BU Film School

Thursday, February 23, 2006

FT 706 Lecture: Tuesday, September 16

Three roles
Film: fuse actor and script. Tobey Maguire in "Wonder Boys". Think of roles you're a great match for. Human being excites you in the role. Open roles -- race. Harder to jump the fence when it comes to gender and age. Hollywood -- business. Making movies to make money.

Alien Question #1: Why do we sit in the seats?
Communal, identification with others, emotion -- shared experience is emotional.

Alien Question #2: How does what happen in the seats occur?
Safey. There for two hours, done. Acceptable to experience, display emotion.

"Deathtrap": comic thriller with Michael Caine and Christopher Reeve. Caine one-time-wonder, teaching at college. Reeve comes in with amazing script (no other copies, no agent, no one else seems to know about it). Caine -- get Reeve to house, get script, kill Reeve. Lights go out at house. Reeve shot by crossbow. Gets up in dark, audience screams, but no one calls cops or doctor -- why?

Id, ego (self), superego. Id, truest you, is what people are born with, ego is created in kindergarten and first grade -- learn how to be with people. Guys cry in movie theater -- hide it. Fight between id (want to cry) and ego (boys don't cry). Police officer -- "Mousetrap" -- ego goes away. Why else does the room have to be dark? More than one self.

Room allows you to take armor off so id can come out, reconnect to larger family of man. If can't do that, id dies.

Alien Question #3: How do actors suck you in?
Believability. Actors -- want everyone looking at them. Convincing us that they're feeling what we are.

Actors, audience allowed to be ids, allowed to feel. Actors -- job to move audiences, must be moved themselves (rare when that doesn't happen. Actors achieve believability by believing.

Believability vs. knowledge. Keys falling -- gravity -- knowledge. Belief in Santa Claus -- emotions of excitement, greed, anticipation. Emotions real, even though Santa Claus is not. No link between reality and emotional life. Enormous link between belief and emotional life.

Tug of war between belief and knowledge. Phone call from actress in class -- pick up or not? Experience motivates belief.

Actors can believe more easily in the world of the script. Actor has ability to believe more in world suggested on piece of paper. Choose what you believe, in spite of what you know to be true. Kelley and classmate -- play brothers.

Assignment: Three roles (redux)
Think about/name three specific roles from film or TV that are perfect for personality/how you look. (Talent is not a consideration.) How you look is your haircut, your clothing, the way you sit, playing with pen, etc.) Watch film/TV -- what are actors doing?

My notes (assignment)
Three roles: June from "Joy Luck Club" (circled), two more that would be perfect match
Frances from "Better Than Chocolate"?

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