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August 03, 2007

DVD Journal: "Auto Focus"

Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

It seems to me that a key issue that movie critics drastically underdiscuss is what I think of as "the audience sense." Discussions about film tend to launch quickly into matters of themes, judgments, and techniques, and to bypass entirely the question of whether or not the people onscreen and behind the scenes have an audience sense.

There's a tendency to think that the people who put on shows are just showing off. And there's certainly something of the exhibitionist to most show people. (A director friend likes to say that actors are attention-craving showoffs -- but ones who, unlike so many in civilian life, "are willing to sing for their supper.") But most of the time the grandstanding is accompanied by something else too.

What is it? An audience sense isn't quite the same thing as moviemaking (or acting, or technical) talent. Instead, it's an ability to sense how people are reacting to you and to what you're doing. Instinct and imagination seem to be involved. So does empathy: How else can someone so involved in attracting and commanding attention spare a few watts for how the show is being experienced by others?

Are the people with the most acute audience sense -- with the greatest ability to inhabit the moment from the inside while also observing it objectively and opportunistically from the outside -- standup comedians? When a standup act is really rockin', after all, the comedian can seem to be igniting firecrackers that are lying in wait in pockets of your brain and spirit.

As gifts go, an audience sense can seem like a cheap, low thing. After all, the artist who is calling on his audience sense isn't at that moment acting in strict accordance with expressive need, intellectual brilliance, or aesthetic theory. He's treating the people he's entertaining as his material, or as his equals, perhaps even as co-participants. Where's the art-purity?

It seems plainly clear that Hollywood entertainment greats such as Michael Curtiz, William Wyler, and Anthony Mann had an audience sense. How else could they have provided such a lot of pleasure to such large crowds? At their best, they seemed aware of how your body temperature was changing, and of how fast your heart was beating.

Among the crowd more commonly thought of as film artists, the flamboyant ringmaster-magicians like Welles, Fellini, and Altman obviously had their own kind of audience sense. For each of these directors, "putting on a show" itself eventually became a major theme.

But what about the more austere and difficult film artists? Just to pick from among the recently deceased: How about the likes of Antonioni and Bergman? Magnificent and often difficult artists, of course. No matter what your reaction or my reaction to their work was, were there many 20th century artists who were more significant, or more widely-influential? One small for-instance: Alexander Payne is a big fan of Antonioni's, and certainly the Antonioni influence can be felt in Payne's "Sideways." (I liked "Sideways" and wrote about it here.)

But weren't they also accomplished snakecharmers? An audience sense doesn't have to be one that extends to all audiences, after all.

Antonioni found and connected with a crowd that responded to his "open" dramaturgy, to his slow-motion pans and tracking shots, to his deliberate pacing, and to his stark, luxe beauty.

Bergman wasn't just a purveyor of metaphysical and erotic agony. He was also a legendary theater director who knew better than almost anyone how to milk a dramatic moment. For what it's worth, The Wife and I saw one of Bergman's stage productions when it traveled to Brooklyn. Though we didn't have a great time, it was clear nonetheless -- it was unavoidable -- that Bergman was nothing if not a superslick man of the theater.

(This line of discussion has me thinking about Damien Hirst, the Brit-Art / sliced-shark guy. Hirst may deserve mockery for many reasons, and I'm by no means an advocate. But he does deserve credit for having an audience sense. I've attended a couple of his gallery shows, and one thing that's impossible to miss is his exuberance and his panache. I find it useful to think of him as being a kind of Barnum & Bailey of the neoconceptual art world.)

I can think of four reasons why the audience sense is often underdiscussed.

  • Because it's so easy to take it for granted. Why, after all, would anyone without an audience sense go into show business? Especially in the theatrical and performing arts, an audience sense is practically a prerequisite for being in the field.

  • Because the audience sense is such a basic topic that it's easy to overlook, in the same way that the space between buildings is overlooked in discussions about architecture. When was the last time you read a few paragraphs in an article about a flashy piece of new architecture about parking, streets, alleyways, yards, driveways, and fields?

  • Because it's hard to discuss. The kind of criticism where you notice and highlight connections and patterns is something a critic can launch into with gusto. It's fun; it's like a crossword puzzle. But discussing the nature and quality of an artist's audience sense is far tougher. You need to evoke and characterize; you have to hope readers have some idea of what you're talking about.

