Monthly Archives: May 2015

Discover the writings of Julia Anne Colette Szczecinski

One of the great pleasures of having this website it that we get to meet new talent. Julia Anne Colette Szczecinski is currently working on  some new poems and a novel, and was generous  enough to send East Coast Stories some excerpts.

Julia describes her writing style as a “cross between Jennifer Belle, Henry Miller, Jack Kerouac and Joan Didion“. However, I believe Julia Szcsecinski has a wonderfully unique style all her own.

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The Szczecinski style is a combination of stream of consciousness and ADHD. Her writing perfectly captures the manic state into which authors enter when they are trying to create a new work. The writer’s mind jumps in a million directions at once as the writer tries to decide what are great ideas to be preserved, and what are just random thoughts to be discarded. Julia also describes the absolute need  to write.  These conflicting feelings can be seen in the following passage where Julia illustrates the early days of writing a novel,

“Today, is this a ‘novel’ or just a ‘To Do List?’ Does it matter? It shouldn’t. Fuck it, just give me some blank white paper and something to make marks! I could be stuck in a jail cell and I would figure out how to make marks, even if I had to use my body fluids! Take that!”

One of Julia’s poems speaks of the problems in the world, and her struggle not to become  one of the many who just ignore them. Part of the poem reads:

“Shootings in my hometown,

“Don’t let it be

everyone with heads down

half asleep.

Oil spills, abandoned mills, devastating thrills

Watching from window sills,

Give me a crystal, a song, but

give someone else that omnipresent purple pill.”

The 28 year old Ms. Szczecinski  is also a gifted artist, sometimes combining a poem with her pictures.

smoke stacks

The watercolor above, entitled “Smoke Stacks” is accompanies by the poem:

“Smoke stacks, top hats;

Of filthy site, Oh Holy Night.

The ducks still alive, their silhouettes black;

The toxic water burns, and the Sun is what they soak.”

Julia also has clever humorous quips interspersed in her writing. At one point she  states that,

“the city block can be so…blahhh; shades of grey, but not in the S&M fun way.”

Self portrait with blood

Julia understands that to be an artist, poet and writer is to expose the most vulnerable parts of your soul to a public that may or may not understand you. Above is a self portrait of Julia entitled, Ink Blood and Watercolor on Paper.

Julia incorporates a wide range of experience and travel into her artistic endeavors. She graduated from the University of Delaware in 2009 with a B.A.S. in Philosophy and Art History. She has traveled and studied in Paris and China and worked in a wide range of gigs from Artist’s Model to Bartender.

Julia currently writes, paints and bartends in the city where Frank Sinatra was born. (If you don’t know where that is, you don’t live on the East Coast)

If you want know more about Julia, please click on one of the links below.

Julia is currently looking for a publisher for her work. So, to any of our readers in the publishing world looking for new talent this is a chance to sign a very talented new writer. You can contact Julia directly or contact East Coast Stories and we will pass on the message to her.

If you are a writer and would like us to review your work on this site, please e-mail us an excerpt to Cedartree@live.com

Tomorrowland

There was a time when we all believed that the future would be wonderful. People would live in peace and harmony. There would be no fear or wars or starvation. We would respect each other and solve the World’s problems by working together.  If you speak of the future that way today, people will laugh at you or shake their heads like you are crazy or just plain stupid.

The movie Tomorrowland starts at the 1964 World’s Fair, when the future still stretched  before us as a wonderful and beautiful adventure. A young boy goes to the Fair and is one of the chosen few to be transported to Tomorrowland. It is not a ride, or an illusion, but a real place where scientists and dreamers can plan  to make things better for all mankind.

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Of course, we all know the future did not turn out the way the 1964 World’s Fair predicted. Tomorrowland shows where things went wrong, and how it still might not be too late to put things back on course.

This  is a great movie starring George Clooney and two extremely talented young actors, Britt Robertson and Raffey Cassidy.  George Clooney is Frank Walker, who was the young boy at the World’s Fair. He has now turned into a cynical disillusioned man who believes nothing can be done to stop the downward trend to destruction of this planet.

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Britt Robertson is a high-school girl who is brilliant and still has the sense of wonder and adventure that Frank lost many years ago. They are brought together by a young girl from another dimension named Athena (wonderfully played by Raffey Cassidy).

Tomorrowland is a Disney movie rated PG, that children and adults will both love. It has dramatic special effects, but they do not get in the way of the characters or the acting. George Clooney, Britt Robertspn and Raffey Cassidy are a terrific trio. The fact that these two young women were able to work so naturally with a major star like Clooney, shows just how talented they are. We look forward in seeing them in many future films.

