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Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Who's That In The Cheap Seats?

On a scale of 1-10 - "1" representing no confidence and "10" total confidence - how confident are you in knowing if a movie, book, piece of music or visual art is manipulating sentiment out of you? Is it easier for you to be more confident with one medium vs. the others?

As someone who cries easily, I've never been real confident knowing when any artist is aiming for the cheap seats. Even the obtrusive violins so loved by film composer John Williams work on me, unless my more discerning wife is at my side. And I'm a musician! I think I've made a little progress over the past ten years with books but even there my confidence level still hovers well below the "5" mark.

One of the most distinct and difficult movie memories of my life was sitting on my couch watching "Schindler's List" soon after it was released on video. I knew better than to go to a theater and have never watched it a second time. Would a different filmmaker have elicited less from me? Would that have made it a better picture? Was my intensely emotional reaction proportionate to the content? Or,  did master filmmaker Steven Spielberg so expertly use the tricks of his trade that the sentiment was manipulated from me? These days, I pay a lot more attention to this, across all mediums. But I'm still not reaching many conclusions. You?

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