Hype is an amazing pair of goggles, as is confusion. If you can bewilder an audience with enough style and controversy, it fools people into thinking your content is good: this applies to any form of art.

Take The Tree of Life. The critics were falling all over themselves with this movie, nominated for three Oscars. When you watch the movie, all you see is a lot of whispering, random scenes of nature, and no fucking clue what you just watched.

I watched Under the Skin this past Saturday, which apparently is a (loose) adaptation of a novel with the same name. The movie wants to be something like Drive in terms of its economy of dialog, the soundtrack, the long silences, lots of driving. However, Drive had a clear plot despite the lack of dialog. Under the Skin‘s plot is barely there. It forces you to fill in the gaps too much and you still can’t figure out what exactly is going on (though reading the synopsis of the novel on Wikipedia, it sounds like the filmmaker gutted the plot and made the film from its skeleton). I would say watch this movie once it’s in Redbox and come to your own conclusions. This was a movie I couldn’t even get drunk and watch for fun.

***

Thursday, July 24, I read with Terry Ann Thaxton in a unique reading where she responds to poems from The Bones of Us through her collection The Terrible Wife. I’ve never done something like this and it should be very fun. Click here to learn more about it. The reading starts at 8.

I have a new poem over in Mixtape Methodology, which you can read here.

I made a slideshow for Kin Poetry Journal from excerpts of The Bones of Us. You can watch that here.

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About J. Bradley

J. Bradley's is a Best of the Net and Pushcart Prize nominated writer whose work has appeared in numerous literary journals including decomP, Hobart, and Prairie Schooner. He was the Interviews Editor of PANK, the Flash Fiction Editor of NAP, and the Web Editor of Monkeybicycle. He is the author of the poetry collection Dodging Traffic (Ampersand Books, 2009), the novella Bodies Made of Smoke (HOUSEFIRE, 2012), and the graphic poetry collection The Bones of Us (YesYes Books, 2014), illustrated by Adam Scott Mazer. He is the curator of the Central Florida reading series There Will Be Words and lives at iheartfailure.net.

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performance calendar, poetry, videos

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