We Rate this movie Five Stars *****

Olive Kitteridge – T.V. Review

If you have not yet seen the miniseries Olive Kitteridge HBO,  I recommend taking a look. The acting and the storyline line are amazing.  It is the story of a woman who most people would  describe as “cold, or even “nasty.” However, as we get to know Olive, we see that she is far more complex and fragile than she ever lets on.

Olive is a middle-school teacher in Maine who has no tolerance for misbehavior or stupidity on the part of her students or even adults. Despite her abrasive attitude, she actually cares deeply about the people around her. In one episode, she helps a former student through a tough time when he is contemplating suicide. She does not do it with a lot of kind flowery words, but by simply speaking to him in a very logical and direct manner.

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As I watched the episodes, something about the personality of  Olive Kitteridge seemed very familiar  to me. Then I realized that she is exactly like a number of the older relatives in my life when I was growing up.  You see, they had all grown up in rural New England, and felt that it was simply undignified to show your emotions.

Olive Kitteridge is perfectly played by Frances McDormand.  She has mastered  the Maine accent and attitude, without overdoing it.  You always feel that Olive is a real person you could walk out the door and meet any minute.

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Olive’s husband Henry is in most ways her opposite. He is warm and outgoing and people just immediately like him. This actually makes Olive’s life more difficult. She is very aware of her own inability to connect with people, and seeing Henry make friends effortlessly only points out her own flaws. Henry is played by Richard Jenkins who is wonderful in this role.

The interplay between Olive and Henry and their complicated New England love for each other is the central point of the story. At one point Henry asks Olive if she is going to leave him.  Instead of some loving Hallmark Channel type of response, Olive replies, “You know, you can be so annoying sometimes.” That is about as close as Olive can get to expressing love verbally. Olive is a loving and caring person but she demonstrates it through actions rather than words.

Also in the show is Bill Murray, as one of the town’s residents. Over the years, Bill Murry has changed from the Saturday Night Live Comedian, to a seasoned character actor and it is wonderful to see his talents continue to grow. Like Olive, he is trying to cope with the injustices and indignities that happen to people as they approach old age.

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So many series and movies only focus on young and beautiful stars. The series Olive Kitteridge shows that, if anything, the lives of people become more interesting and more complicated as they age.

We rate this miniseries 5 Stars *****

The United States of Leland

The United States of Leland is an excellent film to which we give our very rare Five Star rating. Leland Fitzgerald is a high school student who is accused of the brutal murder of a learning disabled boy who was his good friend.

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Leland (brilliantly played by Ryan Gosling) does not seem like he could possibly be capable  of any kind of violence. Leland is very gentle and looks at the world differently than most people around him. Leland looks deeply at the world in a way that most high school students do not. At one point he says,

“I think there are two ways you can see the world. You either see the sadness that’s behind everything, or you choose to keep it out.”

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Don Cheadle plays Pearl Pollard, a teacher in the juvenile detention center where Leland is sent awaiting trial. He and Leland have long conversations about all aspects of life, and Pearl becomes fascinated with the complexity of this young man and his views on life.  Pearl is genuinely interested in Leland, but also has an ulterior motive. Pearl is an aspiring but unpublished writer and he wants to get close to an infamous murderer and write his story. Pearl sees himself as a current-day Truman Capote writing another In Cold Blood.

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However there is some competition for Leland’s story. Leland’s father (played by Kevin Spacey) is a world famous novelist. A divorced dad who has not seen his son in years, he suddenly shows up wanting to write the story himself.

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Throughout the movie, we are kept guessing as to what the real story actually is. We are shown only bits and pieces in flashbacks. Everything shown indicates that the murdered child was someone who Leland watched over and cared for. The boy  was also the brother of Leeland’s girlfriend Becky. (Played perfectly  by Jena Malone).  Becky has many issues of her own and in the past it was always Leland who helped her through rough times.

It is not until the very end of the movie that we discover the truth of what really happened.

All the actors in the film give superb performances. The script is brilliant and it is a film that will touch you deeply.

We Rate this Film Five Stars *****

What’s New with Alicia von Rittberg

Alicia von Rittberg continues to be the most searched item on our website. Fans have been very disappointed that that they have not seen her in anything since Fury. Many fans were very angry that we publicized. an April Fools story that Alicia Von Rittberg was going to be in Game of Thrones. However Alicia von Rittberg will be on the big screen again in 2015. She will have a major role in Our Kind of Traitor.

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By all accounts, Our Kind of Traitor will be a fantastic film. It has an all star cast and is based on the exciting novel by John le Carre.  Alicia von Rittberg will play the daughter of a Russian organized crime boss.

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In the meantime, here are some new pictures of Alicia von Rittnerg.

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Sometimes we wonder if her agent understands just how large a fan base Alicia von Rittberg has in the United States.

