a cause creating itself around brutalism and against the higher authority of and will of the Creator, is a new level of ridicule gone bad.

This is a driven ferocity hell bent on creating hell on earth against all Muslim and Other Religious thought.

Traditions of becoming a challenger on behaviour of a Creator are found and faced in the margins of media they become capsules of storms seen gaining momentum in sight, like a passing tornado followed on satellite, to fade and leave behind destruction in a calm. Such is the currency of digital.

To the vast majority, confronted only when the traditions of journalism of following the currency, literally, of the moment know as the present, enter the fray, provided with instant direct news and reportable of the outcomes the undercurrent of themes known and dispersed amongst us are unknown.

The gunmen now themselves subject to killing after leaving their siege firing and in the face of gunfire in their radicalisation were responding to the Abu-Grade prison camp images and the pyramids of the naked pile of prisoners being humiliated and the easily recalled image of the shrouded hooded prisoner on a platform no bigger than their feet with their hands raised slightly imploring justice and showing a mind containing dignity.

They have been chased around France and came out in the end in a senseless bloody replay of ‘Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid’.

Serious journalism has been seeking answers and providing insight and analysis all along as ridicule has diversified the depictions of conscious.
So it has ever been. Now however the proximity of the ills and origins – now beyond state – of perceived identity and ideology have abandoned reason to the functions of a new order of allegiance.

Serbs, Croats must be wondering what the price of Kingdom is, of how they find a way to repair their past. Senseless young men and women are on the opposite side of the hill they were once on were they put the lives of others as worthless and choose to destroy figures representing the opposite.

The opposites living inside the same human design, the same physiology programmed with an bitter intensity brought out of the past rendering their future into a shambolic mess.

How this has manifested is not presently the (they need restored and he wants to do that) paramount need for focus or attribution.
The primary focus is the realisation of the seismic drift caused by media that defines expression and presents disclosure has itself become the root of propaganda.

Capital is gained in such tiny acts. They ‘represent’, they are the acidic corrosive fusion of ideas and a destructive force capitalizing on the idea.
In this tiny act the family of those lost to a trio of gunmen were not the foremost print or visual connection. The abandonment of reality was instant and the idea of a nations values and freedom of speech became the cause for concern.

This has been taken up through outrage and found to be a place for ‘nationhood’ to recapture lost found while protagonists for free speech ignore the lack of it within the greater and hidden sections of deal making political and financial agendas.

The Anglo-Saxon meeting to discuss Banking and separate ideologies of monetary approach to the management of their population and the dispersal of generated wealth and power is matched in tandem by the New Isis World Gold Bank. Except the small Isis monetarised Banking System only partially yet realised in the form of an actual Currency producing Factory or ‘Treasury’ is a mirror of the the corruption of principles as edict.

The Isis collection bowls stretch into the homes and businesses of Europe, various Charity front organisations to such an extent citizens in foreign lands, particularly Turkey manifest the structures enabling the collection and recruitment sponsorship of the Isis to turn into forces.

Such forces, since the shut down of the Gold market transfers having readily and complicit capacity for enabling gifting funds into Isis in both Syria and Turkey stifled they operation has turned to the ancient currency of hegemony the monetaristion itself. Creating Gold coin from stolen sources and now from redirected finance is designed to find the power to overturn.
Isis have the readiness and in world terms a tiny fraction of banking.
The Jewish faith whose own reaction to Isis is virtually silent is in real terms many many multiples of rich unfashionable wealth.

With that wealth is bought singularity. Impeccably religiousity. Implacable values of truth. All founde on a conversation between Gods and Crucifixion.

This weekend the diversity of the families of those killed will have gathered to begin burying their loved ones prematurely taken form them.
Since they were only some days after seeing them most probably over Christmas and New Year and memories formed even between their closest which were to carry them forward and now strained have become irreplaceable very significant precious memories it is beyond imagining what sorrow has been felt or what sorrow continues?

May the wounds of bitterness heal quickly and their memories last forever.

