I won't listen to Michael Jackson's music anymore but I'll still watch Woody Allen's movies

To summarily dismiss “Woody Allen films” because Allen himself is accused of despicable behavior is to also inadvertently write off the symphonic city shots of Gordon Willis in Manhattan, the zany costumes designed by Ruth Morley for Annie Hall, or the underrated Ingrid Bergman-esque performance by Geraldine Page in Interiors. Perhaps you believe that one bad apple spoils the barrel; I would strongly caution that this dismissal often brushes off the contributions particularly of women, whose incredible work is all too frequently in non-directorial positions. To never watch Polanski’s Chinatown or Rosemary’s Baby is to erase, likewise, some of the best work of costume designer Anthea Sylbert, or performances by Faye Dunaway and Mia Farrow.

Music, though, is neater than the messy collaborative efforts of filmmaking. Although creating an album is indisputably also a group effort — think of Quincy Jones’ work producing Thriller — music is generally a much more individual effort than filmmaking, and especially so in the case of a solo artist like Jackson. While I regret not being able to appreciate Jones’ work on Thriller by cutting it out of my life, I am lying to myself if I claim it is not Jackson’s voice that I am actually enjoying when I listen to the album. Filmmaking, by its very nature, is much more ambiguous.

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