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Re: GG - My Foolish Heart

On Mon, 8 Apr 1996 jcs@grove.ufl.edu wrote:

> 	I agree with you about the lack of intensity in the playing, and 
> considering the "Jamal Records", I suppose it makes no sense to consider 
> GG as a candidate. But as far as the intensity is concerned, it strikes 
> me that a contrived performance would have been precisely GG's intention 
> in that particular scene. 

Interesting thought.

> 	Consider the context. One of the Mennonites says that under the 
> old rules, "we were not supposed to go into cafes", and the peice slips 
> immediately into a cafe-like atmosphere.  It seems to me that the manner 
> in which GG spliced the conversations together suggests that he was 
> attempting to point out inconsistencies and hypocrisies at every turn.  
> Placing the members in a cafe to discuss their ideals, backed by an 
> unconvincing, contrived performance of 'My Foolish Heart' strikes me as a 
> perfect example of GG's wit.

I don't think he was out to expose "inconsistencies and hypocrisies" so
much as to show that the influences of modern life necessarily create
paradoxes in anyone's lifestyle, especially in the lives of members of a
faith community.  There's always a conflict of tradition/principle vs
adaptation to context.  People are thrust into situations which they must
deal with, without being entirely in control of them.  (Gould's playing of
music repertoire reflects similar conflicts within himself, of course.)

His overall portrait of Mennonites seems to me to be very realistic and
sympathetic (and I'm a Mennonite myself).  Yes, there is wit in
juxtaposing the cafe atmosphere with the dialogue of his characters.  In a
similar way, there is wit in the first section, where he throws the
materialism discussion against that overbearing Janis Joplin song.  And
that part about the burlesque-show midgets is just plain silly, Gould's
wit again.  Gould seems to treat his subject with affectionate teasing. 

Bradley Lehman, bpl@umich.edu       http://www-personal.umich.edu/~bpl/  

"From now on, call me Jamal Spelling!" - Brain, "Pinky and the Brain"