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Dan, a screenwriter in John Fowles' Daniel Martin, asks why so much garbage was created by filmmakers in english speaking countries, when elsewhere in the world (mentioning Satiajit Ray, for instance) it was clear that film could be a powerful art form.

As for music, I thought about jazz, blues and gospel (what they used to call, "race music") when writing that, and came to the conclusion that those are forms which never quite made it to the mainstream, or when they did, (with the very rare exception of pieces like Brubeck's Take 5) appeared only in a debased manner. I agree though, that there have been immense talents doing wonderful work all along. The kicker is that Elvis still casts his shadow over the entire lot. (Ironic, because he was a huge blues fan.) Eric Clapton said something along these lines. He was listening to Robert Johnson, while Americans were hearing the Everly Brothers. His take was that we were listening to the wrong material.

An effect of the commercialization of art? Has someone has probably written a doctoral thesis on the topic?

"It Can't Be Just About Us"
--Frank Schnittger, ETian Extraordinaire

by papicek (papi_cek_at_hotmail_dot_com) on Wed Jan 21st, 2009 at 09:43:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Jazz was mainstream from the twenties to the fifties, lots of very good stuff then. In any case, most high culture is a rather minority taste, and always has been. As for the overwhelming mass of film being crap - sure, and true of everything, everywhere, in every medium. Tons of crap is produced in non-English speaking countries, plenty of good stuff has been produced in the US.
by MarekNYC on Wed Jan 21st, 2009 at 10:28:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There was a video I saw one time...something like Bulgarian Idol, if you can believe it. What got everyone's attention is the young singer butchering some pop song. Well, she had no English and she got the words wrong and insisted, even while the judges tried to suggest the correction, that her nonsense was right.

A clear case to ramp up our public diplomacy.

Your point is well taken. My underlying concern lies with mainstream (i.e.: commercialized) culture. There exists however, a subculture of poets (here as well) who would agree with me. Marissa Ranello is a favorite of mine among these. This is a subculture which quite openly stands in opposition to the mainstream. Was it ever thus? I suppose.

"It Can't Be Just About Us"
--Frank Schnittger, ETian Extraordinaire

by papicek (papi_cek_at_hotmail_dot_com) on Wed Jan 21st, 2009 at 11:05:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
bulgarian pop music is shite. I mean garbage of the worst sort. Yet their folk music is outstanding and uplifting and the women's folk "harmony" groups (using non western, possibly shamanic, harmonic ideas) are a gift to the world

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Jan 21st, 2009 at 12:03:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
well, she was game, I'll give her that. It was some (utterly forgettable) American pop shite anyways.

I will bear that in mind about Bulgarian folk music in future. I'll ask my music guy about it. (Feel free to pass along any suggestions, please.) Today he introduced me to Peter Warlock, who sounded suspiciously Baroque. An interesting story with that one according to him. Evidently, he'd compose in studio, then at some other location, pen viscious diatribes against his compositions. Might be interesting to put the two together and see which incarnation had the better judgement.

"It Can't Be Just About Us"
--Frank Schnittger, ETian Extraordinaire

by papicek (papi_cek_at_hotmail_dot_com) on Wed Jan 21st, 2009 at 10:36:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm going to be humming Mood Indigo all day!

"It Can't Be Just About Us"
--Frank Schnittger, ETian Extraordinaire
by papicek (papi_cek_at_hotmail_dot_com) on Wed Jan 21st, 2009 at 11:37:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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