Tonight, New York was downright Arctic, with gusting winds that sent bags of garbage bouncing down streets like tumbleweed. I went to hear Sidney Lumet (83-year-old iconic New York City film director) chat about the techniques he used to coax classic performances from Al Pacino and Kathryn Hepburn. And Marlon Brando. And Peter Fonda. Mostly, it seems, his trick is to choose great actors and stay out of their ways. He also spoke of music, noting that in his fifty years of moviemaking, he’s used a sum total of fourteen minutes of music in his films. Too often, he believes, music is used merely as a cheap device to ‘Mickey Mouse’ an audience into having a specific emotional interpretation of a scene — whereas he finds music to be so powerful an actor that he only calls upon it if the script has a serious role for it. I find his position to be fascinating in its starkness, especially in this era wherein television is¬†absolutely drenched with music. I guess my music has done a bit of ‘Mickey Mousing’ on TV, though happily, I’ve found the usages thus far to be quite artfully executed, particularly on Grey’s Anatomy. Now I’m especially curious to hear and see how my song ‘Boat’ will be stirred into the upcoming season premiere of ‘DIRT’ on F/X. Perhaps it will be employed to ‘Mickey Mouse’ the audience into feeling exuberant when Courteney Cox gets a manicure.

(Sent from my mobile phone.)

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