  • And because it's kind of low. If you love a work of entertainment and want to make the case that it's an impressive work of art, the usual thing is to point out its complications and dazzle, not to praise the power of its low cunning. But an audience sense is an instinctual, gut-level thing. There's no pretending otherwise. It has far more to do with shrewdness and canniness than with anything noble.

The above are musings prompted by an evening spent with the DVD of a recent Paul Schrader movie, "Auto Focus," an oddball lowbudget biopic about the actor and personality Bob Crane. As a performer, Crane was mainly known for being the star of the '60s TV series "Hogan's Heroes." As a public figure, he acquired notoriety when he was murdered, and word emerged that he'd been a dedicated swinger and porno-hound who had videotaped many of his adventures.

Though "Auto Focus" isn't by any means hard to sit through, it's also anything but inspired. The time passes and you keep watching, though if you're like me you may be unsure why. The photography and art direction are diverting in a mocking-ironic, goofy-hipster kind of way. And the acting -- from Greg Kinnear as Crane, to Willem Dafoe as the video techie who swung alongside Crane, to Rita Wilson and Maria Bello as Crane's contrasting wives, to Ron Liebman as the agent who watches Crane throw it all away -- has a lot of zest. At its unpushy best, the film plays like a kooky Fringe theater production.

Dafoe and Kinnear focus on themselves

The main thing that makes the movie distinctive, though, is that, so far as the audience goes, it's completely tone-deaf.

Paul Schrader is probably best-known as the screenwriter of "Taxi Driver" and "Raging Bull," both of which were directed by Martin Scorsese. Besides those films, he has written many other scripts, and he has directed 17 movies of his own, including "Blue Collar," "Hard Core," and "Light Sleeper."

I can't think of another filmmaker who has had such a sustained and respected career while completely lacking any semblance of an audience sense. In the case of "Auto Focus," it's impossible to watch the picture and think that the people involved are talentless or stupid. Schrader himself seems intelligent; he knows what films are; he knows what filmmaking decisions are; and he has some real sophistication. There's colorful filmmaking going on up there. Yet, despite this, the whole thing is finally affectless, impassive, and inexpressive.

One reason for this is that Schrader seems disengaged from the material. Seeing no real significance in the subject matter, unable to take Bob Crane anything but lightly, Schrader is mainly amusing himself. But his self-diddling is joyless. When a director like Francis Coppola fondles himself, awful as the results can be there's always some kind of flamboyant exuberance to it. But you watch Schrader pleasuring himself and you think, What's the point?

It's a question that comes up with every film Schrader directs. Like all his other films, "Auto Focus" is wooden. I watch Schrader's films thinking, "What's being expressed here? How should I be taking this?" These aren't questions that normally come up when you watch a movie, let alone questions that arise consistently throughout one's experience with one guy's work.

Part of this may be because Schrader comes at filmmaking theoretically. He got his start as a high-minded film critic -- his film-crit book was about the "cinema of transcendence," which he identified with the directors Ozu, Bresson, and Dreyer. And he had some media notoriety. Magazines liked pointing out that he was raised Calvinist, and that he didn't see a movie until he was well into his teens. He became known as a guy for whom movies represented the forbidden, who was working out authentic spiritual torments, who saw possibilities for deliverance in sex, violence, and movies. And in fact most of his scripts are about heroes on a bloody spiritual journey. Sex and religion, baby. Mayhem and redemption.

But "Auto Focus" left me wondering about a couple of questions. In the first place, was Schrader's reputation for fire a consequence of Scorsese's direction? As a director, Schrader is beyond-deliberate, cold, and rather dry.

In the second place: Well, is what characterizes Schrader really intellectuality? Perhaps it's something more than that, something more like Aspergers. Even Schrader's gestures towards pleasure and entertainment lack giddiness and lift. They're just decisions he made and executed. In this movie set in the world of light entertainment, strip clubs and porn, that kind of affectlessness makes for a very weird viewing experience. Pleasure -- receiving or giving it, and perhaps even experiencing it -- isn't Schrader's thing, to say the least.

I finally found myself wondering: Why on earth did Paul Schrader go into show business? He has his drives, god knows, but they aren't ones that you normally associate with showmanship. And how does Schrader feel these days about having made such a big deal over having been raised Calvinist? Though he has clearly moved on, it isn't as though leaving the early repressiveness behind has yet turned him into a recognizable human being. By contrast to him, his heroes Ozu, Dreyer, and Bresson -- however "transcendent" -- are masters of cheesy entertainment. None of them lack the audience sense, that's for sure.