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Any story we do on Alicia von Rittberg immediately attracts huge attention. If she were an American, she would undoubtedly be a top star commanding  a huge salary.  Perhaps the strategy is to keep her out of the spotlight to build a little mystery.  On behalf of all her fans, we just want to say “Stop doing that!”  People want to see Alicia in more movies, in larger parts and doing more public appearances.

In the meantime, East Coast Stories will continue to follow this amazingly talented young actress.

Bart Simpson’s Penis

How large is Bart Simpson’s penis? Unfortunately I know the answer to that question.  That’s because in my den is an anatomically correct Bart Simpson doll.  It comes from a ridiculously overpriced shop in London.

I was on vacation with my family in London and were were exploring all the usual spots. Suddenly, a torrential rainstorm started, and we ducked into a store simply to get out of the rain.

It turned out to be a very large shop with lots of winding aisles, and thousands of nick-knacks on the shelves. I was looking at pictures of Winston Churchill,  and my kids went to explore the rest of the shop for something more interesting.

Then my kids returned with a Bart Simpson doll. It was about 3 feet tall, well made and soft like a pillow. It was sort of like a very large  Raggedy Ann doll in the shape of Bart Simpson. It even had on a full set of clothing.

That’s  when my son said, “Watch this Dad!” and pulled down the doll’s pants and then  put the doll in my arms. My son and daughter both laughed and  ran down the aisle to another part of the store.

I was not sure what was so funny, until I looked down at the doll in my arms and;

Cowabunga! There I was looking down at Bart’s penis and testicles.  To say that the doll was anatomically correct is an understatement. In fact, it was more than anatomically correct. You see, the makers of the doll had made Bart Simpson’s private parts quite a bit larger proportionally than the rest of the doll.

Bart

I was still looking at Bart’s oversize d genitalia when I heard a woman with a very proper British accent say,  “May I help you Sir?”

I looked up to see a matronly woman with grey hair examining at me like I was some American pervert who had wondered into her shop. It turns out that she was the owner of the store, and she had the type of face that looked like it had never smiled.  I should have said something like, “Don’t look at me like that lady. You are the one selling obscene dolls.”

However, at the time I was so embarrassed, that what I actually said to the woman was “Yes. I would like to purchase this doll.” The doll cost me over 55 British Pounds (I told you the shop was overpriced). The woman was so happy to make the sale that she even gave me what she probably thought was a smile. However, on her face it was more like a twitch.

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We left the shop, and my kids thought it was hilarious that I had bought the doll.  There are sill times I wonder why the doll was there at all. Why would a shop filled with pictures of the Royal Family and miniature models of Parliament also have obscene toys?  Was the old woman that owned the store really that sneaky? Had she set an elaborate trap to embarrass unsuspecting tourists into buying something? I realize that sort or thinking is just being paranoid. Or is it?

16 Best Movie & T.V. Villains of All Time

A great  villain is required for a great story. Good guys come and go, but we remember evil guys and girls forever.  Here are the top 16 Movie & T.V. Villains of all time.

Bruce Dern as “Longhair” in the 1972 film The Cowboys This character is cruel,  evil and a coward. In a scene that completely shocked moviegoers at the time, Bruce Dern kills the hero of the film, John Wayne.  Longhair and Wayne have a dispute which is settled by a fistfight. John Wayne wins the fight fair and square. As John Wayne is walking away, Longhair pulls out a gun and shoots John Wayne in the back.

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Nancy Marchand as Livia Soprano. This celebrated actress had previously been know for playing wealthy aristocrats. However, her best known role will always be as Tony Soprano’s psychopathic mother.  For reasons that are never exactly clear, Livia hates her only son Tony and is far more dangerous to him than any FBI agent could ever be.

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Clancy Brown as Captain Hadley in The Shawshank Redemption. Hadley is perpetually angry and his anger often turns violent; with deadly consequences for the prisoners. Even the other guards are petrified of him. The is no such thing as  making Captain Hadley happy. The best you can do is to pray he does not notice you.

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Mike Meyers as Dr. Evil in the Austin Powers movies. OK we know you are thinking, “this guy’s not a real villain. He is an idiot.” Well, it’s true that Dr. Evil is incompetent, but he is the key to the whole movie. Without Dr. Evil there is no film. Austin Powers is funny, but it is Dr. Evil that makes these movies hilarious.

Bad Guy 4

Heath Ledger as The Joker in Batman. This will undoubtedly be known as the greatest portrayal of a comic book bad guy ever put on film. The Joker came across as 100 times more complex and interesting than Batman. Like Batman, he plays by a strict set of rules. He seems to be trying to teach the world the lesson that good and evil are in all people at all times. Health Ledger left us far too soon.

