Camus: "Every act of rebellion expresses a nostalgia for innocence and an appeal to the essence of being."
[ advertising space : webmaster ]
My conclusion: of course, I prefer the tragic man of existentialism (especially, the Berdyaev's type); tragic a priori, by definition, by birth. Could his tragedy be comical? Dante said -- yes, Divine Comedy. Even the Christ tragic notion comes into play, because Christ is Jesus, a man. But we moved so much into the oriental frame of mind since then, no more gods or humans, non dramatic (or even conflicting environment)... No suprises that the East has the theatrical traditions, but not much dramas.
Movies is the kingdom of Zen (from the level of Ethics, Aesthetics is different), dramatic in essense (message, not in forms?)...
SummaryMerriam-Webster: movies of the drama genre are a composition in verse or prose intended to portray life or character or to tell a story usually involving conflicts and emotions through action and dialogue.
Samuel Beckett's play "Waiting For Godot" reflects which theatrical style?
Man: Oh, hush, Liza! How can you talk about being like a book, when it makes even me, an outsider, feel sick? Though I don't look at it as an outsider, for, indeed, it touches me to the heart… Is it possible, that you do not feel sick at being here yourself? Evidently habit does wonders! Can you seriously think that you will never grow old, that you will always be good-looking, and that they will keep you here for ever and ever? I say nothing of the loathsomeness of the life here… (Pause) Though you are young now, attractive, nice, with soul and feeling, yet you know as soon as I came to myself just now I felt at once sick at being here with you! One can only come here when one is drunk. But if you were anywhere else, living as good people live, I should perhaps be more than attracted by you, should fall in love with you, should be glad of a look from you, let alone a word; I should hang about your door, should go down on my knees to you, should look upon you as my betrothed and think it an honour to be allowed to. I should not dare to have an impure thought about you. But here, you see, I know that I have only to whistle and you have to come with me whether you like it or not. I don't consult your wishes, but you mine. The lowest labourer hires himself as a workman, but he doesn't make a slave of himself altogether; besides, he knows that he will be free again presently. But when are you free? Only think what you are giving up here? What is it you are making a slave of? It is your soul, together with your body; you are selling your soul which you have no right to dispose of! You give your love to be outraged by every drunkard! Love! But that's everything, you know, it's a priceless diamond, it's a maiden's treasure, love... why, a man would be ready to give his soul, to face death to gain that love. But how much is your love worth now? You are sold, all of you, body and soul, and there is no need to strive for love when you can have everything without love. And you know there is no greater insult to a girl than that, do you understand? To be sure, I have heard that they comfort you, poor fools, they let you have lovers of your own here. But you know that's simply a farce, that's simply a sham, it's just laughing at you, and you are taken in by it! Why, do you suppose he really loves you, that lover of yours? I don't believe it. How can he love you when he knows you may be called away from him any minute? He would be a low fellow if he did! Will he have a grain of respect for you? What have you in common with him? He laughs at you and robs you. That is all his love amounts to! You are lucky if he does not beat you. Very likely he does beat you, too. Ask him, if you have got one, whether he will marry you. He will laugh in your face, if he doesn't spit in it or give you a blow-though maybe he is not worth a bad halfpenny himself. And for what have you ruined your life, if you come to think of it? For the coffee they give you to drink and the plentiful meals? But with what object are they feeding you up? An honest girl couldn't swallow the food, for she would know what she was being fed for. You are in debt here, and, of course, you will always be in debt, and you will go on in debt to the end, till the visitors here begin to scorn you. And that will soon happen, don't rely upon your youth... all that flies by express train here, you know. You will be kicked out. And not simply kicked out; long before that she'll begin nagging at you, scolding you, abusing you, as though you had not sacrificed your health for her, had not thrown away your youth and your soul for her benefit, but as though you had ruined her, beggared her, robbed her. And don't expect anyone to take your part: the others, your companions, will attack you, too, win her favor, for all are in slavery here, and have lost all conscience