Monday, February 06, 2012

Comments on New York Times Theater Critic Ben Brantley’s "The Stage, the Screen and the Screen on Stage "

Some comments on the New York Times Theater Critic Ben Brantley’s  The Stage, the Screen and the Screen on Stage about that all-American conundrum & bugaboo MULTI-MEDIA.

at:  OR

 B. writes:

 “Can film and theater live happily together in the same room? It’s not as if they haven’t had a long relationship already, with each regularly borrowing stories and stars from the other. But now these separate but equal art forms are attempting to practice cohabitation. As in many relationships, only half of the couple is truly equipped to make the effort. Film, after all, is recorded action and exists mostly in two dimensions (even when it’s 3-D), which means it can’t invite live theater into its world. On the other hand, there’s nothing to stop theater artists from setting up a projector and showing a movie onstage, letting live performers interact with, or ignore, their two-dimensional equivalents.” 

Subsequently B. provides a host of examples-  described adjectivistically it is impossible to tell what filmic elements worked and why they worked. That is, B. is describing something ornamental, a trivial matter that is goosed up.  In other words, he addresses an entirely secondary issue as though it were in some way of primary importance. However, it just might be a interestingly primary issue if it were more than just something to cotton to the taste for novelty.

 B. is no Mahola D’Argis or Scott of the film section or up to the snuff of the fine art critics. On the other hand, the field he covers, Broadway and its musicals is more valuable as a source of ad revenue. Working his analogy for

all its worth - as though the ways of presentation [drama, film, happening, etc.] and what they represent or what they do, have not an immediate effect on the experience of each medium and whatever it happens to communicate.  Brantley being Brantley writes things such as: “Ultimately of course every artistic representation of reality is imperfect,” and thus appears not to have realized in all these years that the only reality on a stage is a stage reality, which is where the “as if” enters so productively.

This happens to be a matter I have given much thought to on occasion of the kinethetic effect not only of of Handke plays but also of his texts that, among numerous technical innovations, avail themselves of the dream screen of film and the grammar and imagery of dreams for their communicative and effective purposes.

 As a matter of fortunate fact, Handke’s play VOYAGE BY DUGOUT: THE PLAY ABOUT THE FILM ABOUT THE WAR solves and demonstrates the solution the multimedia conundrum in exemplary demonstrative fashion while entertaining its subject matter - in the proper artistic “as if” state.

Two directors examine the screenplay for yet another film about “the war” - the unrolling of the screenplay, the breaks during its discussion, provide  multi-angled views of the war, and a variety of participants, the historian, folks who went mad , etc. appear. At the end the directors conclude that it isn’t time to to make this film about the war - it happens to be the disintegration of Yugoslavia, but the structure of Handke’s piece is very much along the lines of Brecht’s “models”, and thus is serviceable for the investigation of similar complicated events. Handke's KASPAR, which
won the OBIE for its 1972 BAM production already used video monitors, they had been left over from a production of an Alan Ginsburg play, and the producer Bob Kalfin thought they were sexy! There are more deeply sexy ways of using film on stage!

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MICHAEL ROLOFF exMember Seattle Psychoanalytic Institute and Society this LYNX will LEAP you to all my HANDKE project sites and BLOGS: "MAY THE FOGGY DEW BEDIAMONDIZE YOUR HOOSPRINGS!" {J. Joyce} "Sryde Lyde Myde Vorworde Vorhorde Vorborde" [von Alvensleben] contact via my website


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