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Gary Stockdale Interview - Exclusive Magazine!
|Entertainment Weekly||Paul Provenza on The Aristocrats|
Recently I wrote and produced the music for THE ARISTOCRATS,
a film conceived by Penn Jillette and Paul Provenza and directed by Paul, which
premiered at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival. It's out in theatres now and seems
to be breaking box-office records everywhere it shows.
It's an insanely funny film that celebrates freedom of speech, and it happens to be hitting the culture at a time when it appears many would like to control content and restrict what adults can see, hear and read. As Penn has said, though, even the detractors of this movie prove that "words still have power."
Since the movie was about comedy artists at the top of their game improvising their way across all boundaries of language, I decided to write a jazz score for the movie that pushed the envelope of harmony and rhythm, requiring world-class musicians to perform it who can improvise in as freewheeling a way as those who appeared in the movie.
The musicians I chose certainly fit that description: Ralph Humphrey (drums), Alan Pasqua (piano), Bob Sheppard (sax), Clay Jenkins (trumpet), and Ken Wild (bass). As is obvious from their performance, they're amazing players and worthy in every way of being called "Aristocrats."
Click here to listen to The Aristocrats
Aristocrats is a very unique film. It is funny and very perverse but has a
seriousness of purpose that places it dead center in any discussion about
values and mores and even more specifically the nature of taboo. It features
more than 100 comedians and takes an unprecedented backstage look at the world
of comics, both superstars and lesser-known lights. It is a labor of love by
creators Paul Provenza and Penn Jillette; because of their own comic stature,
they have access to people and situations that one cannot duplicate. And all
in pursuit of telling one very, very, dirty joke, a joke that has been around
since vaudeville but one that nobody I know has ever heard of or, more
importantly, ever heard told. Well, in The Aristocrats you'll hear this
same joke told 100 times. It's a joke that previously existed only in private,
among comics, and it is the dirtiest joke you will ever hear.
While there is no nudity, no sex, and no violence in The Aristocrats, this is one of the most shocking and, perhaps for some, offensive films you will ever see. But its provocativeness is never gratuitous; it creates in its own singular fashion an absolutely arresting portrait of comic art.— Geoffrey Gilmore