and pity here long ago. They have become utterly vile, and nothing on earth is viler, more loathsome, and more insulting than their abuse. And you are laying down everything here, unconditionally, youth and health and beauty and hope, and at twenty-two you will look like a woman of five-and-thirty, and you will be lucky if you are not diseased, pray to God for that! No doubt you are thinking now that you have a gay time and no work to do! Yet there is no work harder or more dreadful in the world or ever has been. One would think that the heart alone would be worn out with tears. And you won't dare to say a word, not half a word when they drive you away from here; you will go away as though you were to blame. You will change to another house, then to a third, then somewhere else, till you come down at last to the Haymarket. There you will be beaten at every turn; that is good manners there, the visitors don't know how to be friendly without beating you. You don't believe that it is so hateful there? Go and look for yourself some time, you can see with your own eyes. Once, one New Year's Day, I saw a woman at a door. They had turned her out as a joke, to give her a taste of the frost because she had been crying so much, and they shut the door behind her. At nine o'clock in the morning she was already quite drunk, disheveled, half-naked, covered with bruises, her face was powdered, but she had a black-eye, blood was trickling from her nose and her teeth; some cabman had just given her a drubbing. She was sitting on the stone steps, a salt fish of some sort was in her hand; she was crying, wailing something about her luck and beating with the fish on the steps, and cabmen and drunken soldiers were crowding in the doorway taunting her. You don't believe that you will ever be like that?... [from Dostoyevsky's Notes from the Underground]
The Possessed 2003
Read Chekhov Pages : chekhov.vtheatre.net
Modern Drama and Postmodern
Fall Y2K THR413 Playscript Analysis and the first question: Aristotle speaks about TRAGEDY and COMEDY, we talk about DRAMA. There is no "tragedy" shelf at the Blockbusters.... [See Arthur Miller's article on "Death of A Salesman"]Subscribe to DramLit Forum -- for THR215 and THR413 courses. * NEW: goto.txt : AFTER 2009 : LUL pages : teatr.us Go.dot 2006 * * 100 years since Sam Beckett's birth * flickr.com/groups/stage * 2007 : the art of theatre [flickr] * 2008 : Stoppard * "Melodrama, an extreme form of drama, is a kind of morality play in which good is attacked by evil, but good triumphs in the end. The characters who personify good are attractive and wholesome; the evil ones uncompromisingly repulsive and nasty. The thematic issues are simplistic: black and white with no moral gray areas. The audience is manipulated by a plot that plays fast and loose with probability. The purpose is to take the audience on an emotional "thrill ride." To this end, every possible theatrical device is used to keep the audience on the edge of their seats or on the verge of tears. Action, suspense, horror, and special effects are the hallmarks of this form. In the end, the audience is left emotionally gratified by the utter and often spectacular destruction of the bad guys.
Everything became "drama" -- how come?
Both -- comedy and tragedy at once?
No more "tragedy"? Really? Beckett's take: both extremes.
Aristotle points that Tragedy is dealing with gods, Comedy -- with people. What gods? We, the people, by the people, for the people....
Oh, we are not in tragic situation any longer! Forget the existentialism, which claimed that we are tragic creatures a priori, always and forever!
Is it so? ..."Drama -- a literary composition, usually in dialogue form, that centers on the actions of characters."If PLAY is the stage representation of an action or story, then "dramatic play" is where the ACTION (story) is expressed maily through the characters (see Realism and Chekhov Pages in script.vtheatre.net).
Aha, the character-oriented!
Webster: Etymology: Late Latin dramat-, drama, from Greek, deed, drama, from dran to do, act * Date: 1515 * 1 : a composition in verse or prose intended to portray life or character or to tell a story usually involving conflicts and emotions through action and dialogue and typically designed for theatrical performance * 2 : dramatic art, literature, or affairs * 3 a : a state, situation, or series of events involving interesting or intense conflict of forces
Nowadays it became almost equivalent to PLAY: Middle English, from Old English plega; akin to Old English plegan to play, Middle Dutch pleyen * Date: before 12th century
Should I take another step and say that "dramatic" (20th century understanding) requires inner conflict? (Since God became our own personal property after the Reformation). Not "tragic" only because it's MY conflict, but nevertheless, I still can't have the answers. "Questions without Answers"...
