NOTE: This interview was conducted last year. Buy Buy
Since 1978, Su Friedrich has been making films that render the borders between documentary, experimental film, and conventional narrative much more porous. Often using material directly from her own life, Friedrich developed a dense, allusive style that expanded her concerns beyond the merely individual. Her films assert an inextricable link between personal and political, not as useful dogma, but as something necessary to understand in order to make sense of our lives. On November 15th, she came to UnionDocs with The Odds of Recovery, a 2002 film that explores her ongoing medical issues, and Seeing Red, her first straight-up diary movie, made in 2005. I had a chance to sit down with her during the screening to talk about these films, and the issues that arise in a career of making art that genuinely resists categorization.
Union Docs: You wrote something recently for the Millennium Film Journal in response to a survey about what they call “experiments in documentary”. You say that you “dislike and disavow” the term “experimental” in regard to documentary, and in general, because you feel like it cordons that work off from the rest of the world of documentary. I’m wondering if you think there’s any reason to distinguish what you do from what someone like, say, Ken Burns does.
Su Friedrich: Is there any reason to do it for my sake and is there any reason to do it for the audience’s sake? It’s two different things. Certainly when I’m working, I’m very aware that I’m not doing a Ken Burns film. I recognize, without necessarily putting it into words that I’m working in a way other than the conventional mode of documentary filmmaking. I was going to say “in opposition to”, and then realized I don’t have that militant feeling of wanting to overthrow the old guard –sometimes I do if I see a really bad film — but I am aware I’m doing something other than following the conventions. I suppose it’s necessary for me to understand that in order to proceed.
Then with the audience, it’s a really hard question. The film I finished most recently, Buy From the Ground Up, is about coffee and it’s mostly visual and I don’t give any information about coffee production. And I use music in a deliberately irritating way. I use a single song, in fragments. Then I repeat the fragments, to make you think about how monotonous work is and all that. But I realized after finishing it that people would come see the film with the expectation that they were going to learn something about coffee. I started worrying and thought I should let people know that they’re not seeing a conventional film, ergo I should call it an “experimental documentary”. But then I thought if I do that, people wont come see it. Maybe I’d only get people who have more adventurous or developed tastes in film, and I don’t want that to be the only audience I have. If I can draw in people who have an interest in more conventional documentaries, maybe then some of them will come around. But sometimes I don’t want people to come watch it who are just going to be disappointed or annoyed by it, so I’m of two minds about it.
UD: Do you think about that in terms of where you try and show the films? It seems like one of the disconnects between those worlds happens in the different kinds of festivals that show the work. You have the Human Rights Watch Festival, for example, which will show a certain kind of work, and you’ll have other festivals which will show work that’s more experimental.
SF: The thing about me and festivals is that I’ve really run the gamut over the years. I don’t think of myself as a documentary filmmaker, but some of my work has easily been called documentary, like The Ties that Bind, which is about my mother living in Germany during the war — one has to call it a documentary. Other films can’t really be called documentaries. I’ve ended up, over very, very many years, showing in so many different kinds of film festivals. Sometimes unexpectedly.
The weirdest time was when Sink or Swim was invited to the Melbourne Film Festival. I was much younger then, and they didn’t invite me to go. If it had been ten years later, I probably would have tried to finagle an invitation, but I was happy just to be included in the festival. And then the director of the festival called me up and said, “Su, I have some really good news for you, but I feel like a fool.” And I asked what, and he said, “You just won the grand prix.” I said I didn’t even know it was in competition. He said the way our festival runs, everything is part of the competition. This is a festival that has tons of feature films. He said “It’s just a pity you’re not here to accept the award.”
So it’s hard to say, because I’ve been in such conventional festivals and such unconventional festivals. Sometimes a film like Sink or Swim, which would seem to only be appropriate for something like the Ann Arbor Film Festivals ends up in a major festival like Melbourne. I don’t really know anymore when I’m applying to things. Maybe there’s a way which something that seems inappropriate would slip through the door and something which seems so obvious doesn’t get in. In the case of the documentary world, what I found with From the Ground Up was that it totally failed at the documentary film festivals. In that case I thought, well, I have this film which is, to a fair degree, a documentary, and so the most obvious place to send it would be the documentary festivals. Because maybe a film about coffee, albeit an experimental one, wouldn’t be of that much interest to people who do more experimental things, like the MIX festival or Ann Arbor or whatever, because they’d see it as too much of a documentary. And I tried with the documentary places and I got rejected from all of them. It just seems like it’s such a crapshoot.
