The Binomial Tango

This little article is about the fact that between two artists you often choose the “obvious” one, but sometimes you come back to the choice and pick up the other one, because… Let’s see.


When I was 30 I watched Fellini‘s movies in awe, with a smile, and a question mark above my head. He looked like a clever silly artist, full of exaggerations and weird images, cf Satyricon. And I also watched Antonioni‘s movies, like Eclisse. This guy seemed much more serious, full of clever questions about incommunicability in couples and deep thoughts about the sense of life.

More than 20 years later, I still adore Antonioni and I often watch his movies, but I prefer, by far, Fellini today. I explored his worlds, read a lot about his work, analysis, and interviews, and I realized the… richness of all of it. The baroque, the myths, the fragmented aspects of reality. It’s vast, clever, sensitive…

So, I see the “obvious” choice in many things, today. Because we change and we age, of course, we go deeper. We understand deeper the idea of efforts, which lead to extensive discoveries.


I have another example with the double-headed Beatles, Paul McCartney and John Lennon. I read a lot about them, I listened and dismantle their music. And of course, I preferred Lennon! He’s stronger, takes more risk, he’s the fool who wrote the Walrus (while McCartney wrote Yesterday). Lennon is spicy, Macca is sweet. Voilà.

But the more you dig, you realize that McCartney is stronger, is a better musician. He wrote Chaos and Creation in the Backyard, which is a splendid masterpiece, very quietly though.

So I always loved Brahms, who is strong, heavy, very Taurus, with earthian symphonies and concertos, and I didn’t like Schubert, whose music is closer to Mozart. But today Schubert’s Great is unreachable. I eventually found out the nuggets, the colors, the subtleties in this…


The structure here is simple:

We often have choices between similar things. One seems obvious, and we choose this one. But sometimes we reconsider things and we bend over the other one, to find out that its treasures were maybe hidden, too subtle, or complex/difficult. It’s a tango!

What are your examples?

Thanks for reading!

One thought on “The Binomial Tango

  1. mesnilman March 21, 2021 / 2:04 pm

    Previously, I’ve deliberately *not* watched or listened to something precisely because someone has told me that it’s something I just *have* to watch or listen.

    The clearest example I have is with ‘American Beauty’. I was following a French conversational course in London with half an dozen colleagues. The French teacher did this whole hour on why we had to go and watch this film. My French being of a somewhat higher level than that of my colleagues, I spent a large part of the course remonstrating with the teacher about imposing their views on us. I may have gone over the top and used the phrase ‘cultural fascism’ (a phrase I now regret using). My poor colleagues did not have much of a clue what happened in that hour…

    We went to see ‘Notting Hill’ instead, and thoroughly enjoyed it. I’ve never watched ‘American Beauty’ to this day.

    I love to explore ‘the road less taken’. Flann O’Brien rather than Dan O’Brien. Terry Pratchett rather Ken Follett. But most of all, I love the exploration, the discovery of new cultural havens.

    Stay safe!

    Liked by 1 person

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