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Louise Fletcher as Nurse Ratched in the 1975 movie One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Louise Fletcher won an Academy Award for playing the psychiatric nurse who systematically left the patients more damaged than they were before they met her. Nurse Ratched has no interest in helping the mentally ill. Her only pleasure in life appears to be in demonstrating her absolute power over every aspect of the lives of the patients.

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Javier Bardem as Anton Chigurh in the 2007 film No Country for old men.This bad guy kills his victims using an air compressor and a device designed to use on cattle. If you have not seen the movie it is difficult to explain. He will ruthlessly kill anyone who he feels has disrespected him. He almost kills a gentle old man at a gas station who made the mistake of simply asking Chigurh where he was from. After you see this film you will never look at an air compressor the same way again.

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James Earl Jones & David Prowse as Darth Vader in the original Star Wars.Most people don’t recognize the name David Prowse. He was the body builder inside the costume, while James Earl Jones provided the voice. Darth Vader could be the most famous villain of all times. People who have no idea who is on the Supreme Court and who cannot name the Vice President of the U.S.  can definitely tell you the life story of Darth Vader.

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Jack Gleeson as Joffrey in Game of Thrones. Jack Gleeson played this character perfectly. King Joffrey used his power and viciousness to cover the fact that he was actually personally a coward.  He would have people killed or tortured just for fun.  It was as if the nastiest kid you ever knew from middle school suddenly obtained the power of life or death over everyone.  The ironic part is that everyone who has ever worked with Jack Gleeson describes him as one of the nicest, kindest and most intelligent people they have ever met. In real life, this Irish actor is most interested in pursuing academic studies and doing philanthropic work.  He claims King Joffrey will be his last acting gig. We certainly hope he changes his mind. He is a fantastic talent.

Bad Guy 9

Donald Sutherland as President Snow in the Hunger Games movies. Unlike many movie bad guys, President Snow never loses his temper or acts out of anger. He is the coolest of the cool bad guys. He bombs cities, has people executed and poisons his enemies. However, he does these things out of a logical and well-planned motive to stay in power at all costs.  Like many real killers throughout history he has the ability to compartmentalize his life. He is kind and attentive to his granddaughter, while at the the same time he is ordering people to be rounded up and killed.  It his very lack of anger that makes him so frightening.

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Bill Raisch as the one-armed man in the T.V. show The Fugitive Although most people now remember the movie, the one-armed guy in the T.V.  show was much scarier than in the movie. In the movie, the one-armed killer had a motive having to do with a cover up by drug companies. In the T.V. show the one-armed man was just a killer. He was a pure bad guy who had no redeeming characteristics and just like hurting people wherever he could.

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Douglas Lawrence Ososwki as Plankton in the T.V. Show Spongebob. This is undoubtedly the smallest bad guy in history. However, he creates more havoc than creatures thousands of times his size. Like all true  villains he is essential to the entire story.  He also has the classic bad guy trait that personality his shaped by the fact that he is essentially a loser in life. Unable to run his own successful restaurant, his whole life is obsessed with stealing the secret Crabby Patty formula fro his rival.

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Peter Stormare as Garear (the blond guy) in the 1996 movie Fargo. He will always be remembered as the guy who disposed of the body of his partner by putting it through a wood chipper. This character can kill people in the most gruesome ways with no emotion whatsoever.

Bad Guy 13

Gert Frobe as Goldfinger in the 1964 James Bond movie of the same name.Unlike many of the other bad guys on the list, Goldfinger really knows how to enjoy his life.  He eats the best food, goes to the best resorts and is surrounded by the most beautiful women. He has no real hatred in his life. His crimes are due to an obsessive love. A love of gold.  Although already possesses  more gold than anyone could ever use in a lifetime, he wants more. In fact, he wants all the gold in the world, which is, of course, his downfall.

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Rutger Hauer as the Replicant Roy in the 1982 film Blade Runner. Blade Runner is considered by many the best science fiction movie ever made. Roy is a Replicant who is superior to humans in every aspect except one. He  only has a 4 year life span. Roy returns to Earth to find his “maker” and “get more life”. Harrison Ford is the Blade Runner whose job is to “retire” (that is-  kill) Replicants. In the end, we are left wondering just who is really more human; the artificial Replicant who just wants to live, or the supposedly human Blade Runner assigned to kill him.

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Arnold Schwarzenegger as The Terminator in the original 1984 movie. His body, his accent and even the stilted way Arnold moved and acted made him perfect to play this killer robot from the future.  The movie also had a huge body count. In the later Terminator sequels they toned this down and there would be a lot of actions scenes with explosions and bullets, but somehow no injuries. In the original movie, The Terminator was a pure killing machine. There is one scene in a bar where he mows down people with an Uzi just because they are blocking his shot at Sarah Connor.

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Well, that’s our list of the best villains of all time. Let us know if you think we left anyone off.