[ in shows.vtheatre.net directory I have several pages on "monologue" and "scenes" study. ]
If it is the inner conflict that makes character "dramatic" we need the conflict between what our character thinks, feels and does (3) -- and therefore the SUBTEXT is a must!
"A drama is a serious play that does not rise to meet the strict definition of tragedy. It may contain some humorous episodes, but is mainly sober in tone. Its characters may come from any social class and it is usually placed in domestic settings such as the home and workplace. The themes of drama arise from life problems and interpersonal relationships, especially those of marriage and family. Dramas stay closer to realism than does any other genre. They may have an ending that is happy, sad, or somewhere in between; but when sad the audience is usually left with hope. ,p>This usage of the term drama in this way developed in France in the mid-eighteenth century. Denis Diderot in particular wrote of the need for "middle genres," types of plays that fell between the extremes of tragedy and comedy. He coined the term genre dramatique sérieux: serious drama. Today there are many interpretations and versions of these middle genres. You may have heard such names as tragicomedy, domestic drama, heroic drama, and documentary drama. While the distinctions offered by these versions have academic and historical validity, I find it more convenient to establish the more general definition of drama above, and then to append prefixes such as historical-, romantic-, docu- and biographical- to the stem "drama" as necessary. A trip down the aisles of your local video store can attest to the efficacy of this approach. Nearly anyone can anticipate the nature of a story labeled "historical drama" without lengthy definitions."
Robert C. HuberSorry, folks, I can't finish this page right now. We have to wait until I will teach Playscript Analysis again. 2003-2004? I recommend you read M. Bakhtin on genres. Also, "The Dialogic Imagination" U. of Texas ISBN 029271534X (2001). Most interesting "Forms of Time and of the Chronotope in the Novel" , too bad he didn't write about drama, but the method of analysis could be applied to our popular genres. Maybe I will try to use it in my Film & Movies class (Spring 2003).
Truth is subordinate to emotional effect in melodrama: we all know that in real life the bad guys sometimes get away unpunished and that good people suffer without justice. Yet we trade our skepticism for emotional satisfaction by accepting the pleasant myth that this is not so. Modern melodrama had its origins in the nineteenth century when it was the most popular of all dramatic genres. Producers discovered that they could magnify the emotional qualities of a scene by underscoring it with music. Chase scenes, love scenes, pathetic scenes, and suspenseful scenes could all be enhanced by melodies that provoked these feelings. Hence, the name melodrama. Producers vied with one another to create the most stunningly realistic and spectacular special effects. Of particular interest was the "high tech" hardware of the age: the locomotive. The oft caricatured scene of the girl tied to the railroad tracks or to a log at a sawmill are typical of an age where playwrights tried to make their plays seem up-to-date by including these then modern marvels. With the advent of film it became obvious that such scenes could be handled so much more effectively on screen that melodrama was essentially transplanted to the movies. Today one can scarcely find an example of a stage melodrama unless it is played for laughs. On the other hand, nearly all serious movies and much television drama falls squarely into this genre.
The typical "formula" plot of a nineteenth century stage melodrama might have included the following elements. An innocent victim, traditionally a virtuous and impoverished young woman (but children and cuddly pets are sometimes accessories), finds herself in peril through circumstances beyond her control. An altogether disgusting and evil older man offers to solve her problem in exchange for something he wants: her hand in marriage, or control over certain assets that will cause the ruination of her widowed and saintly father. An equally virtuous and attractive young man offers to intervene, but the villain neutralizes him by force or blackmail. Rather than submit "to a fate worse than death," she flees. Enraged at being "foiled," the villain chases, captures, and holds her hostage until she submits. The young hero, despite the consequences, selflessly tracks them down and attempts to free her. Seeing that his plan cannot succeed, the spiteful villain employs some spectacular means of destroying her: tied to track or log, tied to chair in a burning building, or tied to a ticking time bomb--anything that takes time to happen so that suspense can be exploited. The villain and hero engage in a time-consuming struggle while the girl struggles to free herself. Finally, the hero overcomes the villain and frees the girl at the last possible moment. The story ends with the police carrying off the villain, the discovery of a long-lost letter which gives the girl a huge inheritance, and the boy and girl get married. When described this way, the basic plot structure sounds unbelievably corny, but by changing and updating a few elements it can and does work today. Think about the plot of The Terminator.