To Schrader's credit, actors like to work with him, and he has some canniness about casting them. They seem impressed by his credits, and turned-on by his reputation for daring and edginess. And their zest can sometimes help put his movies over. Here, all the performers bring a lot of perverse abandon to the project. Actors do love playing people with bad taste who can't handle success, as The Wife likes to point out.

(Small aside: You know the way many civilians and many people in the press enjoy fretting about the indignities that actors and especially actresses are subjected to? If you hang out with or work with actors, those concerns dissipate almost instantly. The fact is that many, if not most, performers are dying to do far-out, over-the-top material. Nudity? Blood? Violence? Bring it on! They didn't become actors because they have a lot of respect for mainstream values, after all.)

But it was the peculiarity of the film that finally held me. Has there been another filmmaker with a comparable career who has entirely lacked the audience-sense gene?

Plus, well ... I confess that one reason I stuck the film out was that I was thinking, "Hey, Schrader's tone-deafness might make a decent blog-posting topic."

Incidentally -- and this may be a completely unfair topic to raise, but what the heck, everyone who visits here is smart enough to take what we say with a large grain of salt -- I once spent a lunch sharing a table with Schrader and a couple of other people. And Schrader struck me as one of the most self-absorbed and out-of-touch people I've ever met. He's genuinely a strange one.

Of the movies Schrader has directed, the two that I've liked best are "The Comfort of Strangers," which is like one of Barbet Schroeder's more malicious pictures, and "Patty Hearst" (not available on DVD), where the themes of incarceration and Stockholm Syndrome mesh nicely with Schrader's own locked-in spirit. Admirers of the delightful Gretchen Mol won't want to forgo the otherwise completely-unconvincing heedless-love drama "Forever Mine."

I raved about the enchanting Maria Bello in a blogposting about the movie "The Cooler," here. Film Freak interviews Paul Schrader about "Auto Focus" here. The Movie Chicks interview Greg Kinnear and Paul Schrader here.



posted by Michael at August 3, 2007


This seems like a very timely topic for the audience-driven internet age we're all in now. There doesn't seem to be much future in media where the makers-audience relationship is non-existent, at this point, surely.

On the other hand, films with a great sense of their audience often only appeal to segments of humanity, which seems kind of inevitable as everything fragments & thereby gets better. "Firefly", "Transformers" and "Grindhouse" (all lowbrow) understood their audiences, which loved them. But weren't very big.

I just watched "The Queen", which is all about the issue of how much influence the audience/ subjects should have over those in "authority"/ authority, and what the difference is between emotional disengagement and emotional continence. A film to impress rather than to engage with. "Transformers" was infinitely more interesting, moral and clever in my view.

Posted by: Alice Bachini on August 3, 2007 10:58 PM

Bergman etc were mere artists. William Wyler was something far more rare and exalted: a crackerjack mainstream entertainer. 'Dodsworth', 'The Heiress','The Best Years of our Lives', 'The Little Foxes', 'Detective Story'...what a guy!

Posted by: Robert Townshend on August 4, 2007 5:40 AM

Great post! I think you're spot-on with regards to Schrader. I think he is a pretty good screenwriter, but he needs someone like Scorsese to put his ideas over.

Another reason critics don't talk about "audience sense" is because admitting it might be like admitting that that's the real reason they're drawn in by a movie.

Posted by: Jon Hastings on August 4, 2007 9:12 AM

Forgive me if I'm being particularly obtuse today but doesn't audience sense boil down to entertainment quotient: this film, this actor, grabbed me? I was grabbed, caught up in a film or a show; ergo that film or show has audience sense.

For example: I saw Auto Focus several years ago so it's kind of blurry but I do recall that whereas the film as a whole did not have audience sense the work of William Dafoe, which conveyed the intense desperation of a wanna-be-withit loser, did have audience sense. But why not just call audience sense pizazz or intensity?
And didn't the writing contribution of Paul Schrader to Raging Bull have audience sense? That film was totally riveting to me.

Okay, tell me how I'm wrong and how audience sense differs from entertainment quotient.