John Graham

9 January 2015


From the Dave Duggan play AH6905

The dead abound, the dead abound,
How do we keep them in the ground,

The past remains, the past remains
How do we satisfy its claims

The truth cries out, the truth cries out,
How do we answer to its shout,

This – 20.11 – is Transgender Day of Remembrance

Remembrance of Transgender Individuals
Taken by Murder or through Taking their own life.
Act of Remembrance
Soon after the World mourns the loss of all who fell in the War between 1914 and 1918 as well as the fallen from all other Wars since, it is an other solemn day to reflect on with the 20 November Transgender Day of Remembrance.
During the Wars which disguise themselves by being hatred between Nations, there is another human context which seldom is considered but is responsible for the violation and murder of many fellow citizens and that is purely on the basis of their sexuality.
It was in times of War all differences were sought out and primarily it was homosexuals and the transgender population who were singled out after the Jewish people and other ethnically diverse people to kill.
They suffered just as abysmally as any Jewish person and we’re gathered up and included in mass genocide. Many countries can testify to the many thousands of their citizens who were taken and killed purely on the basis of their sexuality.
Now in 2014
The losses continue without War.
Every year more savage attacks and deaths are occurring through the basic ignorance and uncontrolled behavior of violent people.
They act alone and also together showing the worst prejudice of all,
the prejudice that cannot tolerate another human being who is different to them and shows their own hate to be their inadequacy and being unaccepting of difference.
Continuing Hidden
There is no doubt this continuing death toll is hidden and not discussed in the communities it happens in. Some of those countries where it is a crime to be Homosexual have even less tolerance for Transgender individuals.
The whole continent of Africa is in a dangerous conflict with itself.
With the fragility of each nation coming out of War and Oppression, of
dealing with continued exploitation and corruption or entering into further conflict and displacement the continent has many problems to deal with.
Africa at odds with Africa
The oppression and exploitation of Women continues to set back the future of Africa by Centuries. The aids epidemic and sexual history of Africa is a fundamental indicator of the fractured future progress of democratic freedom and Human Rights advances.

As part of the reasoning Nations offer within Africa offer for their state measure of control they resort to violence and prison when confronted with someone whose sexuality does not meet with their approval.
Far less than understanding the law given to us by The Lord to ‘Love thy Neighbour’ the persons who cannot understand basic Human Rights and fail to see the promise which providing Equality of Human Rights would have on them individually and collectively, go down the route of their forefathers and reject learning which God put us on this world to do.
We are here to learn Gods ways and accept the natural order of things and alleviate pain and suffering wherever it is found. We then should share it with others.
In Africa there is an inherent Law of justice written in everyone’s heart which is either suppressed or exploited. To exploit that Law everyone must respect their own family and then their neighbours family.
The breakdown of family in Africa is foremost a basic lack of resources to meet the modern world and it’s challenges. This breakdown is a legacy of colonial states and the imitation of Western corruption severely slowing down any advances with exploitation by the likes of China and American Universities believe it or not massive obstacles to self determination.
Some youth in Africa believe the modern worlds greatest inventions are weapons of Individual and mass destruction.
Weaponry is the least constructive thing at hand. It cannot create crops or medicine nor can weapons overthrow an enemy. The ‘enemy’ being fought is in the perpetrator themselves. The menace eats away at the perpetrator until they can themselves no longer bargain with their own demons.
They spread their disease quickly to others and hatred defines them despite the calls of acting for a higher authority.

Like the girl looking into the well The Lord is within us and it is without question the most compelling thing mankind can rely on.
You only have to recognize your own instincts for goodness that overwhelm any darkness that might arise and know the greater is willed by God in you.
Where else would it come from?

NI Human Rights Festival events include ‘The Plight of Congoleses Women’
at Crescent Arts Centre Belfast on 12 Dec 2014 a free event from 5.30 to 7.30pm being organized by Mimi Unamoyo (Empowering BME Women) and NICRAS see and Facebook is /nihrf twitter is @NIHRF or #
This also coincides with the worldpressphoto2014 visiting Belfast in which New Zealander Robin Hammond gave a talk on his campaigns in Africa putting on record the maltreatment of LGBT and Mental Health people with some very harrowing and starkly direct images of these areas and issues as found. If further information is of interest see and the other World Press Photo 2014 site
Which freely upload images for your own personal use.
Any images there can of course be obtained directly from the PhotogrPher credited. The use in conjunction with raising awareness is distinctly an advantage given the directness and the professionalism of the Photographers going to see for themselves and recording it.
The mental Health Image above is from Robin Hammonds collection.

I have included at the foot of this blog a direct lift of text from
This relates directly to the horrific abuse and sometimes death in conflict and in transit sometimes under the noses of the NGOs.
Europe in the Frame
Even in European countries it is treated as a hidden thing and through it being an indictment against any country seeing itself as forward thinking and a democracy, it is a taint on that countries psyche.

The intolerance is of course as all intolerances due to ignorance.

A basic lack of understanding is at the heart of most all fears and prejudices. They are formed in our heads and the teachings of the communities in which these acts occur are to blame for their contiuance.

Change must happen now and change can happen now.



The feelings for mankind are at the heart of this intolerance as are most gaps in our basic knowledge. Feelings of hatred eminate from the same biology of all of us, only in some it is a malfunction they cannot or will not recognise.

Even as medical advances are made to remove peoples suffering through sophisticated reading of medicines and human physiology there is a primitive lack in the human mind which needs radically confronted through the neurological examinations which conflict with our very existence.

There is no preordained instruction to eradicate anyone of difference.
Instead their is a preordained instruction to love thy neighbour.


