Download American Drama in the Age of Film by Zander Brietzke PDF

By Zander Brietzke

ISBN-10: 0817315713

ISBN-13: 9780817315719

Is theater rather useless? Does the theater, as its champions insist, relatively offer a extra intimate event than movie? if that is so, how have adjustments in cinematic ideas and applied sciences altered the connection among level and movie? What are the inherent boundaries of representing 3-dimensional areas in a two-dimensional one, and vice versa?
American Drama within the Age of Film examines the strengths and weaknesses of either the dramatic and cinematic arts to confront the normal arguments within the film-versus-theater debate. utilizing widely recognized variations of ten significant performs, Brietzke seeks to spotlight the inherent powers of every medium and draw conclusions not only approximately how they range, yet how they must fluctuate to boot. He contrasts either degree and movie productions of, between different works, David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross, Sam Shepard’s True West, Edward Albee’s Who’s fearful of Virginia Woolf, Margaret Edson’s Wit, Tony Kushner’s Angels in America, Tennessee Williams’s Cat on a scorching Tin Roof, Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, and August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson. In analyzing the twin productions of those works, Brietzke unearths that cinema has certainly stolen a lot of theater’s former thunder, by way of making drama extra intimate, and visceral than so much dwell occasions.
But theater remains to be important and issues enormously, Brietzke argues, even though for purposes that run counter to some of the virtues normally attributed to it as an paintings shape, resembling intimacy and spontaneity. Brietzke seeks to revitalize perceptions of theater by means of demanding these universal pieties and supplying a brand new severe paradigm, one who champions spectacle and simultaneity because the such a lot, no longer least, vital parts of drama.

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The argument in the play, one that still carries weight even today, is whether to teach creationism as found in the Bible or evolution as theorized by Charles Darwin. At the end of the play, Drummond, having lost the case as a formality, but essentially having won the argument and carried the day, remarks, “The Bible is a book. A good book. But it’s not the only book” (123). In his final gesture, Drummond takes both books in hand, the Bible and The Origin of Species, and balances them as though they were weights upon a scale.

The camera doesn’t really lie. It merely records. But because it can record action at close range to the subject, any movement has the possibility of seeming huge. The scale of performance is entirely different than in a stage play. A flicker of a smile in an extreme close-up shot may represent much greater actual movement than an actor’s vault across the width of a proscenium in the theater. Dramatic Projections / 21 Finally, too, whereas the actor onstage controls his or her performance, the film actor has no way of knowing how he or she is acting.

6 Instead, we’re saddled with his pupil’s dry as dust lecture notes, delivered in antiquity more than 2,500 years ago, which still continue to plague the modern dramatic imagination. Aristotle’s six elements of drama, in hierarchical order no less, have become writ in veritable stone: plot, character, thought, diction, music, and spectacle. His legacy, despite Artaud’s and Brecht’s welcome caveats in the twentieth century, has led to plot-dominated drama in which the goal of reaching the end has been approached as Holy Grail.

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