Posted by: ricpic on August 4, 2007 10:18 AM

Alice -- That's very smart, tks. Media experiences generally do seem to be moving in that direction, don't they? As people get freer to please themselves it seems inevitable that the demanding/unyielding sorts of works are going to lose their charm and allure, though I'd guess there'll always be exceptions. Hmm, you've got me remembering Virginia Postrel's book about design, user experience, art, consumerism, etc ....

Robert T. -- Wyler was amazing, wasn't he? And for such a long while. To my shame it took me a bit to cotton to his greatness. As a kid he looked stuffy and conventional to me. Then (I don't know at what age -- 25?) I watched "Dodsworth," was amazed and overwhelmed, and have been repentent and apprecative ever since. Talk about the Compleast Filmmaker. Hey, one of his films that I think is purest genius is "These Three." Have you caught that one? I'm always amazed more isn't made of it.Looking over his list of films at IMDB I realize there's a lot of early Wyler I haven't seen, and some big mid-career pix too -- "The Westerner." Mea culpa!

Jon -- That's a very funny hunch. Probably a correct one too. But what would critics do with themselves if they weren't intellectualizing, and dreaming up complicated reasons to justify their responses?

Ricpic -- Dafoe was pretty great, wasn't he? Just the kind of role and performance he seems to love best. I think it's a great question -- is there a diff between having an audience sense and pizazz? I guess I'd venture that they're related but a bit different. You could have all the energy in the world, for instance. But if you didn't have a sense of how people are taking what you're up to you'd just be flailing -- nothing would connect. I think 90% of people do have some kind of audience sense. You know how to make other people laugh, or how to wake them up in the middle of a meeting (or even just that they need waking up), or what your wife is thinking or feeling at a given moment ... But some people seem to have that in spades -- the speaker who holds the whole audience in the palm of his hands, for instance. So maybe pizazz depends a bit on first having an audience sense. But really the fun for me of writing the posting was just in saying, "How weird to watch a movie made by a guy who seems to be a classic Aspie." I can't explain the odd wooden quality that Schrader's movies all have any other way -- they're so consistently wooden that it can't be just that he was asleep at the helm. And he doesn't seem to want to be weird and experimental. So I'm guessing that he's just, emotionally-audience-speaking, a completely nonempathetic blockhead, for all his brains and gifts. People with that temperament seldom direct movies!

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on August 4, 2007 11:17 AM

In terms of "audience sense," the most accomplished film I've seen in decades is "Shaun of the Dead."

Posted by: Chip Smith on August 4, 2007 11:29 AM

There's good stuff that takes the audience a long time to catch up with, of course (Van Gogh, Emily Dickinson), but it still requires a certain arrogance (?) to make at the time. I guess we are just coming out of the part of history where you could get paid to do that on the basis of your perceived authority. Audience = income.

Posted by: Alice Bachini-Smith on August 4, 2007 12:31 PM

People today retain few core values, so it is difficult, if not impossible, for filmmakers to touch them in any lasting way. The social emptiness of modern viewers limits what any film can achieve.

Consider Casablanca, still regarded by most film historians as the greatest film ever made. It is a story of sacrifice. Rick (Humphrey Bogart), sacrifices his chance to have the woman he loves more than life itself, Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman), because it is the right thing to do. He does it even though he can walk away with the woman he loves. He does it because he does not want to violate the marriage of the man he admires above all others, Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid), survivor of a Nazi concentration camp, leader of the underground, fearless and sublime as a human being.

Moderns viewing Casablanca rarely grasp the depth and beauty of the story, or the situation in which it unfolds, or the transcending power of that film, because they lack the values to which it plays. Young people cannot even fathom the power of a story about a man who does the right thing--and sacrifices everything.

Posted by: Richard S. Wheeler on August 4, 2007 2:07 PM

Wyler's reputation has had a funny ride. I think he's one of the handful of the greatest directors. But, unless I'm imagining this, the American "auteur" critics hated Wyler, even though their French predecessors at "Cahiers" loved him--especially Bazin. But good God! His films include "The Good Fairy," "The Best Years of Our Lives," "The Heiress," and freakin' "Ben-Hur"! That's what I call a career.

Mr. Wheeler, your points about "Casablanca" are very interesting. But not even a minute minority of film historians, let alone "most," consider "Casablanca" the greatest film ever made. The film's reputation with the public has always been much higher than with critics and historians.