UD: You started doing film at Millennium and you stayed rooted in an experimental tradition, and at the same time you seem to have a kind of ambivalent relationship with that tradition. A number of years ago you wrote a piece responding to the question “does radical content deserve radical form?”, where you seem uncomfortable speaking the kind of strident language many experimental filmmakers use about what that kind of film-making does. I’m curious how you deal with that ambivalence while maintaining your relationship to that tradition, and how you’re able to work in an atmosphere that’s more certain about the intentions behind, and the effect of certain methods.
SF: The crass answer is that I take it wherever I can get it. If somebody wants to call me an experimental filmmaker because they like my work and that’s their world, and they want to contextualize me in that world, fine. If somebody wants to call me a documentary filmmaker, because they like my work and want to contextualize me in that world, fine. I don’t mean I’m a whore, but I don’t align myself with any particular tradition or genre. I do recognize that I began in experimental film, so I’m not going to throw that over or pretend I didn’t do that, but I also know that within four years of making experimental films, I started making The Ties That Bind, which somebody could see as experimental, but is actually a 60-minute film that documents a woman’s experience during the Second World War. It pretty much is a documentary. It wasn’t that long after I began making experimental films that I went out into the world to make something that was more of a document. And then right after that, I made Damned If You Don’t, which has this narrative element and also involves interviewing people and using their voiceover accounts of their real experience. Someone could call that an experimental narrative, they could call it an experimental documentary, but I see it as something which, for whatever reason, is outside of what is normally seen as the experimental film tradition. I see someone like Yvonne Rainer in a similar way. I don’t think our work is at all the same, but her work was longer and had politics in it, and had narrative elements and whatever, so it’s just its own animal. It borrows from all these different traditions.
I don’t feel like I’m excluding myself, or excluding anybody else by saying this. There are so many experimental filmmakers whose work I love, who I am definitely able to just call experimental filmmakers. Whereas I don’t entirely call myself that. There’s no judgment involved.
UD: I’m thinking about Sink or Swim. Fred Camper commented that you use certain methods of experimental film — handheld camera, scratched emulsion– that were traditionally used by people like Stan Brakhage as an expression of this sort of stable identity, and he suggested that you use these techniques from a position that’s less sure about identity and more exploratory. Do you have any feeling about that.
SF: Except that I don’t use scratched words in Sink or Swim…
UD: Not in Sink or Swim, but in Gently Down the Stream.
SF: I don’t know. I feel like I’ve been bedeviled by these kinds of questions for my whole working life. When I studied Art History — that’s mainly what I studied in college — I found myself always chafing in a class about Renaissance art, or whatever it may be, when the teacher would present a set of painters or sculptors and say “these are the X-ists”. I would always feel like a handful of people who happened to live at the same time and maybe lived in the same place and painted in a somewhat similar fashion were being shoehorned into an ism. Even though I could see something of the case that was being made, I always felt like the teacher and the practice was denying the individuality of the artist. I didn’t need to see Chardin as a…whatever the hell he would have been thought of as, I could just look at Chardin and like what he did. That was very much a feeling for me before I was a filmmaker. I don’t have to think of the French New Wave when I’m watching Cleo from 5 to 7. It’s just its own film and I’m really happy that it exists, and I’m perfectly happy and capable of watching it without thinking of the French New Wave. So I feel like that about my own work.
UD: I guess that was something I was trying to get at in the first question — you don’t want to limit yourself, or limit your appreciation of a piece of art by categorizing it, but at a certain point, to be understood, you need to do that.
SF: I know. That’s why I’m saying I’m bedeviled by it, because at the same time I recognize the necessity of it, just for the benefit of human communication; to be able to say to somebody “I saw a series of films of the French New Wave”, and they will know what I mean. They’ll know that I mean a series of people and I don’t have to rattle off all their names. In whatever fashion one wants to discuss film or art or whatever else, it’s really a convenience. So when people say I’m an experimental filmmaker or a documentary filmmaker, I think fine, call me that. I just don’t put much stock in it except as a convenient handle.