Transgender identity struggles with the many consideration within its community to try to find ways of communicating and Transgender Day of Remembrance is one significant bridge.
This is a Human Rights blog devoted to Human Rights.
There is also a subsaharan African Website with many contacts and directions on the issues directly.

There needs to be a bridge. It was at a service held to commemorate the losses of this and past years I was privileged to hear Francis Sheils speak for many thousands, hundreds of thousands of Transgender and LGBT community people who are continually facing prejudice simply on the basis of their sexuality.


Here is the address on Sunday 16 November 2014 in Belfast by Francis Sheils.

Transgender Day of Remembrance 20/11/2014

In preparing what I was going to say today, I was reminded of a performance event I attended, delivered by an American Quaker friend of mine Peterson Toscano, who besides being a writer and performer is a noted biblical scholar, he also happens to be gay and was researching the Bible for evidence of a loving God who had created him and accepted him in his imperfection.

During this research he continually came across individuals who were not expressing the gender roles typical of their sex and expected at that time in their culture.
He gradually recognised that these individuals were transgressing and transcending the typical gender roles of their times.
One of the characters he examines is Joseph, the 2nd youngest son of Jacob, whose sons went on to found 10 of the 12 tribes of Israel.

Joseph is very different from his brothers, he is described in the text as troubled and having regular dreams. He is his father’s favourite son and he is given a garment by his dad a tetromathazine (please forgive my Hebrew), there is definitive description of the garment , nor meaning for the word tetromathazine.
This is the only place in Genesis where the word appears.
Anyway, one day Joseph is sent out by his father to deliver a message to his brothers, I think they were tending the sheep, and on seeing him the brothers set upon him and gave him a severe beating and tore the garments from him, covered it in his blood and sell him into slavery in Egypt.

Years pass and a famine comes, the crops fail and the brothers go to Egypt to get grain.
They meet Joseph, who by this stage is 2nd in command in Egypt and they don’t recognise him because of all the makeup, finery and jewellery.

What does Joseph do? He doesn’t exact vengeance which would have been the expected act of a Jewish male, an eye for an eye a tooth for a tooth.
No he acts like the mother hen and protects and feeds his family as only a mother hen would do.

Peterson researched and researched and finally came across the word tetromathazine in one other place, 2nd Samuel where it is used when King David gives his daughter Tamar the garment before she is defiled by her half brother.
It is very clear from this particular passage that the garment is a princess dress given to a virgin daughter on the eve of her wedding.

It is not hard to imagine the same violence being visited on Transgender women today, particularly women of colour, where they are beaten black and blue, their bodies defiled and their clothes destroyed in acts of fury.

I challenge anyone hearing that story not to think of TDoR in future when they hear any of the Lloyd Webber songs from ‘Joseph and his Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat’.

Transgender Day of Remembrance is marked each year on the 20th November.
It is the most solemn day of the Transgender calendar.
The day was first marked in the USA in November 1999 to remember those Transgender individuals killed due to prejudice or hatred.

The day raises awareness of hate violence against Transgender individuals, provides a space for public mourning and honours the lives of Transgender individuals who otherwise might be forgotten.
The day was founded in response to the transphobic murder of Rita Heesters on 28/11/1998.

The day is now marked world-wide and in 2013 was formally marked in over 180 cities in 30 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, North America and Oceania.

Between 1st October 2013 and 30th September 2014 there were 226 known victims of transphobic murder , not to mention the countless Transgender individuals who took their own lives by suicide that we don’t know of, rather than face the world as their true selves.
Research from a number of studies show that 40% of Transgender individuals attempt suicide at least once before seeking treatment for their Gender Dysphoria (the medical term for Transsexualism – the medical term for the condition that affects us).

Unfortunately for the first time since we began organising this service, we are aware of one young Transgender woman JORDAN HOWE who completed suicide in Northern Ireland earlier this year.

Her friend Capri will be reminding us later of this unique individual whose life was cut too short before she got the chance to let us all see her individual God given talents.

With her family’s permission We are specially dedicating our service today to her memory and ask that you remember her family particularly , that they find solace and can come to terms with their very sad loss when we come to our act of remembrance.

For the past 5 years Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR) has been marked by events in Belfast on the actual day 20th November.

Last year for the 3rd time there was also a formal act of worship in All Souls Church in Belfast on the Sunday prior to the day.
We find ourselves gathered here again at the kind invitation of Rev. Chris and the Congregation of All Souls to remember our dead brothers and sisters, no longer with us just because of society’s attitudes towards us.

I want to take this opportunity to thank you all but particularly Linda Ballard for making such an effort to accept us into your midst and going out of your way to make us feel part of your community rather than apart from it.

I was at a service recently where the Minister told the story of an old man from Fermanagh who had to leave the family homestead that had been in the family from time immemorial and move into the town as he could no longer look after himself nor the “bastes”.

