Saturday, June 28, 2008

Review of The Seventh Python: "A marvelous, thought-provoking, important meditation on the problem of art and fame, asking deep questions"

The latest review of The Seventh Python comes from David Isaak, author of the new novel, Shock and Awe, on his Tomorrowville website:

reviewed by David Isaak

The Seventh Python was a marvelous, thought-provoking film. Rather than a rehash of the career of Neil Innes, it was an important meditation on the problem of art and fame.

The first human problem is physical survival--how to find food and shelter. Once those needs are satisfied, then we are faced with the deeper question of what we want to do with our lives.

The artist faces a similar progression of questions. The first problem facing creative people is how to support themselves while doing their work. For most of them, this means either doing creative work as a "hobby" while earning a living through other means, or putting considerable effort into promoting themselves and their projects.

But promotion is a marketplace activity, and if you're not a natural self-promoter, success puts strange and conflicting pressures on you. Neil Innes lives permanently on the edge between fame and anonymity, and it's clear that particular edge is an uncomfortable place to reside. He obviously doesn't want to be a celebrity--but he also needs to maintain a certain degree of public prominence to have the means to do his art.

Anyone who works in the creative arts, from the very public world of performance to the more private world of writing, ought to see this film. Beneath a light, fluffy surface, it is asking some very deep questions.