American Drama in the Age of Film by Zander Brietzke PDF

By Zander Brietzke

ISBN-10: 0817315713

ISBN-13: 9780817315719

Is theater rather lifeless? Does the theater, as its champions insist, relatively offer a extra intimate event than movie? if this is the case, how have alterations in cinematic ideas and applied sciences altered the connection among level and picture? What are the inherent obstacles of representing third-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 traditional arguments within the film-versus-theater debate. utilizing well known diversifications of ten significant performs, Brietzke seeks to spotlight the inherent powers of every medium and draw conclusions not only approximately how they fluctuate, yet how they must range to boot. He contrasts either degree and picture productions of, between different works, David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross, Sam Shepard’s True West, Edward Albee’s Who’s scared of Virginia Woolf, Margaret Edson’s Wit, Tony Kushner’s Angels in America, Tennessee Williams’s Cat on a sizzling Tin Roof, Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, and August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson. In studying the twin productions of those works, Brietzke unearths that cinema has certainly stolen a lot of theater’s former thunder, through making drama extra intimate, and visceral than so much reside occasions.
But theater remains to be very important and concerns drastically, Brietzke argues, notwithstanding for purposes that run counter to some of the virtues routinely attributed to it as an artwork shape, similar to intimacy and spontaneity. Brietzke seeks to revitalize perceptions of theater by way of hard these universal pieties and supplying a brand new severe paradigm, person who champions spectacle and simultaneity because the so much, no longer least, vital components of drama.

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Moreover, anything you do that is dishonest in relation to what the character is thinking or feeling will be noticeable to the audience. The camera allows no deceit. Either you are truthful or you are not” (4–5). 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.

In films, though, actors constantly adjust their performance within a single film according to the size of the individual shot. In Tucker’s schema, a mezzanine view in the theater is equivalent to a long shot in the cinema in which the entire human figure is visible; an orchestra seat in the middle of the house is akin to a midshot in which the human figure is seen from the waist up; a front-row seat is similar to a medium close-up shot from the chest up; and, finally, an extreme close-up shot has no parallel in the live theater (5–9).

Their play puts in dramatic form the Scopes Monkey Trial of 1925 that pitted Clarence Darrow (Henry Drummond in the play) against William Jennings Bryan (Matthew Harrison Brady). 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.

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American Drama in the Age of Film by Zander Brietzke

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