Saturday, March 30, 2013

HB Studio Annual Poetry Festival

I attended the HB Studio Annual Poetry Festival tonight and read five of my poems: WHAT WAY TO GO TODAY, NAP TIME and DAWN ON SEVENTH AVENUE (from the collection NAKED AMNESIAC) and DESERTED HOUSES and TO GET TO THIS PLACE (from the STREET POEMS collection).

I arrived at Bank Street at sunset... and in the distance the view of the Hudson River was glorious. The street was quiet, calm, and serene... a perfect setting for a night of poetry. Rasa Allan Kazlas organized the event and she was most gracious. She has vast credits in theater both as an actor and director.

I read my work and mingled with the other great readers and then left and walked home in the gorgeous evening.

I had a great night! HB Studio remains inside me always because it was there, in about 1966, that I studied technique with James Patterson. My acting partner was a very young Robert DeNiro, and we did a scene from "The Diary of Anne Frank."

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

On the Road, the film

I wanted to love this film. I waited so long to see it because the company that distributed the film did a terrible job in bringing it to a wide audience sooner. I had to wait until it was up On Demand on Time Warner Cable in NYC. I watched it in HD on my TV, but the "letterbox" format was very small and off-putting on a TV.

 The film is... (in my opinion of course) awful. I don't even know where to begin. It's filmed partly with the hand held shaky cam, I suppose for some realistic or artistic effect, but it is just dizzying. But, what makes this film a huge disappointment is that it lacks "soul." I never got a sense of the spiritual journey "Sal" was on. It's just so superficial and filled with "noise." It is over acted in parts and I never sense any "truth" from the actors who played the real people. The book, On the Road, is haunting. I read it and became obsessed and possessed. This film never even comes close to getting inside me. It seems miscast and the actors seem to have no sense of the material. It's superficial and the actors are so wrong. They just do not get it right.

And, it is not true to text. At the end (of the book) Sal says good-bye to Dean on West 20th Street in NYC. In the book, Dean "rounded the corner of Seventh Avenue, eyes on the street ahead, and bent to it again. Poor little Laura, my baby, to whom I'd told everything about Dean, began almost to cry." In this film, the final scene does not take place at that location or even end that way. That's just disgraceful.

How could this happen? What were they thinking? The film does not inspire and it does not make me want to learn more about Jack Kerouac, the amazing and brilliant writer. We never get any sense of "the man." It's just sad.

I am depressed. I feel sick inside that a book so magical and so loved could have finally been made into a film and, in my opinion, be such a failure.

I shared my review of the film with some "Beat scholars," and today I received a reply from Helen Weaver, a former girlfriend of Jack Kerouac. 

Helen writes:

"Thank you so much for your honesty (Marjorie). I was sure the movie was going to be awful, because how can you make something cinematic about what is essentially a poem? I've had no desire to see it, even before Joyce Johnson read the script and told me it was terrible. I know you're right, and you've absolved me from the duty to watch yet another failure to understand Jack's masterpiece." 

Helen, thank-YOU for your reply. My piece about Helen Weaver appears at this blog here:

in The Huffington Post

The Huffington Post asked permission to use a photo I took of Storme DeLarverie in a piece about her. It can be viewed here:

(scroll down to see it: my name is under the photo and it links back to my blog)


Here is my piece is from 2009:


I was more than excited today when I bumped into the legendary Storme DeLarverie as I was exiting the Clearview's Chelsea Cinema after seeing "2012." I have known Storme for years and years... because at one time she lived in my apartment building. I was rushed and Storme was going home... so we did not have time for an interview. But, I did have time to take her photo and it appears above at this blog with a photo taken in 1958.

The photo from 1958 appears below and is a photo of my family on the night we went to Ben Maksik's Town and Country Club, on Flatbush Avenue and Avenue V in Brooklyn, NY. We went that night with the Parkers and the Cranes to see the "Jewel Box Revue." The infamous Jewel Box Revue was a popular "drag" performance group which toured America and the ensemble was composed of about 24 males dressed beautifully as females and one biological female dressed in a suit as a man. That man was Storme and she was in the show that evening as the MC and male impersonator.

I had no idea at the time that so many years later I would meet the star of the show, Storme DeLarverie, and that 51 years after that night I would be walking in Chelsea and hear the wonderful and recognizeable voice of Storme calling, "Hey, doll." In so many imaginative and wonderful ways, bumping into Storme tonight helped me end the day with a smile.

I am hoping to interview Storme soon, but until that time please learn more about her here:


Storme: Lady of the Jewel Box

Jewel Box Revue

even more Jewel Box Revue

interview with Terry