UD: Well to move on to another to another category, you have made a lot of …
SF: Personal films! (laughs)
UD: Exactly. You’ve made a lot of films about yourself. It seems to have been very productive for you. It seems that for a lot of people, that kind of self-consciousness is paralyzing and makes it very difficult to speak. Because you start thinking about how people are looking at your every movement, your every word. Why has that angle worked for you, and been so generative of films that, while they’re about you, are really broadly accessible and not solipsistic.
SF: Well, thank you. I worry really intensely any time I make a film that does involve a personal story of mine that I’m being self-indulgent. It’s just an obsessive worry of mine. I think sometimes if you worry about something enough, you succeed in not doing the thing you’re worried about. I guess it can also lead you to become paralyzed or to actually do it, but I feel like as long as I keep that fear in the foreground, then it protects me from doing it. I’m constantly thinking, “No, you’ve gone too far”. Plus there are always people, like my partner, who come in and say, “Get rid of that, that’s ridiculous. Nobody needs to know that except you.” That’s another way of guarding against solipsism and self-indulgence. If you bring someone else in the room, they will cut that short.
I’ve also come to recognize over the years that I’m really controlling. I’m not going to say that I’m OCD, but there are days when I’m almost willing to give myself that label. So there’s a way that when I’ve been dealing with the really personal stuff, where the initial impulse is a very emotional one. I indulge that for a while. But then my other side takes over. And if I say I’m controlling, it suggests that there’s no aesthetic involved, so let me say that there is a certain idea of form — if it’s messy, who can stand that? Other people can when they work, but for me I have to pick at it and reshape, and reshape, and reshape it. That’s why I think there comes to be this distance or structure to it that it needs, so it isn’t just this total personal thing.
UD: Control is something that comes up in both of the films here tonight. In Odds of Recovery, you’re talking to a doctor, and one of you — I don’t remember if it’s you or the doctor — that talks about the loss of control induced by illness. At the beginning of Seeing Red you talk about being a control freak.
SF: Part of the reason I started working on Odds of Recovery was because I recognized that I had this raging problem with medical things over the years. Not to exaggerate, it’s not like I had cancer or AIDS or anything. I just had this constant, recurring thing. And I saw that there was a way in which I was not admitting that to myself. If I looked it square in the face by making a film then hopefully that would change.
In the course of working up the material, I saw that there were these issues of control, and how you lose control when you’re sick and have to depend on other people and all of that. So it certainly made me more aware of it. What I didn’t quite anticipate was that I was working with something that in a way would became history. One of the central issues in the film was this hormone imbalance that I had, and the hormone imbalance caused me to be crazy emotional all the time. During the course of making the film, I started taking a drug which fixed the problem. So I have this document of all these years of being subject to this hormonal problem, but then I was in control and I could look at it instead of being in the midst of it.
It’s weird to think about what the film would have been if I hadn’t yet found that drug, because I had certainly tried other drugs before that didn’t work. It could have been that I was making this film while still crazy. It’s sort of weird that it worked out that way. Maybe because of getting the drug and chilling out a little bit, it was possible in Seeing Red — even though in an early scene I just burst into tears, which is, I think, absolutely hilarious — I could talk about things in a slightly removed manner, because I was no longer so totally possessed by this thing.
UD online : Do you find, having made work that’s so self-revealing, that when you’re talking to people about the work, or running into people, that there are all these strangers who know all these details about your life?
SF: Oh my god, it’s horrifying. It’s kind of great, but like I make Ties That Bind and everybody is telling me their stories about the Second World War. Then I make Damned If You Don’t and everybody’s telling me their sexual fantasies about nuns and priests, and that’s okay. Then I make Sink or Swim, and suddenly I’m hearing really upsetting stories about people and their parents.
But I figure part of your responsibility, or your charge, as an artist is to continue to interact with the world after you’ve made the work. You can’t just walk away from it. As much as I didn’t want to be standing in the back of a theater and hearing someone tell about their horrible abuse by their father, I thought “that’s why you’re in this room. You cannot walk away from this.”
When I’ve made something that didn’t provoke that response, I was so relieved. I thought when I made First Comes Love, somebody might want to talk about getting married, but that’s not a big deal.
I must say that when I made The Odds of Recovery, I really worried about it. I just didn’t want to hear about everybody’s medical problems, because it’s so horrible, and boring, and depressing — including mine. And then, of course, I did. Certainly with the hormone thing there would be women who would come up to me afterwards and say “I think I have this. Should I go to the doctor?” And I thought “that’s why you made this. So that somebody else would know to go to the doctor. You need to talk to them, because if they’re as freaked out as you were a few years ago, then my god…” But it isn’t the most pleasant consequence of making a film.