Anyway he takes his young granddaughter out to see the place and shows her round and he comes to the well that provided water for the family down through all the generations, they’re about to leave when the wee girl asks him, “ Granda, where does God Live?”
He lifts her up over the well and tells her to look down and asks her “What do you see?”
And he replies “ Well that’s where God lives , he lives in everyone of us”

As we move to the more solemn elements of our Remembrance Service today, Let us all remember that God lives in each one of us and in all of those Murdered Transgender individuals and those who have completed suicide.

That completes the address given by Francis Sheils.

The Service was a memorial in dedication of Jordan Howe.


Innate Goodness
People have, I believe an innate sense of goodness which inhabits the same mind which has the latent urges of self or wider destruction.
This in Religious terms is accepting the flaws exist.

At the forefront of Nazism was a belief in the principle perfection which has
never had a rational nor any element of goodness.
Human nature carries us, not ultimate perfection. Hence our desire to express our community in societies of many shades, colours and unity.

The person who accepts the world for what it is can be truly accepting of all others. It was as Jesus asked of us to believe in the everlasting existence beyond our measure that has within us the ability to do no harm.

That is our simplest task and yet so many go against God and the natural law believing only they can define the world. They wish others to comply with their thoughts. God has not delivered anyone other than Jesus to speak to us. God in human form and we can take Gods wisdom to turn away from hatred and violence.

Nations have survived famine and climatic disaster with the main constituent being the assistance of other nations.

Under Gods law there is enough for all and their is a saying we are all equal under the Sun as we indisputably are under God.
No one can determine their time on earth.

From the record of the website




Murders have taken place in all major WORLD REGIONS

• including Africa, Asia, Central and South America, Europe, North America and Oceania

• In Europe there have been 90 killings in 13 countries.













Help all who feel as Jordan Howe did find through talking to Professional Medical Advisors or through first step conversations with someone who is aware of the problems Transgender people face, find the strength to come to the conclusion they are equal to anyone they care to mention and have around them more who love them than would ever hate them.

In fact the people who are closest in your own society support you and continue to strive to make things better for everyone in their community and the world. You too are a part of that journey.
That is the vast majority of people’s standard reaction.
Because you cannot read it, or it is not apparent does not make it false.
The perception can be as damaging as the image it creates in your head.

A clear head may not be yours presently which is all the more reason to develop a conversation to get to the heart of your selfs journey.
There will be someone fully ware of the issues you are dealing with and can with a clear head guide you.
The fact is the ability to deal with issues that arise are becoming more clear to society and clarification of what is a complex part of ones identity is highly advanced given the right advice.

This in itself is not advice but a personal viewpoint which in itself seeks to guide you towards those with a very proven appreciation of Transgender identity and the advice is freely given.

A first point of call would be your own GP who should know specialist advisors and the service providers on Gender related issues.

The website mentioned above is primarily dealing with the issue of Public Information and Education.

There are other websites which will deal with the more direct issues of Transgender identity. The clear message is that there are very many aspects to the help and sharing concerns which can be addressed and dealt with by people whose experience far outweighs any individual. The raft of information is of itself something which can help greatly.

The fact is Trans respect versus Trans phobia is a means of creating Public awareness and is the paradigm, the model to communicate.
It has links to local groups and shares histories and a catalogue of very conscious experience on related Gender matters.


For the memory of Jordan Howe TDoR 20 November 2014.

The people who do not understand, simply do not understand.
It is up to society to adjust not the other way round.
Wherever you go in the world build bridges and take the message of inclusiveness with you. It is basically Gods Message.

Jesus sat down with all who he found to be vulnerable and ill at ease.
He assured them of the way of The Lord who would walk alongside and deliver them from all evil. It is Gods wish we talk amongst each other to know the way.

John Graham

20 November 2014


Further events and Notices


12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
HERE NI, Belfast
This training organised by HERE NI will give participants a chance to talk openly about sexual orientation, it will run through some of the effects of homophobia on LGBTQ people and will give participants valuable information on language, changing attitudes and how to be more inclusive.
To register for this event contact: by Friday 5th December.


4:00 pm – 6:30 pm
Long Gallery, Parliament Buildings Stormont, Belfast
This transgender Human Rights mini conference presented by Focus: The Identity Trust will examine gender recog­nition legislation in the UK and the Republic of Ireland and will also examine all areas of the lives of transgender and intersex individuals where they experience difficulty in accessing and enjoying the same basic human rights as the rest of society. Meave Mc Laughlin MLA Chair of the Health committee and Focus Identity Trust are delighted to welcome keynote speakers Lord Carlile and Aengus O’Snodaigh TD, who both proposed the first ever gender recognition bills in their own jurisdiction.
To register for this event contact:

There are many many more events on so check out the website to see what you can engage with.


Despite the war formally ending with a peace agreement almost a decade ago, the Democratic Republic of Congo continues to be embroiled in a violent and deadly conflict. Having claimed at least 5.4 million lives since the outbreak of war in 1998, the country has also received the unwelcome distinction as the rape capital of the world.

