Kelby 'Bully'

Bully on You — Part One

This isn’t a review of Lee Hirsch’s hit documentary Bully.  You can’t really make the standard reviewer’s judgment calls on a piece that isn’t so much a film as it is a well-shot, well-edited extended public service announcement, which, in a situation that is so ironic it’s meta, is being distributed and personally promoted with great enthusiasm by the most notorious bully in our industry, Harvey Weinstein.

Bullying is an extremely complex issue, to which the filmmakers attempt to lend a balanced viewpoint by showing the frustration and helplessness of school administrators and local officials in the various small towns the filmmakers visit in the American heartland.  That bullying is an egregious national malady that must be stamped out is not in question.  The broader issue is how you address a pattern of behavior that is so firmly ingrained in the broader traditional American culture that its perpetrators and victims are only now beginning to grasp how wrong it is.

Legendary French actress Annie Girardot

Remembering Annie—Part Two

Please read part one first, or this will make zero sense.


We were on a family vacation in Florida when they told me Oliver Stewart had died—“We have some bad news for you, James: Your friend Oliver is very sick…  actually, he’s dead”—but I didn’t shed a tear.  It didn’t surprise me; I’d done my mourning already in the bathroom of Jules Feiffer’s apartment nine months earlier.  Or maybe shock numbed all normal emotion.  God knows, I can still cry easily enough about it today.

Had we been in New York, I might have made it to the funeral, but it was too complicated to get me to Rome from Florida on such short notice.  As a consequence of not burying him properly, for years I subconsciously believed that Oliver’s death was just another one of his pranks.