UD: Language is important to your films, and there’s a certain density to a lot of your work. Both Sink or Swim and Odd of Recovery, for example, are very dense. You bring in a lot of different metaphors that tie into each other, or at least run parallel. It’s interesting looking at Seeing Red, which is a lot more minimal — you’re speaking, and there’s the Goldberg Variations, but it doesn’t draw on the same wealth of texts. Did it feel like that approach wasn’t appropriate for this film, or were you trying to deliberately get away from those kinds of methods?
SF: That film was made because I had made The Odds of Recovery and really knocked myself out. It took three years, I spent all my money because I finished on film. It was also about this medical shit. Cathy, my partner, did not want me to make it. One time, in three years, she watched part of a rough cut and then she said “I’m not watching this ever again”. She did not come to the premiere event. We had so many fights about the film. On the night of the premiere I said “Please, honey”, and she said “I’ve seen you too often in hospital gowns, and I never want to see you like that again”. And that was it. I said “Wow, you’re right. Why would you ever want to subject yourself to this?” She came to the party after, and she was so great.
I went through that, and it really took it out of me. Then I had no money, and I couldn’t work. Then I was in the country, and I had a crappy video camera. Someone who was very close to us died. And I spent five days shooting random shit, which turned into The Head of Pin. That didn’t have text at all. I probably thought about text for a few minutes, and then thought no. I just constructed this thing with ambient sound.
This is a very long answer to your question, but it’s just to say that The Odds of Recovery was fairly structured, but not to the extent that things I had made before were. I think partly because I was afraid of the material, because Cathy was refusing to have me do it, that I kind of came at it from a lot of a different points without ever thinking at the beginning about the overall thing of it, compared to Sink or Swim where I really laid it all out. That was the first time where I let myself be a little looser. But I think in that case it was out of fear. Then with The Head of a Pin, it was this very odd thing because of having to work in video, which was very different than working in film where I had to be much more careful about the amount of material I was shooting. When I finished The Head of a Pin, I thought it was so strange. I’ve always wanted to know what I’m doing before I do it. Even though the idea changes a lot, I always had to have that initial totally convincing idea. Now I know I’m always fooling myself, because I know it’s going to change, but I was good at fooling myself. With The Head of a Pin, it was not clear at all.
Then I started making the coffee film, and I shot a bunch of stuff. I was partly really interested, and partly didn’t know what I was doing and was a little bored. Cathy said “you seem like you’re in a lot of pain. I think you’re full of shit making a film about coffee. You should make a film about this pain you’re feeling”. So I walked into my studio and just started recording — the first part where I just talk. The whole film came out of a combination of the fact that I had dealt with being on camera, in The Odds of Recovery, for the first time, and had this more positive experience putting together The Head of a Pin, because it was a little more lyrical. Seeing Red seemed like it might get a little more emotional and weird. I also felt that I had run of out steam in a certain way, that the way I had worked for so many years… I didn’t have the wherewithal. I couldn’t take the time and the distance to crystallize my idea, but because I could shoot video, it meant I didn’t have to. I could just make something really basic — like I’m going to go around filming red things. I mean, what kind of a plan is that? And I could do it. It didn’t matter, because it cost nothing. My whole working method really changed so much in my approach to that film.
When I was doing it I was really worried. I thought I had totally lost control, like I no longer have the time, or the presence of mind, or the concentration to plan what I’m doing. I’m just trying to throw something together in between weeks of teaching or whatever it might be, and I’ve become the kind of person who is just trying to get something done without really knowing what the goal is. Now when I look back at it, I think what actually happened is that I let myself do something, almost for the first time, that allowed certain things to happen. Some of my old habits kicked in — you know, the tight editing, and my work with music kicked in, in combination with that. It ended up being something that still has surprising moments for me. It would have been really weird, and pretty much impossible, to have made it the way I might have made it fifteen years ago. Which is to say I would think what I’m going to do is sit, and whenever I feel like talking, the way I talk on camera in the film, I’m just going to do that on paper. I’m going to have a diary. Then I’m going to take that text and refine it, rewrite it, and then record it. I might have done that fifteen years ago, because I might have felt that direct speech wasn’t good enough. I might have felt like I could have done that with Rules of the Road. I could have sat down and just said “Oh my god, I just went outside and I thought I saw the car go by, and then I realized it wasn’t her. But it made me realize…” you know, the way I talk in Seeing Red. But I didn’t then, because I felt that I really had to totally control that text. Now I felt that after so many years I could speak extemporaneously. The last thing I’ll say is that when it comes down to it, each of those diary entries, each of those days I recorded — there were only I think seven or eight of them — I talked for probably between seven and fifteen minutes, and I only use a minute and a half to two minutes of each of them in the film. So they’re heavily-edited. It’s not even pure speech.
