Sometimes I feel proud enough about the results of my licence fee that I almost don’t mind paying for it. Tonight BBC1 (yes 1) showed a Botney artumentary about Edward Hopper. It seems that the BBC, despite being a public service, will whore themselves out for anything in the name of art. Tate Britain, Opera, Boy Bands, and “cinema” (if you count “the day after tomorrow” as cinema), the beeb will push it if you tell them it’s art.
But this was more than the usual set of trailers and hype. It was a fascinating example of what journalism should be. OK Yentob, I can see why we (the British licence payers) hired you now.
The news, local and national, magazine programmes, even “Today”, have all been hyping Hopper. Until recently I’d never heard of Hopper, although his work I’ve loved for years , and I’m not just talking about “Night Hawks”.
Anyway – they had many talking heads on this programme including Sam Mendes (director of American Beauty) and Jonathan Miller (general all-round clever bastard). Until this evening I’d always hated Miller because he seems to know too much to be real, and because his “intepretation of Alice in Wonderland” was pure bollocks, in my humble opinion of course. And I loved Jan Svankmajer’s version of Alice by the way. But I just wish Jonathan Miller would stop being so perceptive and….RIGHT. Everything he said about Hopper’s paintings made me look at them differently and he certainly had a point.
Whereas…Sam Mendes…I loved “American Beauty”, but Mendes was so, so, wrong, in everything he said tonight that I’m now concerned about my value judgement of AB. Maybe he just rolled a 6. Maybe I’ve been wrong about him all along. Maybe he was just talking bollocks about Hopper. Maybe I should stop blogging when I’ve had a bottle of 2-for-a-fiver vino collapso. Hmm.
Anyway – back to the diary.
A day in Birmingham with some Moodlephiles was suprisingly enjoyable, a pint in a pub with the world’s most uptight landlord notwithstanding. The Selfridges building (I’d give a link, but they really need to know about web accessibility) is even more bizarre in real life BTW. Do a Google for it – it’s sick and wierd.
Quote of the day goes to Edward Hopper:
“If you could say it in words, there’d be no reason to paint.”