Nineteenth century stage melodrama was so pervasive that a number of sub-genres developed including gothic, crime, western, and nautical melodramas. Today, their descendants fill the screens: horror, police, military, spy, and science-fiction films nearly all are melodramas, as are such television favorites as soap-operas, police/lawyer/medical dramas, and science fiction series."
http://homepage.mac.com/roberthuber/school/1delec12a.html Everything is drama? Beckett's answer: it means everything is comedy and tragedy at the same time! No more step from tragic to comical (Napoleon); the humanity took this step already.
Realism or Naturalism? What's the difference? How to do it, the style? It all depends, which class are you in. Acting, Directing, Drama?
Discuss why Chekhov called his dramas "comedies" (see Chekhov Pages)
Can we extract the "dramatic"? What is it? Conflict? Themes? Perception? Thought? Emotions?
The Theater Na Pokrovke has the reputation of being one of Moscow's most intimate playhouses, and Gennady Shaposhnikov's production of "The Seagull" there is entirely within this tradition. It begins with a lazy sing-along involving most of the cast, while a kindly, though ironic, guitar player (Mikhail Segenyuk) wanders the stage accompanying almost every subsequent scene, imparting to the proceedings a tangible homespun flavor. This atmosphere is enhanced by several scenes in which the cast gathers in portrait-like poses for motionless pauses.
The hall at this theater is essentially an oversized room that seats 100. This allows the actors to speak in low, calm voices, whisper and even mutter under their breath in a way that personally reaches every spectator in attendance. Shaposhnikov further broke down theatrical formalities by staging the play as if it were a series of rehearsals. This is not something he adheres to strictly, but rather uses occasionally to bring the actors more closely to us as they announce themselves at the beginning and later incorporate some of Chekhov's stage directions in their speech.
The story of the 108 year-old play is familiar. Arkadina (Nina Artsibasheva), an actress entering middle age, finds herself caught in a vortex of relationships between her lover, the popular writer Trigorin (Alexander Smirnov); her son, the experimental writer Treplev (Sergei Zagrebnev); and the young Nina Zarechnaya (Natalya Fishchuk), a would-be actress who is involved first with Treplev, then with Trigorin and whose youth and beauty, if not talent, present a distinct challenge to Arkadina's dominance in the small, extended family group. Among others observing and participating in the complex interactions are Arkadina's simple and sentimental brother Sorin (Vladimir Stukalov) and the cynical but wise and understanding Doctor Dorn (Gennady Chulkov).
This performance is richest in its human connections and frictions. Artsibasheva's Arkadina is wonderful in her generously condescending but acidly jealous treatment of Fishchuk's fresh, bright Nina. Zagrebnev's nervous, sensitive Treplev has an innocence that Smirnov's weary but sincere Trigorin has difficulty recognizing, let alone understanding. Chulkov's Dorn evokes both respect and aversion for his honesty that occasionally borders on cruelty, while Stukalov's Sorin induces a similar response for his ingenuous good nature and his maudlin behavior.
Viktor Gerasimenko's set of basic black and white emphasizes the qualities of simplicity and contrast. Drapes of black and off-white alternate on the walls; hand-cut black and white leaves scatter the floor; most of the costumes are in plain but elegant whites and beiges.
This production rarely plumbs the cold depths of the characters' wasted and misguided lives, preferring instead to stick closer to a warmer surface of tempered emotions. But on that level it brings out many effective and affecting nuances in a play we seemingly have known forever.
[ John Freedman, moscow Times ]
Fall 2004 Updates *
Film-North * Anatoly Antohin * eCitations
© 2005 by vtheatre.net. Permission to link to this site is granted. books.google.com + scholar.google.com
cite: anatoly antohin. URL + date [ my shows : 1. writer * 2. director * 3. dramaturg * 4. actor ]
vTheatre: pomo project'06 * my yahoo: theatre