Its strategic importance, as well as bountiful natural resources—raw minerals, land, and fresh water—are a longstanding source of tension within the Congo. The 1994 Rwandan Genocide, which brought an influx of 1.5 million people over the border into North and South Kivu, exacerbated preexisting hostilities in the area. Disputes over citizenship and land ownership only compounded ethnic rivalries and weak governance structures.

“We are always send by our chiefs who tells us “Do this!” Despite your refusal they oblige you to do it; otherwise you will be beaten seriously. As a result, you will do it unwittingly. And you can even rape because of that.” Rape in War: Motives of Militia in DRC, United States Institute of Peace, 2010

Aging Congolese dictator Mobutu Sese Seko had been aggravating inequality among the population, throwing the country into a steep economic decline over time. An uprising born in the eastern provinces, supported by Rwanda and Uganda, seized the fragile moment and moved rapidly on the capital. Yet, new President Laurent Kabila soon gained the wrath of his foreign allies, embroiling the entire region into a continental war in 1998.

While a peace agreement in 2002 was to end to the fighting, violence still characterizes daily life. Especially in North and South Kivu provinces, Congolese rebels and foreign groups remain active and significant military operations by the state have been launched in recent years. In northeastern Province Orientale, there has been renewed fighting with the incursion of the Lord’s Resistance Army.

More than 400,000 women ages 15 to 49 experienced rape between 2006 and 2007 in the Democratic Republic of Congo. That is equivalent to 1,152 women raped every day, 48 women raped every hour, or four women raped every five minutes. If Numbers Could Scream: Estimates and Determinants of Sexual Violence in the Republic of the Congo, American Public Health Association, 2011

Efforts were made to demobilize and integrate fighters into a new Congolese force or reintegrate them into communities, yet the project has faced a massive challenge. Continuing violence provides an incentive to return to old allegiances, with numerous desertions from the army and program. The attraction of mineral wealth has posed an additional challenge and provided extra income to rebel groups, armed gangs, and major political players alike—further aggravating institutional disorder which provides ideal circumstances for committing widespread human rights violations without punishment.

Rape and gender violence in The Democratic Republic of Congo has been marked by extreme brutality including rape, gang rape, genital mutilation, sexual slavery, and insertion of objects into cavities.

“You know, [rape] is also because of the suffering from being hungry, not having anything, living like animals [tozovivre lokola banyama] … Even the dogs here eat better than us! We were hungry yesterday, today hungry and tomorrow hungry [nzala lobi, nzala lelo, nzala lisusu lobi]. Also when we get it, you should see it: look at this! [pointing to plate with dark fufu on the ground]. When we get something this is what we get. Not even the pigs would eat it. Also, is this food for soldiers in combat who have to walk long distances and carry heavy weapons? It also makes people angry and anger makes you want to do bad stuff. Rape is also part of that. But it is not good.” The Complexity of Violence: a critical analysis of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nordic Africa Institute, 2010

As the conflict is fought within communities, violence occurs mostly in homes, villages, and in the fields where people work. Communities are often targeted for conspiring with the enemy or are looted after a skirmish. The Congolese security forces have also been known to loot (and commit acts of sexual violence on the civilian population) due to unpaid salaries or during mutinies against officers. All sides in the conflict have committed systematic rape and gender violence including the foreign-backed groups, local rebels, community-based militia—the Mai Mai, as well as the Congolese state forces.

Reasons for rape by armed men, whether belonging to the government army, rebel group or foreign-backed group, are varied. These include systematic humiliation to counter men’s growing frustration at deteriorating status in society, to breed insecurity and fear in communities, and Mai Mai members have additionally stated that rape provides “magical powers” before combat.

The incidence of rape remains highest in areas where military operations take place, yet there has been a sharp rise in gender violence throughout the whole of the country. The severe gender imbalance, with prevailing impunity, has allowed for a society where rape is acceptable and unpunished. Domestic violence, rape by former troops living within communities, and by men in positions of power—including police officers—is common. Survivors still lack comprehensive support, and are often too ashamed and fearful to come forward.

“The majority of women were attacked in their own homes and most attacks happened during the evenings and nights. This pattern is in contrast to that found in other recent conflicts in Africa, where rape is reported primarily when women go out in search of water or firewood, when they are farming their fields or when their village is attacked.” Now the World is Without Me: An Investigation of Sexual Violence in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative & Oxfam, 2010

Data to document the prevalence of male rape is being gathered, yet male survivors are still often silent, with little access to medical or psychosocial support. Testimonies point to an increase of systematic male rape with military operations in 2009—the last push by Congo to remove foreign forces from the Kivu region.

