Sunday, May 16, 2021

Halston 2021

I suppose I can lukewarmly recommend this latest potboiler from the house of Ryan Murphy. It's watchable for sure, what with all those clothes, sexy scenes and little nuggets of gossip and dirt dropped here and there. My problem with it was my total disgust and hatred of Halston who thankfully I never met, and all those pathetic souless creatures that were and probably still are part of that scene. I was never comfortable around the very rich and the very famous unless I was comfortably drunk and stoned and even then they gave me what Cliff Westermann would call the creeping whoopies. That said sure its only 5 hours of sleaze and it seems to be appealing to a large swatch of facebook people. I have to say if I see one more Liza with a Z impersonation I shall scream. She seems to be popping up in every series I've been watching lately. Oh there she is in Fosse/Verdon and now again here she is in Halston. I also was not smitten with Ewan McGregor playing him, and it has nothing to do with a straight actor playing a character. I could care less and how many gay actors and actresses have played straight since cinema began. McGregor is a very likable but limited actor, and he brings a big sack of camp to the role. I would have much preferred if Michael Fassbender had done the role. Anyway knock yourselves out with this one.

Saturday, May 15, 2021

The Literatus


The Literatus

 The Literatus just published 5 of my recent mixed pieces. you can view them on pags. 86,87,88,89,90. Will post the images for those who can't download it. Here is the link

Shame 2011


Dismal and depressing story about a young man who has a sex addition that is out of control and pulling him down. Set in a somewhat desolate New York City that made me immediately think of our pandemic year especially in a beautifully shot tracking scene of a very late night run by our main man from the East side of Manhattan where he lives to 7th ave which is on the west side of the city. Our “hero” is movie star handsome and is played by Michael Fassbender who is movie star handsome. He works in what I assume is a high tech company that we never learn much about, and lives in one of those sterile high rise but expensive apartments that line the streets and neighborhoods of New York City that is as empty as he is. Michael dresses well but his clothes are without style or taste, they are ugly. He is not capable of intimacy, which I suppose is a common trait among sex addicts. He uses sex workers literally night and day, and when not doing that he is pleasuring himself in the john at work and other places including after hours Gay clubs so he swings both ways when necessary. When not doing his doing he is watching porn on his laptop. I can’t and won’t judge him but for all of this he is not having fun. I’ve known a few sex addicts and they always seemed to be having a good time.  The movie is full of a sad scenes and into this sadness comes his really troubled lost younger sister who is a sometime lounge singer and party girl for all occasions. Acted well by Carey Mulligan who has a moment in a club where she sings a melancholic version of New York, New York that is definitely not Liza or Frank’s version. The film directed by Steve McQueen is lush in its look, all shiny and glossy with most of the film taking place at night as this sort of life style usually does. There is a lot of sex and nudity mostly of Fassbender and this might quality as a guilty pleasure for some and one of the major pleasures of the movie for others. I would say as the cliché goes that watching this film was like watching a roadside car accident, you know you should move on, but you can’t stop watching. 

Friday, May 14, 2021

New Piece May 2021. Mixed.


Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Richard Nonas 1936-2021

another artist passes. Knew Richard back in the early mid 70's.

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Norman Lloyd 1914-2021


Thursday, May 06, 2021

Karl Wirsum 1939-2021

I'm getting sick and tired of marvelous artists passing while that bloated pile of orange shit still walks this earth

The Great Lie 1941


Mary Astor was having a great time in 1941 especially given the fact that she survived one of the biggest scandals in the history of scandals. Her 1936 court battle to gain custody of her young daughter from her philandering husband brought out the news that our Mary kept a diary of all her love affairs, the most famous being her trysts with the playwright George S. Kaufman. Labeled the “purple” diaries because of the ink she used by the press and public alike the ink was actually brown but looked purple to the press.  Noted and filed away.