Posted by: Francis Morrone on August 4, 2007 6:36 PM

For many years now and just like many other members of his generation (Scorsese and Coppola come to mind), Schrader has been filming on automatic pilot, apparently satisfied with making average or good-but-flawed movies and living off past glories (in his case, Taxi Driver). I often wonder what went wrong with those filmmakers and why is it that some of the more talented members of that group like the wonderful John Milius are virtually missing in action these days. It's a shame because even their subpar efforts tend to be better than dreck like "Crash" or Eli Roth's gorefests.

I'm also a big fan of "The Comfort of Strangers" with its excellent cast (Christopher Walken, Rupert Everett, Helen Mirren, Natasha Richardson), a beautiful score by Angelo Badalamenti and an inspired screenplay by Harold Pinter (based on a story by Ian McEwan). Schrader's direction is very elegant and his depiction of a mysterious Venice is fascinating. Some good-but-flawed films by Schrader I'd also recommend are his remake of "Cat People" and the epic "Mishima."

Posted by: GB on August 4, 2007 8:11 PM

Mr. Morrone, time flies. A few decades ago it was a tossup between Casablanca and Citizen Kane, which were steadily labeled one or two, or two or one. Perhaps new generations of film historians and critics have changed the rankings I once knew to be true.

Posted by: Richard S. Wheeler on August 4, 2007 8:17 PM

Excellent post, Michael. True “audience sense” also involves an element of showmanship, which has become a dirty word of late. It seems to have been conflated with bombast. There’s a difference between giving the audience what they want and playing them like a Stradivarius while serving your own ends.

Critics don’t want to discuss “audience sense” because they don’t want to admit that they’re susceptible to it. Executives ignore it because it can’t be quantified. And the filmmakers themselves don’t bring it up because to acknowledge the magic runs the risk of dissipating it.

I feel compelled to say a word in defense of Auto Focus, largely because of the acting; Greg Kinnear has quietly moved into the top rank of American film actors, and his performance here is a marvel. But the movie itself has some interesting things to say about fame and the people whom it befalls. Auto Focus is about the fact that Bob Crane was a modestly gifted man who lacked the capacity to comprehend his own tragedy. The movie’s what-are-you-gonna-do? closing voiceover brings that point home clearly. At times it veers perilously close to the fallacy of the imitative form (love busting out those English Lit course phrases!): a film that doesn’t fully engage its own problem about a man who doesn’t fully engage his own problem. But that’s why I enjoyed it.

Also worth pointing out: while Schrader no doubt contributed to the script, Michael Gerbosi is the sole credited writer.

Posted by: Vince on August 4, 2007 10:54 PM

i really like schraeder's remake of cat people as well, as ridiculus as it is, the look of the film, nastassja kinski's vunerable and intrigueing hotness and john heard's performance win me over. i also liked hardcore cause of george c. scott's performance. auto focus was ok but i agree that greg kinnear probably gave his best performance thus far in that one. should have got a little more attention. dafoe was good but it didn't seem as much a stretch as it was for kinnear.

Posted by: t. j. on August 5, 2007 10:54 AM

I thought "Auto Focus" was interesting becuase it was one of the first mainstream movies to suggest that there was a dark side to the sexual liberation of the 1960's and 1970's. Was this Schrader's Calvinism coming out? And yeah, I grew up watching "Hogan's Hero's" and Greg Kinnear did a great job as Crane.

Posted by: tschafer on August 5, 2007 11:45 AM

Your first reaction to Wyler was the right one. He is a crashing bore. He did work well with actors, but compare him with George Cukor. Cukor too was primarily known for getting great performances out of actors, but what a contrast. Cukor actually had some feel for the cinema and managed to make some good films along the way. How many hours have I wasted on Wyler films because of his absurd reputation among film people? One doesn't want to think about it.

Posted by: Thursday on August 5, 2007 12:09 PM

Dead-right about Cukor's ability to draw out performances and get heaps of juice bubbling among his characters. Think of 'The Women'. Wyler, by contrast, was inarticulate with his actors. Yet this failing, like all Wyler's failings, ultimately lends more balance to his movies. He got the most out of everyone - big stars, Commie script-writers, artie cinematographers - by relentless work with a clear goal. That goal was quality mainstream entertainment. What a career Kubrick might have had, pointing a camera for Willie! What might Bergman and Antonioni have achieved if they had ditched the whole business of portraying long-faced Euro-sophisticates suffering their 'alienation', reel after reel...and gone to work for Willie! (Bloody Europeans and their alienation! Che cazzo is that, anyway?)