Impunity reigns within the Democratic Republic of Congo, and despite the government’s acknowledgement that its own security forces constitute one of the main groups of perpetrators, comprehensive reforms to the security sector have not been enacted. Known perpetrators of mass human rights violations remain within the army and major hurdles remain to provide the Congolese with a security force that is a protector rather than an instigator of gender violence.

Best Wishes and Thank you for getting to the bottom of my blog completed this Transgender Day of Remembrance 2014.

The Imitation Game : A Film Review

imageDirected by: Morten Tyldum. Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, Charles Dance, Mark Strong, Allen Leech, Tuppence Middleton, Rory Kinnear. 113 min. 12a.

Miscalculations beyond Mathematics
The Manchester of 1951 is an unlikely starting point for this Film’s tale of wartime miraculous secrecy and labourious detective work led by the deducing skills of the misfit, the duxes, the venerable seer of Sherlock, Benedict Cumberbatch who is mercurially adept at giving his all as the private detective his alter ego is.
If proof were needed BC plays the role of Alan Turing with accomplished anti-heroic finesse ably assisted by KK of whom more later.
Solutions are hard to come by in wartime and this film begins with the problematic fact of a break-1in at his Manchester home. The story is beginning at the playing out of the end episode of his truly claustrophobic life.
This tale is veristic and shows the ugly contemptible side of Sovereign life willing us to War, with its raw vindictive hurtful ruling class, power and authority pressing forward into War.
The Sovereignty again the despising foe after the War seems to be hung on the deplorable inhumane treatment of same sex relationships, with hypocrisy it seeks to obliterate vice or any foreseen sin.
The timescale of a film is such that to deliver the goods, and this film undoubtedly does, it is ambitious, framing it over three time periods.
The early school period, the post war period and the whole central arena of code breaking and the hazards, mostly human obstacles that are put in his way. The periods intersect and occur as script messengers. There is with the early period a film within a film about he young Alan Turing. A brilliant evocation of child sanctuary. It maybe a momentary relief and escape for us from the despair of the War beginning to overwhelm those in the line of fire. Certainly the expression of Alan’s earlier years are very incisive with the caveat the character traits are over elaborated.
History Recalls
When the Labour Party came to power after the war, it was after many had signed up within the army itself; a whole movement of the British Labour movement was sweeping into place.Denis Healey a Major, etc. mobilised a Socialist backlash in and after the War which Winston Churchill had not foreseen.
The man born in Blenheim was as good a wingman for the ruling classes and the Monarchy as could be imagined. The Blenheim thing is a remarkable history of working in concert with Sovereignty. He had the brains to make war winnable.
Oddly the film only makes a few references to the colossus (the official name of the AT machine also) Winston Churchill was in the very actions of Bletchley Park. The American influence he brought also lacking along with the actual USA connections.
The instrument of the fight back, of which he and the American forces could direct, in the knowledge certain things were foretold to them by Alan Turings breakthrough and was a basis of winning the War and ending it soonest. Hitler had overrun twenty four nations at least before Alan Turing came to Bletchley.
The absence of Churchill was an avoidance perhaps of the ruthless nature of his perceived wisdom and of his overseers and alliance to the Monarchy whose very existence was at the centre of the onslaught Hitler had framed. Churchill is incredibly difficult to read and that is because he was a polymath who through his life extolled the abolition of the House of Lords as it failed to represent thee ole and he foresaw the bitterness of the Irish being unable to design their own future as well as becoming in later life ‘devoted’ to Sufism as a way of dealing what had occurred.
It is also closely associated with mindfulness and the good grace to reflect and move on.
The Second World War was a completely savage animal.
It destroyed its children and ate the remains of souls and through the higher atonement of hopeless narratives of the likes of C.S.Lewis produced ‘Godless’ given lies to comfort the deranged, billeted, shock burnt, hovel dwelling, barrack bound dutiful meat of war as plenty.
The painful narrative was never exhumed.
Cause and Intent
Somewhere the common cause was unified. The aims of Monarchy, the Spirit of Freedom in the people.
Within the War were to be found the extremities of human brutality and from whatever standpoint, it began as a assault against a ferociously violent and destructive force it revealed more than humanity could have imagined.
The confusion of the aims of des Fuhrer and the hidden atrocities as concentration camps that reconnaissance must have identified were unknown by and large to the British Public yet they fought knowing the reality of the menace was no less than their loss of liberty.
Also unknown to the military and public were the levels of ‘higher’ intelligence and the technological background war which in the field basic radio phones and radar instruments much less penetratable.
The film highlights the duality of positions and their intractable evaluation in the moment. It can be no different now.
Counterfeit of Counterfactual Thoughts
Into this fog of War The Imitation Game looms large as the analog and cerebal force which took on the enemy and its cause of domination what ever it would conceivably become.
The arms in this case; the empowerment of the mechanisms of the fight, came in the form of manpower and brainpower.
Code-breakers are needed in all guises and the oddity that Benedict plays with elegant restraint and masterly eccentricity, is summoned to Bletchley to join a team being assembled to face the challenge set by the Naval Campaign being fought by the Germans in the seas off England. The food supplies to England from American where hitting the bottom of the sea.
And you are?
Occupying the interviewee seat in the empty office of Commander Alex. Dennison (Charles Dance) whose task it is to run the show and achieve results AT is harangued on his aptitude and self warranted and illustrious reputation and it wil come as no surprise that he is given a position on the team, of about five. Another component is present at the following team meeting in the grand setting of one of Bletchley House magnificent dining rooms. This is the relay officer back to Government. It is Mark Strong as the implement of MI6. His role is a greater characterisation which is complemented, the only complimentary mind to AT other than his own hireling KK. His playing is a constant. The acerbic and moderately ridiculous Commander is not played with the same astute learned reading as that of Mark Strong. The team who are like different faces of a dice and Alan Turing is the joker, the icicle supreme thinker whose tolerance; it works both ways, of these fellow skilled code breakers is something in which events construct connections are – Hugh Alexander (Matthew Goode), John Cairncross ( Allen Leech) and supposed Peter Hilton (Matthew Beard) with the director barely noticing this mathematician.
