• Review: Uncle David (2009)

    From David N. Butterworth@21:1/5 to All on Sun Jun 19 12:56:29 2016
    UNCLE DAVID (2009)
    A film review by David N. Butterworth
    Copyright 2016 David N. Butterworth

    ***1/2 (out of ****)

    In the creepily unconventional "Uncle David," performance artist David
    Hoyle ("Velvet Goldmine") and a headstrong throng of alternative artists
    called The Avant-Garde Alliance improvise a queer comic horror yarn (with songs!) in a caravan park on the Isle of Sheppey, that lump off the east
    coast of Kent that doubles as a birdwatcher's paradise when it's not
    chucking it down.
    "Uncle David" captures the ennui of the British holidaymaker to perfection, but what's harder to watch is our titular uncle's
    insistence--all in the name of love, of course--that his beloved nephew
    Ashley (porn star Ashley Ryder, often down to his skivvies) be as one with
    the stratosphere. And that's just one of his bent avuncular convictions.
    There are hints, strong ones, that Uncle David has snatched Ashley up and
    away from his alcoholic mother for his own good, yet the infantile man-child--what grown-up asks his funny uncle to blow on his coffee for heaven's sake?--has clearly been stunted by his protector's tender victimization. He has learned to accept his father-figure cum lover's
    world view, and accepts his role willingly.
    The central relationship is disturbing and petty, the setting
    imaginative and cold. The dialogue is random and contained, the
    cinematography crisp and bleak. The music is overbearing and effective,
    the sound design impactful and troubling. Yet it all works.
    As fascinating as it is tedious, the oddball "Uncle David" is not for
    all tastes and might not be for any one individual taste, demanding as it
    is one minute, distancing the next. But Hoyle & Co.'s unusual first
    feature is refreshing in its uniqueness and if you're going to improvise a queer comic horror yarn (with songs!) in a caravan park on the Isle of
    Sheppey, there're probably few better ways to do it.
    Straight uncles should be advised that the film contains incestuous behavior, gay porn on the telly in the background during a spontaneous
    dance segment, and general weirdness throughout.

    David N. Butterworth

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