She survived and went on to do wonderful movies including “The Maltese Falcon” in 1941 in which she played the tear stained bad girl Brigid O’ Shaughnesy. Even the name reeks of purple ink and hot house love affairs. But Mary didn’t win her Oscar that year for Falcon which she thought she should have. Instead she walked off with her plaque (in the early years Hollywood gave the supporting actors and actresses tacky plaques instead of those glorious statues. Instead she won for “The Great Lie” which I wallowed in the other week. The Warner Bros film was directed  by Edmund Goulding who gives the goods not only to Mary but also to Bette Davis who slinks and stomps through the film giving a good sympathetic turn. Her stiff upper lip nearly touches the tip of her nose. Mary meanwhile is a bitch maybe the bitch to end all bitches. Based on some woman’s novel by a now forgotten author the plot almost defies explanation but I’ll give it a go. So. Mary plays a glamorous head strong nasty but popular classical pianist who enjoys fame and fortune in a sleek Manhattan all black and white and shinny.

When the film opens she has just married the love of Bette’s life George Brent (give me a break). Bette still pines for George who is some sort of an aviator and actually lands his plane on Bette’s property in Maryland where she lives alone on her family estate. Well Bette of course hates Mary and they have a few nice and nasty scenes early on. Meanwhile it turns out that Mary’s divorce from her first hubby was not finalized so Mary and George are not legally married and George and Betty jump for joy and tie the knot themselves. Oh shit it turns out that Mary is Pregnant (they actually say the word)  and George has gone off on some war- time expedition for Uncle Sam and has crash landed in some jungle in South America and is assumed dead.

Bette is distraught but Mary is fine and is off on her concert tours. Betty suggests to Mary in one of the most outrageous plot devices I think I have ever seen in a film that she take Mary’s baby and claim it as her own so she will have something to remember of George. What follows is a great sequence in a cabin in Arizona where Bette plays Midwife to Mary and rules her life with an iron glove. No ham sandwiches for you Mary, and Bette hounds her night and day about her smoking and gives her a hard smack across her face that nearly knocks her out. These scenes are simply hysterical and high pitched and no doubt got Mary her Oscar plaque. They both chew everything is sight including the ham sandwich without pickles though.

Much more plot follows but I won’t give more away here. The cast also includes the regal and wonderful Lucille Watson as Bette’s aunt, and The great Hattie McDaniel who 2 years after winning her own Oscar plaque for Gone With The Wind is still playing a servant (I would rather play a maid then be one, she is suppose to have quipped).   Hattie is of course great and gives the role depth and feeling, and the film treats her and the other African American characters with respect and admiration something very rare in Hollywood at the time. Edmund Goulding directed some classics of Hollywood including Grand Hotel, Dark Victory and The Razor’s Edge and worked right up to the late 50’s but was shadowed and tainted by his secret life of orgies and his bi-sexuality, which was mainly made up of men. He was also taunted for being a “women’s director” which was used as a put down for gay directors including George Cukor and Mitchell Leisen.          

Monday, May 03, 2021

Jacques d' Amboise 1934-2021


Mary Beth Edelson, 1933-2021


Saturday, May 01, 2021

Olympia Dukakis 1931-2012

 The Great Olympia Dukakis has passed

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Bob Witz 1934-2021

Sorry to learn of Bob's passing. I met him in the early 70's when we lived around the corner from each other in Chelsea. We hung out with mutual friends now and again, and we traded art, this is the piece that I've had since the 70's. The paper is crumbling and I had it hanging for years but finally took it down. He was a real outsider, a legend in the art world. He was gentle, smart and a loner. He painted my loft when i got some money from an nea grant and like so many I lost touch with him. I would run into him now and again at the library on 23rd st but as I said we lost touch. Sad.

