PODGRAM FROM STEPHEN FRY - 07 MARCH 2008 - BORED OF THE DANCE
MENTIONS RIVER - River's bit below - If you want to read the whole podgram click the link below the excerpt
Let me tell you about a moment, if you don’t know it, in a most excellent film called Running on Empty, made by the great Sidney Lumet, who has never really known how to make a bad film. It stars Judd Hirsch off of of of Taxi. I don’t know why people say “off of”. “You’re that Stephen Fry off of QI, people say to me.” And once, “aren’t you off of of the telly?” Two ofs. Anyway. Judd Hirsch off of of of off Taxi, Christine Lahti of Golden Globes lavatory fame, Martha Plimpton and the effulgent River Phoenix. Oh and Steven Hill, an actor with whom I’m ever so slightly obsessed, has one scene as Christine Lahti’s father … quite brilliant. The premise essentially is that Hirsch and Lahti, as Arthur and Annie Pope, once blew up a napalm factory as a protest against the Vietnam war, they thought the factory was empty, but there was someone there who was mutilated in the explosion and the FBI has been on their tail ever since. River Phoenix is their musically very gifted son, born on the run, who practises piano on a dummy keyboard, so unsettled are their lives. So, we witness them escape one near FBI bust and they arrive in a new town with new identities, River dyes his hair and enrols in the high school in this new town as Michael Manfield. He is destined to fall in love with the music teacher’s daughter, Martha Plimpton, but that’s later. We see him arrive, slightly late, at the music class. He gives Ed Crowley, who plays the teacher, his registration documents and is told to find himself a seat. Crowley continues with his lesson: he plays two pieces of music through speakers. One is classical, the other is, I think, a Madonna track. Crowley asks the class what the difference between the two is. There is the usual dumb silence you get when you ask a class of teenagers anything. Eventually one kid sticks up his hand and suggests, “one of them is good and the other is bad?” Crowley isn’t having that. “A matter of opinion, surely?” River shyly puts up his hand.
“Yes, Mr …. Manfield?”
And this is River’s answer: “You can’t dance to Beethoven.”