Formidable jobs and the need to get along exceptionally well is harvested through the initial contests for recognition. Others needed to express their own skills while Turing began the process he had created in his head. Hugh Alexander is a handsome Lothario who has it seems studied the essentials in the battle royale between the sexes by means of being a superior reader of flirtation which is the prologue to the fun times he relies on. It is well played and is another central character to provide dynamic and the contrapuntal story brought along efficiently but with a little clichéd hero and anti hero of the sort found in ‘Hotspur’ or ‘Boys Own’ ‘Eagle’ (and yes young ones there were little hero comics around even during wartime and they were full of manly types as the welsh might say) and the aim in the film which it achieves is to fulfill a history with little room for fault.
Alan Turing is much quieter and considered in his appreciation of the importance of the work but that is due to his higher confidence in breaking the code through a method he has constructed through long calculations which culminate in his own ‘Enigma’ machine. The others mainly do appreciate the task but are full of doubt.
Totnes got there earlier
Down in a room in Totnes, Somerset, there is a machine I once saw which in itself was staggering to encounter. The reason for going into the small establishment was mere curiousity. The Turing machine was an analog computer which relied on processing voltages and we see in the 1951 era the machine in his Manchester House which he continues to develop as a programmable device it comes in at about half the size.
What I saw was Charles Babbage’s extrordinary adding machine or difference calculus which was the precursor of the ‘analog’ and the pressure computer.
It not only looked beautiful, it was full of symmetry and appeared as a vision, as divining musical instrument. It was so long ago one fixed memory that remains with me is the winding spiral stair at one side which had as a handrail a very thick bound rope and you would ascend the stair to look down into the innards of this machine holding this fibre handrail which itself evoked a sense of ‘difference’. It was hard not to take in this truly groundbreaking technology.
It was built before 1871. Mr Babbage lived to the age of 79.
Encryption German style was their Enigma enciphering machine created for commercial use in the early 1920s and modified later and put into commission by the German and allies for military use in World War II.
Early Turing
His early childhood appears in segments throughout and we slide back down to the four foot tall Alan (Alex Lawther) whose handling of the part is very very impressive Jack Bannon) with whom he finds a kinship is equally strong.
It is here in the public school environment Alan Turing discovers so early in his life the difference he is among his fellow strand of humanity.
Christopher reads the mind of Alan fairly astutely and encouragingly he introduces him to what will be contained in his life, code breaking.
This element is as good and as important a composite in the telling of the life of Turing as the main body of the film. It is handled very well and while no part of the film explores his homosexuality and only makes a guess at what the need for a friend like Christopher indicated.
One portion of his hireling, found with a typically left field exercise is the cellular composition that resides inside the beautifully formed head of KK.
He doesn’t bat an eyelid or twitch his toes uncontrollably when Kiera Knightly comes on the scene. She comes with a crossword solving mind which impresses, besides her starry eyes and profound beauty is a woman with common ethics and standards. The machine invented by Turing has her, Joan Clarke as a formidable component in the jigsaw that breaks the code. How the machine Alan Turing has constructed finds a way to operate. Its operating system is given its own language by a whole permutation of all the minds in the Bletchley Park compound.
The figurative language of humans is the remarkable component of our relation to this story and the eventualities which we are still, after so many years, having to be courageous in facing further understanding of the history which has us where we are. The past is still concealed despite its having happened.
Bletchley had many serried ranks of women intercepting, noting every morse code message and the period detail of the film is illuminating.
The scenes between Cumberbatch and Knightly are the finest in the film and they have no shock value and play up the more than spiritual bond and it is akin to – without creating a quantum leap hopefully – their common knowledge; they are a pair of the most prodigious minds in the country, is summoning Plato whose ideas of impermanent physical objects (Alan and Joan) representing preformed unchanging ideas which are out with reach. Their shared knowledge of this is not uniform as Joan has set of relationship histories she can rely on. The peril is the fact there is no such element within AlanTuring which makes his fault lines obvious to him and unbridgeable. It is during this performance by Benedict Cumberbatch the evidence is sublimely advanced for a more relative and accurate assessment of a hidden life as far as that may exhume the demons and be of greater importance and value.
It is possible people may not be aware of this unconventional life and the Egham, Surrey (nr. Runnymede who always try to claim it) preserve of British high intelligence and it is still an unpardonable travesty of a persons humanity that his sexuality was to be the source of his destruction.
In a society in which he invented a means to bring closer the end of the monsters trail of barbarity, he was treated as a leper.
The knives were out and it is a vengefulness which has a very strange element even with the complexities of the times.
The Imitation Game gives no further insights but fleshes out the history in a clever and well formed way without venturing onto the landscape of Alan Turings struggles and his own perception of his sexuality and his desires for close relationships.
The strange things are never really uncovered and it is a rare case when they are.
The more compelling and important part, even underscored here; despite the initial simulated bombing footage mixed into war footage, and though it had a tragic end, is that Alan Turing saved countless lives and put down a blueprint for rational and considered judgement against the real prospect of another Attila crossing the globe and destroying the lives of nations living in peace. His politics are agnostic it seems.
Screen Portrayal
The script is constructed in a time honored methodical adherence to type which seldom fails to loose you. The complex workings of Alan Turings gayness only is a recitation in overdub and never shows him in contact with anyone of the same sex – in keeping with the sullen, theatrical – it sometimes appears as if it is a play – protective pithy way some English film mainstream narratives attempt at filling too many boxes.