Better Things 2016-2021


It doesn’t get any better than this and just in time for Mother’s Day. . One of the best takes on a “modern woman” I've seen. I suppose I should say modern women, but I'm really focusing on the lead, the head of the family and the pusher and force behind this very good series. The show is about a single mom living in a nice house with her three spoiled daughters who really know how to push the buttons on my wanting to scream at them machine. Across the street lives her taxing and outrageous expatriate British mom played to perfection by Celia Imrie who also knows how to push buttons. Sam is an actress struggling in her vocation at age 50. Living in L.A. and  trying to get it on with her life and her work. The character Sam played by the wonderful Pamela Adlon (she also writes and directs most of the episodes) is up against it most of the time and there is truth and laughs splattered all over the place.  She tries her best to give her girls a good home, and to make a place for herself  in the dog eat dog world of Hollywood. There are men around but they are mainly just around, an ex husband, a difficult brother, a dead father who sometimes appears, a best gay friend and various other men who are sometimes boyfriends, lovers and just friends of hers. But this is about women and how they react to and with each other and to the world around them. Sometimes it’s the narrow world of Show Biz and sometimes it’s the larger petty but difficult world that intrudes on all of us. I especially like the scenes where Sam interacts with her women friends including the wonderful Alysia Reiner who comes and goes in the 3 seasons, and her dealings with the big shots who control Hollywood and her career. Let’s just say she takes no prisoners. Aldon who originally is from New York, brings my city’s tough as nails veneer to her role as a Los Angeles mom, it’s in her accent and her way of dealing with people and events. The light may be California but the Sam shadows are New York City. Her three daughters are grandly unlikable, with the exception of the youngest one played by Olivia Edward, but I took an interest in the middle one played by Hannah Alligood who is leaning Lesbian and is prickly and difficult most of the time. The oldest one acted with real annoyance for me is Mikey Madison spoiled to the very rim of the cup. Originally the show was co-written by Louis C.K. who was fired when accused of sexual harassment and transgressions.  


Tuesday, April 27, 2021

William T. Wiley 1937-2021

 Terrible News. 


 Just got the latest issue of Albatross in the mail with an etching of mine on the cover.

Saturday, April 24, 2021

April 2021. Mixed on paper


Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Monte Hellman 1929-2021


Postcards April 2021 mixed


Monday, April 19, 2021

Walter Mondale 1928-2021

 "Fritz and Grits"

Postcards April 2021 Mixed


Sunday, April 18, 2021

Sound of Metal 2020

Another good strong film that I caught the other day on the Moma virtual streaming site. A gift to members for sure. It's an old fashioned movie about trials, tribulations and overcoming them. This time its about a hard rock musician who is going deaf. No reasons are given, and very little is thrown at us about his background or his partner and girlfriend in the rock band they are in, except they are both recovering addicts. The musician is beautifully played by Riz Ahmed who I know from his strong Emmy winning performance in "The Night Of" from a few years back, and he doesn't disappoint here. He's on edge, a live wire and the film is about his journey here and there to deal with his encroaching deafness. Its a nervous movie, sad and it kept me on edge for its entire short running time. Ahmed is nominated for an Oscar as is the surprise supporting peformance by the unknown Paul Raci who plays the director of a program for deaf people young and old who he believes should come to gripes with their deafness as he has and not try to recover their hearing through medical treatments and expensive surgery. That is the main conflict between him and Ahmed. Playing his love interest is the very good Olivia Cooke and in a brief role as her father is the always welcomed Mathieu Amalric. This is not a big or earth shattering film, but a quiet one in keeping with its subject. I think you will like it.
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Friday, April 16, 2021

Helen McCrory 1968-2021

 The fine British actress and a favorite of mine Helen McCrory has passed at the heartbreaking age of 52. She was memorable in Peaky Blinders.

One of the great

One of the great benefits of having an artist membership at Moma is having access to their streaming movies program and I have been taking advantage of this. I usually prefer seeing movies (a very limited number) on a big screen, but only at a few chosen theatres. I will not see anything at one of the cinemplex's after one two many bad experiences. My second choice is on my 40" tv screen which has been my way to see movies for the past few years, and more so in this pandemic year. My last choice is the computer, but have watched quite a few youtube movies this way. Scratchy bad prints lousy sound, but I love low budget b's. So I was quite excited to see that moma was screening 3 choice Oscar nominated movies and I jumped at the chance to see Nomadland. It worked quite well on my smaller screen, even though its full of lush and gorgeous landscapes, its basically a small scale intimate character study of a tough, sensitive woman on her own in a vast country, trying to find her way, make a living and get on with her life after drastic changes to her life. The lead is beautifully acted (why would I be surprised) by the great national treasure Frances McDormand and is my choice for the Oscar. Granted I adore her, she might be my favorite contemporary actress, but a third Oscar? The film was written, edited and directed by Chloe Zhao who will win for sure a few Oscars in a week or so, and I am fine with that. Besides this wonderful film she made my favorite film from a few years back "The Rider". See this film.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021


