Monday, January 16, 2012
Open Letter to Kim Novak,RE:unreasonable reaction to The Artist
Dear Ms. Novak,
As someone who is well aware of your talents as an actress and who has enjoyed your work over the years,it is sad to see your name make headlines recently due to an inappropriate expression of a creative difference.
Your full page ad in Variety was a declaration of your disapproval of the usage of a piece of the score from the Hitchcock film Vertigo(which you were the leading lady of) for the soundtrack of The Artist.
For some reason,you feel that this addition of Bernard Hermann's music takes something away from your contribution to the original film and for an even more odd reason,you chose to word your objection in this manner:
“I WANT TO REPORT A RAPE”:
I FEEL AS IF MY BODY—OR, AT LEAST MY BODY OF WORK—HAS BEEN VIOLATED BY THE MOVIE, “THE ARTIST.”
Putting aside your shocking language for a moment(but we will get back to it soon),a few points must be made here. For one,since you had no hand in writing or creating the score for Vertigo,any complaints about sampling that score rightly belong to Bernard Herrmann's people.
With that segment of the Vertigo soundtrack not only being legally acquired but properly listed in the end credits for The Artist as well,your claim is strictly a matter of personal preference here.
You might also like to know that that portion,"Scene D'Amour" was meant to be used temporarily and that the composer,Ludovic Bource,did write original music for that crucial sequence in The Artist.The decision to stick with Herrmann's music was made by the directer during the rushes,which should be no surprise to you, given your experience with film makers over the years.
Sampling previously created music into new compositions has been going on for quite some time now and you should really update your knowledge of changing media. I'm not the most musically adept person and even I know plenty about that. Using that portion of the Vertigo soundtrack was meant to be a compliment to Bernard Herrmann and should be taken as such:
Secondly,taking that bit of music does not affect your contributions to Vertigo in any conceivable way. You were not robbed;no one took the dialogue you recorded or use any of your images from the film for The Artist. No crime,real or imaginary,was perpetrated against you at all.
There are many other actresses out there,both still with us and not,whose iconic appearances are being exploited for advertising purposes and you should be thankful that this hasn't happened to you. Even though such licensing can be profitable and legally done,seeing a cut and paste version of classic stars hawking perfume or other sundry items due to digital manipulation is a tad disturbing:
Speaking of disturbing,your calling this tempest in a teapot a "rape" is beyond the pale. Insensitive doesn't even begin to describe your truly reprehensible appropriation of that word in this situation,which is a complete non-situation to start with.
Granted,you are not the only celebrity to do this within the past couple of years but at least those who did had the decency to apologize publicly and not have their PR person make a ridiculous statement in their defense such as the one you had someone on your staff make as this:
"There are all kinds of rape including the rape of one’s soul. All rapes are violent acts and all victims should be supported.”
Seriously,Ms. Novak,what the hell is wrong with you? Are you that desperate to reclaim a moment in the spotlight that you are willing to damage your artistic reputation with cheap and distasteful antics like this?
Not to mention make a bad impression on those not familiar with your work who'll be less inclined to do so after such a disgraceful use of your celebrity influence and status? The harm that you've done to actual victims of rape is immeasurable here and for that,you should be ashamed of yourself and make your own damn apologies or excuses.
No doubt,you're unhappy to hear that The Artist won a Golden Globe award last night for Best Score and has a very good chance of obtaining an Oscar this season. Part of that may be due to your pathetic publicity stunt,a rather bitter pill to swallow there,I'm sure.
Despite all of this,I do respect you as an artist,Ms. Novak and sincerely hope that you come to your senses and make amends to all concerned. It would be a shame for something like this to be part of your legacy.
Lady T and rest of the old school Hollywood fans
P.S. Some might think that you're simply being a diva here but I would like to think that you know the difference between being dramatic and being a drama queen. Please prove me right in this regard:
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