It ashamedly is marketed on the fall off of this past weeks commemorative events which cast back to the First World War and gets plenty of demerits on that alone as it is not of any further insight as far as the 100 year gap is concerned. That may be pushing cynicism to an extreme but could it not have appeared sooner and not in direct relation?

It is a film for which several accolades are due and hopefully a gong or two get to firstly, Benedict Cumberbatch, secondly, Kiera Knightly, and thirdly possibly something to be found for Mark Strong who balancing of the players at times makes this a very accomplished treatment.
Morten Tyldum. Honest this was the biggest available photo at the time!
Conclusion #### 4
Excellent polished film but not many surprises. Superb cast and excellent period Cinematography.
For a time when we are constantly reminded of War past and ongoing there is something of conscious restraint and painful regret that this film does not hit as hard say as The Dambusters or even Oh what a Lovely War and many other stories of War. The reason is it is set in the machinations of strategy and preparation.
The English backdrop is one of intrigue and intelligence coupled with fear and foreboding. The War is barely imagined within the film, except through simulated footage and World at War reels during it, and in the Maps sometimes referred to and an excerpt inside London. Time allows more.
This off theatre of War is able to direct us to the aims and conditions for War. The terrible actions of weaponry is seen on a large scale and the machine against machine is in counterbalance with the intelligence trail led by the likes of Alan Turing whose part in deciphering through his own genius the Enigma Coding frame is put into brilliant focus.
The talents of Benedict Cumberbatch and Kiera Knightly show in deciphering their characters with cleverness and adducent period authority enough hopefully for a few gongs. Is there a hesitancy in not treating Alan Turing’s sexuality more forthrightly a play towards larger audiences say in America? Is that really part of the deal with films of a very important central subject? Some scenes could have been dropped without loosing a great deal I would venture

Well worth the effort of going to see. It will undoubtedly pick up a few wards but which ones is down to the subjective minds of the judges.

At QFT Belfast from Friday 14 November to Thursday 27 November 2014

Magna est veritas, et praevalebit

Truth is great and will prevail.

Tourism Information.
Bletchley Park is open to visitors and is just past Runnymede.
On the South Bank of the Thames West of London.
The people of Runnymede can soon be found celebrating the granting of the Magna Carta 800 years ago in 1215 by King John.
It was only after the people coerced him of course! and though we still are under the illusion the rights of man are known these were thought at the time the basis of any fundamental constitution or law guaranteeing rights and liberties.
Wallingford is further down the Thames near Reading and gets is name from the route ‘forded’ by William the Conqueror (Duke of Normandy) in 1066, (not to be confused with Wilhelm 1) choosing to go north past London.
That way he survived and so the song goes ‘From a Duke to King!.’
Is it near the ‘Ford Escort’ factory in Reading I wonder?
Or did they make the Capri there? I’ll have to Google it.

Totnes is nowhere near the above and it is unlikely to be the source of the Thames either! More Googling but the Babbage Computer is a phenomenal object and it is pre-industrial revolution whatever that may signify!