As far as Thursday finding Wyler to be a crashing bore, the idea is so novel and surprising that I'll just have to think about. May take some time.

Posted by: Robert Townshend on August 5, 2007 5:36 PM


Given your affinity for '70s films and their filmmakers, like Altman, Copolla, Schrader, Scorsese, I think you might enjoy Peter Biskind's book Easy Riders, Raging Bulls. It's ocassionally sloppy, but is a readable, gossipy account of the period and the people.

Posted by: Peter L. Winkler on August 5, 2007 8:38 PM

I think you've hit it with the bit about disengagement. I feel similarly about Neil LaBute as a writer-director: it's all so calculated, I feel like I'm watching an operating theater through glass. Interesting (and often, in LaBute's case, icky) but ultimately stuff that engages the upstairs organ exclusively.

Posted by: communicatrix on August 5, 2007 9:29 PM

Hell yes with the LaBute analysis. I don't get his appeal. He sets up dramatic straw men and then calculatingly knocks them down with a vicious smirk and we're supposed to recognize something truthful about a totally false situation. Also, his dialogue is almost as wooden as Mamet's (another guy whose work I don't get).

Auto Focus succeeded for me and my wife in that it felt truly sleazy. I credit Kinnear and Dafoe of that. Someone mentioned Kinnear as a subtly great actor, and I agree. And of course, no one can do sleazy life Dafoe, if only for that face.

Posted by: the patriarch on August 6, 2007 10:02 AM

Audience sense is not exclusively, or even primarily, a skill of actors or comedians. Indeed, I'd say the professions most dependent on it are teachers and politicians. Good teachers know when they are losing their students, either because they are confused or they are bored, and adjust their 'act' accordingly. Politicians have to do the same thing, often to multiple audiences (the crowd in front of them, the TV audience who will see only the sound bite, the press) simultaneously. This is where Dean failed with his 'scream'- he correctly read and responded to the crowd in front of him, but failed to read the audience outside of the room.

Posted by: rvman on August 6, 2007 12:30 PM

Audience sense and "Casablanca." Yep, the movie had it---but not solely for the reasons Mr. Wheeler mentions. The most memorable lines are those of the rascals---"Shocked, shocked that gambling is going on here!" and "round up the usual suspects", etc. Apparently, Rick is so noble he's willing to commit murder, as long as his police captain pal will cover for him. Not completely admirable. Plus, as one biographer of Ingrid Bergamn pointed out, Ilsa is hardly a model of admirability. For her to have had the fling with Rick in Paris that they had, she would either have been knowingly cheating on a husband who had been captured by Nazis, or having an affair about five minutes after believing said husband was dead. Hmmmm.

But the audience sense of it knew the audience would overlook it all--it was what "dreams are made of". The awareness of what the audience wanted to be true, wanted to see.

I also think audience sense in a particular performer is a bit different than for a movie as a whole. Sylvester Stallone lacked audience sense in trying to play screwball comedy---the audience didn't want that from him. The audience doesn't want Meg Ryan would-weary and bitchy, and it doesn't want Goldie Hawn as a concentration camp survivor. Some very commercial careers have been built on knowing what their audience wanted them to be.

Posted by: annette on August 6, 2007 3:25 PM

They used to teach us in preaching class that a really good sermon is something that happens BETWEEN the speaker and the hearer, which explains why "Casablanca" has meaning for one person and not so much for another.

I do think the medium and the reason for being there matter greatly. "Audience sense" when you're standing looking at people you know and can adjust your material or delivery to suit the faces they are making is one thing. In a darkened movie theatre it's another. When a movie is on a TV screen with people walking in and out of the room, maybe putting the film on pause while they go make a sandwich or answer the doorbell -- well, no wonder there are so many explosions and so much nudity.

I would subscribe to "long tail" theory in regard to "audience sense." Some go for the common denominator and some have very specialized watchers. How many people were really willing to sit through Andy Warhol's movies of flies crawling around on people and what were their motives? Or were they just drugged?

Prairie Mary

Posted by: Mary Scriver on August 6, 2007 4:23 PM

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