Monday, December 13, 2021


Imagine a soaring romantic film about a musical genius like Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Only this time the subject is John Milton Cage. Call the film Milton. Most films about composers naturally include a musical score. A Song to Remember (1945) and Impromptu were both about the writer George Sand and Frederic Chopin who famously created a love nest on the island of Majorca. But what’s the score going to be like for Cage’s most famous work 4’33 which is the length of the silence the piece comprises. Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto Number 2 famously accompanied David Lean’s cinematic version of Noel Coward’s Brief Encounter (which is probably the most romantic film ever made), but what drama could act as the accompaniment to protracted silence? Conceptual works which question the boundaries of art (which is partially what 4’33 is) are famously difficult to popularize. Lust for Life (1945) with Kirk Douglas playing Van Gogh had to deal with madness (including the ear business) but imagine making a film about a painter whose artistic work lay in not pursuing his craft! You could probably show them going about their everyday activities, shaving, shitting and showering. However, there’s the old "you can write about boredom, but you can’t be boring" problem.The American pianist David Tudor did perform 4’33 in Woodstock on August 29, 1952, but who would you cast in the role of Milton and how would you script the sound?

Read "The Angle on Nymphomaniac: Vol. I by Francis Levy, HuffPost

and listen to "Night Fever" by the Bee Gees

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