 Finished reading the new Woody Allen autobio "Apropos Of Nothing. I came away from it with the same opinions I've always felt about him, and have never been convinced that he molested his young daughter. The proof is just not there, and he was found not guilty in a court of law. I know some don't buy his innocence but I am convinced this story was concocted by the troubled Mia Farrow. I don't want to get into it here, no doubt the Soon-Yi thing will be thrown into my face, as if his relationship with a much younger woman is proof of pedophilia, never mind they have been married for 22 years. What really made me question all of this was for a while Ms. Farrow was a facebook friend until she made a terrible anti-semitic joke and I called her out on it and unfriended her. This incident colored my feelings for her.

The Serpent 2021

 Definitely not for the faint of heart. This is an 8 part series now on Netflix that is based on the true story of a human monster Charles Sobhraj who for years robbed and murdered young travelers in Asia, with the help of his girlfriend. This is a very minimal note on the plot. Set in the early 70's with twisty back and forths time lines I was very stressed out by the film. Very well done with great period touches especially in the clothes and the small details along with two standout performances by Tahar Rahim and Jenna Coleman. Most of the violence is not shown but its still not an easy watch so be warned. Was it good? Hell yes.


 Reading the New York Times today I saw that there was a season 11 coming of "Shameless". I watched all 10 years of the series on Netflix and thought 10 was the end of the series. I loved this show pretty much very minute of it even though the family Gallagher left much to be desired. That said I was hooked from the get go and think its one of the best series I've seen. Not much love was spread over it, by the critics and the award givers no doubt it was too rough and raw for them, I mean basically this is a family of grifters, thieves, drug addicts, and liars. So what's not to love? The cast was and the family was headed by William H. Macy a deadbeat, drug addled lying con artist and he was superb. Not likable, no way. The family was really headed by the eldest child the daughter Fiona played by the wonderful and beautiful Emmy Rossum. The series included sensitive and sometimes not so sensitive takes on gay rights, gentrification, racial injustice, lack of access to good education, sexual mistreatment, poverty and on and on. Also a lot of male nudity. The cast was wonderful including all those guest appearances by Joan Cussack, Chloe Webb, Louise Fletcher, Regina King and many others. The language was raw and sometimes what I was watching was downright disgusting but I laughed a lot.

Monday, April 12, 2021

Oddball Magazine. April 2021

Thursday, April 08, 2021

Promising Young Woman 2020

I will be very surprised indeed if Carey Mulligan wins an Oscar for this disturbing thriller romantic revenge pop paint box colored movie. I just don't see it happening. Also its not very good, going this way and that and finally landing in sad sad land with an unconvincing ending that is what suppose to make us feel good, or better than we felt through the whole thing? I didn't hate it, I watched it, but its so nasty and grim and far fetched that I winched through most of it. The violence is never shown, which is to its credit I suppose, and Mulligan's accent was strong and convincing, she is a good actress, but this one is not going to get her the golden man, it's just so unpleasant. The supporting cast was fine and the bright colors and high style art direction and costumes (clothes) were nice. An improbable B looking to be an A.

April 2021. Mixed on paper


Saturday, April 03, 2021

Last work of March 2021. Mixed on paper


Saturday, March 27, 2021

Late March. Mixed on paper March 2021


Friday, March 26, 2021

Larry McMurtry 1936-2021


Thursday, March 25, 2021

Jessica Walter 1941-2021


Paul Foster Playwright 1931-2021


Bertrand Tavernier 1941-2021


Beliveau Review Summer 2021

 Beliveau Review has just posted some of my art and photographs. They are on pages 50-54. You can view the issue at this link.

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