Sunday, October 4, 2009

My name is Jimmy. That's the name they gimme.

I had an uncle Jim, my father's brother, who was really a piece of work. He was in the Navy during World War II, on an aircraft carrier I think. I also think he was a boxer, and had the scars to show for it.

He was a sweet guy, but just one of those uncles that everyone has had, including my cousins, who had my dad, as their uncle.

Anyway, good 'ol Uncle Jim, when we were kids, would shake your hand, then say, "are you afraid of me?" you would say, "no." And he would say, "then why are you shaking?"

So - I just saw a documentary called "Junior' about this guy Eddie Belasco, and his very sweet relationship with his 98-year-old mother. Well - Eddie Belasco was my late Uncle Jim. He looked like him. He talked like him. He had the same vibe.

After running late today and missing the two sets of short films I had planned to see, I looked to see what fit in the schedule. It was "Junior." And as I was scrambling to file my print story for Monday's Poughkeepsie Journal, I saw that "Junior" won the WFF award for best documentary.

Eddie is a pretty complex guy - he's very close to his mother, but it's not one of those weird, close relationships. He was a nightclub performer and when this movie was filmed, worked with young kids in a theater company.

He and his mother - he always said 'MA!' - would always shout back and forth at each other.

There came a point in the movie where Eddie's mother's health just declined, as Eddie's own eyesight was failing. And this really struck a nerve, as my own mother's health has been rapidly declining and she is currently in a physical therapy rehabilitation facility.

This was a great movie, and it was amazing to see Eddie in person at the q and a afterward.

I was very glad to see this film and highly recommend it.

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