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Uncle Barb's

"I wanted to invent myself as a fictional character. And I did,
and it has caused a great deal of confusion."

- Jeanette Winterson -

Joy

Blog entries prior to February 2011 are still on my old WordPress site. If you are interested, you can read them at this link.

Why I love Scotty Bradley

Greg Herren

Greg Herren's wild tales about Scotty Bradley make me happy.

The alternative lifestyle, meaning a relationship triad, is not rationalized, analyzed by common morals, presented as anything but a loving and complicated family. Scotty and Frank and Colin are who they are and it is wonderful and sexy and complicated but never justified or judged.

View from the Couch - January 2014

Colette and Janney

View from the Couch

When writing the original View from the Couch articles for Inside/Out Hudson Valley, as the deadline approached, I would sweat bullet points. Years away from that, I'm finding motivation to write these kind of articles again. So here is the latest edition.

Oscars

Philomena starring Judi Dench

Anyone who has followed my reviews over the years, knows well my disdain for the Oscars and the small relevancy they have to anything but the box office. That said, I have a few opinions.

August: Osage County

Meryl Streep August: Osage County

Definitely among the finalists on my list for Best Picture. I'm giving it 5 stars.

Promos for the film refer to it as a "hilarious, dark comedy", well don't be fooled. Yes, you will laugh, but this is not a comedy nor is it hilarious. Ironic, yes; sardonic, yes; hilarious, no.

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

Karen Fowler We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

Karen Joy Fowler

This novel provided the rare experience of knocking my socks off. Brilliant!

As I've recommended this book to friends, I have told them to avoid reading synopsis of the book or really anything that might give away the plot, including the inside jacket blurb. Go into it without preconceived ideas, I promise it is worth it.

Fowler's two previous novels were lightweights compared to We Are Completely Beside Ourselves. This book stands way above most modern fiction. Yep, it is a compelling, engaging story, but it is also a dynamic model of life and relationships.

We Are Completely Beside Ourselves tops my list for best books I've read in 2013.

Brit Marling

Brit Marling

I highly recommend watching this young woman's career, so far it has been exceptional.

Having recently viewed two films co-written and starring Brit Marling, I'm hooked. Both films are intelligent and compelling with action and subplots. I've just loved them!

This Must Be the Place

This Must Be the Place

Sean Penn and Frances McDormand are brilliant in this little sleeper that I only caught because of the good taste of Tree McElhinney. Ultimately I was very confused and didn't follow the twist of events, but the filmography and acting were worth the time. Can someone out there explain Tony to me? Is Cheyenne also Tony? 

4 out of 5 even with the confusion.

If I Were You

If I Were You

Marcia Gay Harden gave a Judi Dench of a performance in this contrived comedy that ultimately shines because of star quality acting.

Harden is subtle, reserved, and refined, even while making Lucy Ball like faces. Her performance glued me to my seat waiting for her next line. Leonor Watling was charming as the mistress to Harden's wife. Filmed in Toronto, the apartments and street scenes were lovely. There are just so many reasons to watch this film. The film gets 3.75 out of 5 and a 5 for 5 for Marcia Gay Harden

Cloudburst

Cloudburst (Dukakis, Fricker)

"Any mop can give you an orgasm."

Within minutes of the opening, Stella (Olympia Dukakis) says "Any mop can give you an orgasm." I started laughing at that point and was charmed and fell in love and had a laughter orgasm all mine own. Cloudburst is as beautiful as the clouds, "like a donkey carrying 2 nuns & a beagle racing across the sky".

Thom Fitzgerald wrote and directed this brilliant lesbian film with such finesse and power as to make me swoon.

Loose Canons 'Mine vaganti'

Loose Canons, Ozpetek Scamarcio

Ferzan Ozpetek delivers another gem.

Loose Canons is as light and fluffy as a rom-com, but made substantial and reflective through art. I just loved this film.
I certainly rank Ozpetek in the top five filmmakers working today. He is fuckin' brilliant.

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