Fishing and Painting

02021-05-14 | Uncategorized | 2 comments

I heard about the series “Painting with John” only recently and watched the first episode two nights ago. The John of the title is John Lurie, saxophonist of the band The Lounge Lizards, actor in several Jim Jarmusch movies – and probably more that I am not aware of – and now painter, writer, director, storyteller. The episodes are about twenty minutes long and consist of John Lurie working on a water color painting and telling stories. The pace is languid but here and there he throws a curve ball. The stories are great, especially as told in his gravely voice. This may be my favorite serial at the moment.

What I like about the new storytelling that has developed in the last decade out of TV and cable programming is that there is both a new very long format and a very short format. The best example of the new long format might be “Game of Thrones”, which is longer and larger in scope than any movie could be. It is not a serial in the sense of a TV show but rather it is experienced like an epic movie, a movie that would last three days and 16 minutes!

Then there is a new short format. I watched a series from India where each episode was around 10 to 15 minutes. Perhaps they were designed to be viewed during a commute, I wondered. But the episodes didn’t feel abbreviated, they felt complete in the way that short stories are as complete as a novel.

PS: I learned that there was a series called “Fishing with John” on TV in 1991.


  1. JaneParhamKatz

    I couldn’t get access to PAINTING WITH JOHN (without paying added $$).

    I liked a movie this week on Amazon Prime – IN SEARCH OF BEETHOVEN. It was in Ken Burns type documentary form. It shared many insights new to me, and the musicians speaking about B and performing his music were spectacular. What stood out to me was that B never doubted his own genius and was highly successful in his own era, though he never seemed to get in good health nor was he able to marry any of the women he loved. He was undisciplined in his behavior but absolutely disciplined in his music.

    I recalled a magic moment in my life, when I went to B’s House in Vienna, which had closed for the day, and I just sat for over an hour on a benäh in the back yard, until it was dark. No one bothered me. What I felt was indescribably sublime.

    There was a discussion on CBS SUNDAY MORNING yesterday about how to deal with artists who create great work but are personally objectionable or even criminal. One view scary to me was that an artist who is morally offensive should not be exhibited. Think of all the artists, actors, writers, etc., who would have to be “canceled.” Besides, I don’t think immorality is reserved for artists. What I feel is: let the work of art stand on its merit and don’t butt in to the artist’s personal life! If he commits a crime, he will face the consequences of the law, but don’t hide his work.

  2. JaneParhamKatz

    Change “benäh” to BENCH! (My computer has Trouble speaking English!)


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