I recently saw the movie Blue Jasmine and really enjoyed it.
Cate Blanchett was quite brilliant and her portrayal of title character’s disintegration was fascinating to watch, in a car wreck kind of way.
Plus you simply can’t go wrong when Bobby Cannavale is in a cast, even if he’s playing a rather jerky grease monkey.
But with Woody Allen’s recent (and past) problems / indiscretions / crimes / whatever you want to call them everyone seems to be piling on the bandwagon to dis the director and his films.
Suddenly his movies are crappy, even though before he married his step daughter and was accused of child molestation they were considered genius.
As a longtime fan of Guns N Roses, I’ve gotten used to separating an artist’s work from their bad behavior.
Every time Axl Rose stalked off stage mid concert, or said something misogynistic, racist or just plain stupid, I’d find myself defending my enjoyment of their music.
“I don’t have to believe what they believe in order to listen to the songs,” I’d say.
And I still believe that you can consume the art without endorsing the artist.
I know the arguments… If you buy the music or go to the movie, you are providing the artist with financial support, thus offering a form of approval.
But aside from the fact that my cd and ticket purchases hardly provided Axl Rose or Woody Allen with great amounts of income, it’s frankly none of my business how they spend their money.
There are companies all over the world with offensive practices, things we can’t even begin to imagine, and we still give them their money.
Who hasn’t bought gas at an Exxon station? Does that mean you supported their actions after the Valdez oil spill?
How many people had their money with Lehman Brothers with no idea about their shady practices? Does that mean they were tacitly complicit?
Why should art be different?
Art can certainly be more personal than oil or investment banking both on the side of the seller and the buyer, but it’s still a business, a product.
And even bad companies can build good products.
Are the charges against Woody Allen disgusting and disturbing? Yes.
But what he does away from the camera doesn’t change the quality of his work. The art stands on its own.