UD: Have you generally found the cheapness and lightness of video liberating, or do you have a problem not having the constraints that film offers?
SF: I can’t afford the constraints anymore. I love film. I talk about this all the time. Just the other night, I said something about video being the lesser of the two media and somebody afterwards said “did you mean that? That’s really wrong.” And I said “yeah, I actually do mean that.” But the reality is I work in video. I try to remember what it was like to shoot with a Bolex. I try to remember to focus, and set the exposure, and frame it, and stop running the camera when the shot is over. But there is something about video that takes over, and I keep shooting. So I have a bit of a mixed feeling.
UD: What about with editing? Do you like using Final Cut?
SF: Oh my god, I love it for editing. I think that’s really brilliant. People are very sloppy editors, of course, but if you’re not, the benefits of being able to cut in the computer are so phenomenal compared to cutting film. I actually figured out the foolproof method for storing trims in 16mm on pretty much the last project I cut on film, which was Hide and Seek. I had 20,000 feet of film, and I edited for a year, and on the last day, I was looking at something, and I needed to add a frame from a shot, and I could find it within a minute because I figured out this phenomenal system. I thought fucking hell, why didn’t I think of this twenty years ago? It was available, but I didn’t think of it. If I’d had to keep cutting in film, I would have had something at least resembling a workable method. But I think the computer is great.
UD: During the masterclass [with the UnionDocs collaborative] you talked about your method for keeping your files organized on the computer. It’s interesting, your films aren’t airy or theoretical, but they have big concerns, and I think it’s interesting that you have this interest in the more concrete, technical issues.
SF: I think that’s really important. The thing is a craft, it’s not just an art. I think anybody who has made good stuff knows that. That’s why the stuff is good, because they’ve bothered to know how paint mixes, and the difference between one kind of canvas and another, you name it. It is a material world. Certainly, if you’re a painter, you don’t have to organize all your paints in a row, but as a filmmaker you have to be super-organized. I feel bad, I think there are some people who are constitutionally incapable of being organized, and I recognize that, and think god, that must be difficult. But if you have any capacity for being organized, then you really have to develop that capacity if you’re editing. Or shooting! I know people who can’t find footage that they shot. Like back in the day when people were shooting film, they would lose reels of film, and I would think “are you kidding me?”
UD: It’s interesting that not only are you aware of that, but that you find it important to share it, that it’s something you want to offer to the world.
SF: A lot of times when people are in school, of course they learn tech — they’ll come into a class and learn how to use a certain kind of camera, and learn how to use Final Cut, whatever it might be — but I think the really kind of detailed stuff that one does in one’s daily working life is something the teacher doesn’t have time to share because they’re trying to cover so much other stuff, or they’re more interested in showing work and talking about it than talking about how you name your folders or whatever. But that to me is what makes a film. I’m not a film buff. I never went to film school. I haven’t seen most films. I don’t spend a lot of time looking at films, I don’t spend a lot of time talking about films. I spend a lot of time editing or shooting. How do you do that? That’s where you need to think about how you organize your material, and how do you decide what frame to cut on? I mean, that really matters. I had a student last year who had done something, and we were looking at it. I asked why a certain shot was cut like that, and they said whatever they said. And I said “well, it doesn’t work”. Then I started looking at the tail of the shot, and I chose a frame and I cut it and said “what do you think of that?’ and they’re like “I don’t know, it looks okay”. And I said “yeah, but it’s not right. So here’s another one. What do you think of that?”. And they kept seeming like they didn’t want to decide, and I knew I wasn’t getting the right one, and then I got one and I said “what do you think of that?” and they said “that looks good” and I said “do you know why?” And they were like “Yeah, I guess I see”. It might even have been a match cut, something really dumb. That’s what editing is. You’re dealing with 30 frames a second, and you have to choose between frame 27 and 28, not between second online 27 and 28. Your world has been subdivided into 30 frames a second. They just looked at me as if I were crazy, as if they would never want to live that way. I thought fine, but you’re never going to be a good editor. All of that is what makes the film work or not.
