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Lifeboat started me wondering again about the issue of separating the person from their work.  On the one hand, short of criminal behavior, I feel public figures only owe us the view of their public life.  On the other hand, some private behavior is truly abhorrent.  Hitchcock was one of the greatest directors but as a human being he left a lot to be desired.  Can we truly keep the two apart or does one color the other when the private life starts to peek out?  I was reminded after watching Lifeboat again reading Steinbeck was furious with Hitch because of the way he treated Canada Lee.  I remember in the silent films, Hitchcock did have some black characters so he at least acknowledged their existence, and given the tenor of the times I'm prepared to tolerate things like his use of the n word in The Ring.  Rich and Strange was harder to swallow with its casual racism that I've commented on before.  Joe Spencer in Lifeboat is a familiar trope, "black people are forgiving," everyone turns on Willie but him. Till well into the 1960s with few exceptions, African Americans, esp. men,in film were emasculated, idiotic, demonic or simply nonexistent.  And that's not even getting to Hitch's despicable treatment of at least some of his female stars, Tippi Hedren being the prime example.  What say you, can we admire the public without acknowledging the private life? People are complicated, aren't they?

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Lifeboat started me wondering again about the issue of separating the person from their work.  On the one hand, short of criminal behavior, I feel public figures only owe us the view of their public life.  On the other hand, some private behavior is truly abhorrent.  Hitchcock was one of the greatest directors but as a human being he left a lot to be desired.  Can we truly keep the two apart or does one color the other when the private life starts to peek out?  I was reminded after watching Lifeboat again reading Steinbeck was furious with Hitch because of the way he treated Canada Lee.  I remember in the silent films, Hitchcock did have some black characters so he at least acknowledged their existence, and given the tenor of the times I'm prepared to tolerate things like his use of the n word in The Ring.  Rich and Strange was harder to swallow with its casual racism that I've commented on before.  Joe Spencer in Lifeboat is a familiar trope, "black people are forgiving," everyone turns on Willie but him. Till well into the 1960s with few exceptions, African Americans, esp. men,in film were emasculated, idiotic, demonic or simply nonexistent.  And that's not even getting to Hitch's despicable treatment of at least some of his female stars, Tippi Hedren being the prime example.  What say you, can we admire the public without acknowledging the private life? People are complicated, aren't they?

 

I try hard to keep the two (the art an artist creates and their private life),  separate.    It isn't always easy so like learning to play Stardust perfectly it's something I have to constantly work on to obtain.

 

E.g.   if I found out Paul McCartney was a child molester it wouldn't impact my enjoyment of all the great songs he has written and recorded.     (but if I found out Michelle was about a 10 year old,,,, well that would take a lot more 'work' to get over each time I played the song as a jazz tune!).

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