Woody Allen

I've been enjoying Eric Lax's book 'Conversations with Woody Allen' and I thought this bit of 'wisdom' was perfect.

"…I was saying that I want to obey the story and if you obey the needs of the creation of the piece of fiction, the meaning reveals itself.  And for me naturally, it's going to reveal itself in a particular way.  Years ago Paddy Chavefsky said to me. "When a movie is failing or a play is failing"—he put it so brilliantly—"cut out the wisdom".  Marshall Brickman said it a different way.   I told you this before—but just as cogently, just as insightful: "The message of the film can't be in the dialogue." And this is a truth that's hard to live by because the temptation is to occasionally take a moment and philosophize and put in your wisdom, put in your meaning.  I did that in Match Point to a certain degree—they're sitting around the table and they’re talking about faith being the path of least resistance. But the truth of the matter is, if the meaning doesn't come across in the action, you have nothing going for you. It doesn't work. You can't just have guys sitting around making hopefully wise insights or clever remarks because while they're saving these things the audience is not digesting them the way the author intends—"Hey did you just hear that Shavian epigram?" They’re looking at it as the dialogue of characters in a certain situation: "He's saying this because she's thinking this and he wants to get on her good side. ..." They're watching the action of the story. When you lose sight of that, and we all do - I certainly do - you think you’re making your point you think you're infusing your piece with wisdom, but you're committing suicide.  You're just militating against the audience’s enjoyment."


Art of Time Ensemble - Martin Tielli

I am a huge fan of the Rheostatics as well as the solo work of Martin Tielli, the band's lead guitarist and co-songwriter.  I am also a fan of the 'Art of Time Ensemble' who have been doing classical arrangements of popular music.  You might balk that Martin's work isn't really 'popular music' and I would agree.  It's too sophisticated and strange but I would argue that it is accessible to a popular audience that doesn't mind a change of signature or time.

Here is the original video produced by Justin Stephenson.

Justin and I once talked about how cool the Rheostatics' video 'Shaved Head' was as it was done live 'off the floor.  It's a great homage.

If you ever get a chance to see Martin play, jump at it.  He's a great artist and an intense performer (the other Rheos are awesome as well!).

If you're ever in Toronto check out the 'Art of Time Ensemble'.  The shows are a spectacular mix of popular and classical music.  It's an education and a profound sonic experience.

Here is ex-Barenaked Lady Steven Page doing a cover of Radiohead's 'Paranoid Android' with the 'Art of Time Ensemble'.