Color correction is another thing I’m a maniac about now. Some guy did the color correction on Odds of Recovery Order , because the video had to be color corrected to match the film because I did a matchback. He was a really good guy, so when I did Buy The Head of a Pin, I called him back in. He did wonders on it. He said cameras are always set so the image is red on the red side, and you never get real black. I thought that was incredible. No matter how much you white balance, you’re never going to get real black and you’re never going to get true white, unless you color correct. I basically hired him to teach me how to do it so I didn’t have to pay him any more. Now I’m this sort of intensive color corrector. One thing I’ve started doing is when I go to do a gig, if there’s time, I offer to do a color correction class. The teachers are overworked, underpaid, they don’t have time for everything, so I always say “look, I don’t mean to offend you, or suggest you don’t know how to do it. But if you never get around to it in your class, do you want me to do it?” and they say “Yes, yes, yes.” I do this color correction workshop, and the students are beside themselves. They see before and after. Once you start doing it, and you’re going to screenings, and you see work by people who don’t do color correction, you think “oh, this is why this work looks so shitty”, and why big money stuff looks good. That’s the difference. If it’s a bad idea, and it’s badly executed, color correction is not going to fix it. But for anybody who works really hard and does a good thing, then I think this a very necessary next step.
UD: We were talking before about audiences. On your website you have this sort of statement of purpose, and you talk about providing cinematic pleasure for the audience. I think a lot of people whose films are described, for lack of a better word, as experimental are reluctant to talk about pleasure. I was wondering if you had any further thoughts on that. People talking about that will often use the most limited, uncharitable definition of what pleasure is. Do you have a broader sense of what pleasure is and why its important?
SF: That’s a funny issue, because I have been thinking about it in terms of images being beautiful, or there being something funny or whatever it is. But it’s something that’s very hard to articulate, because, for one thing, there’s just the pleasure of understanding something. If you make something that’s non-narrative, that isn’t a conventional documentary, then you’re presenting people with a series of ideas or events, a bunch of images that need to be strung together and flow in a way that makes some kind of sense. If you do that, you’re providing the pleasure of understandable experience. But there’s also the kind of pleasure that I experience with somebody else’s art, whether it’s a film or a novel. There’s a kind of basic pleasure if I read a fun novel, or watch a fun movie, and then there’s a different kind of pleasure that comes from something that’s really finely crafted. That’s different for everybody, but I certainly know when I experience it. That’s what I hope I’m doing at times.
I just reviewed Yvonne Rainer’s work, because I was going to be interviewed about it. In Film About A Woman Who, which runs about an hour and a half or something, there’s a six minute part called “Emotional Accretion In 48 Steps”. It has numbered intertitles, and then very brief bits of text, and then still photographs, mostly of this man and woman in bed. Every time I see it, I think this is an absolutely perfect six minutes of cinema. The rest of the film has problems, but I think there’s interesting stuff in it. I feel like I shouldn’t take it out of the context of the larger piece, but as an example here, I think I’ve died and gone to heaven when I’m watching that six minutes. When work gives you something like that, somebody may see it as something very intellectual, or very high art. It’s not populist pleasure, but I think there’s more one kind of it, and that’s something I certainly hope I do sometimes.
UD: Your work is all political to some degree, and I think that’s where you find reservations about the pleasure that cinema, in particular, affords.
SF: What’s weird is that I think when people talk in a negative way about pleasure, they’re assuming that pleasure is the kind that’s afforded by the lowest level of art-making. Something silly, sentimental, escapist, whatever. I think that’s a very limited understanding of what pleasure is. That would make pleasure not very valuable, and pleasure is an extremely valuable condition, or experience in life. How can it be that mass media or pulp fiction has cornered the market on pleasure, and made people think that it’s something to despise or shun. That is definitely a case of throwing the baby out with the bathwater, because I think people who are in the position to make work that actually has some good ideas, and has a true genuine wit, as opposed to some bogus fratboy kind of humor, etc, if people are in the position to make that kind of work and aren’t doing it because there’s something unseemly about pleasure, then I think that’s tragic.