DIRECTOR: SIMON BROOK
I can't help thinking that the only people that can enjoy and appreciate anything having to do with "theater", are the very people that live in it and within it. I have tried, monumentally, to get others to see this film, for it is, unlike many others, one of the few that not only handles "theater", in so many ways, it also renders you a strong lesson in your own inner spirituality, something that we often ignore in favor of ideas, and other mental works and aspects of our lives.
Here is an exercise in "not thinking" ... so you can make your way across "The Tightrope". Every single one of the folks I know, flunked ... they did not even try!
This is about concentration ... and how you work to not allow your concentration to be broken, and succeed in making your way across the imaginary rope. And, sadly, even in an exercise in a square room, you can see this succeed, now let's see if you can do it.
It's not easy!
Nowadays, the only places where "theater" is taken seriously is in the 3 or 4 biggest cities in the world. In there you find the best actors, and the most original and new productions. The only one place that is a bit on the wierd side is New York, which also adds to their immense amount of experimental and crazy theater, the old fashioned and boring musicals you have seen 100 times, and they are not always better than the movie that was made. You've seen this before ... but you will never again be able to catch this or that person ... on a live stage, ever again.
(Editorial: Soap Box Moment!)
Sadly, specially around me in the Pacific Northwest, you see a lot of folks that know all the details and trickery and meaningful anecdotes in Jurassic Park ... but they have no idea what theater, itself, really is. Oh, they heard of Shakespeare ... but the cultural knowledge kinda ends there as a show of how much of the arts you actually learned in school. Not much!
So you know, that these things will never match the "action" and "excitement" ... of a play ... you can not imagine, and the film doesn't really show it ... the strength that it was to see George and Martha on the stage ... tearing each other in front of you! You will never know how massive Abelard and Heloise were with Diana Rigg. You have no idea, how Richard Harris made a musical famous and a song even more famous (it's not even in the play or movie!) ... because of his goofing around on the stage.
It isn't action. There is no excitement!
(Editorial is over. Kinda! Thank you!)
The Tightrope, is the ultimate lesson for advanced actors, and the most loving folks that not only can appreciate theater, but can also appreciate actors working their craft, and we are not talking about modeling dolls at all ... we're talking seriously dedicated actors that have been in the craft for years, and watching them, you wonder ... wow ... that's acting? You always think of the great screen stars, but they are not all, dedicated actors in the theatrical sense ... but they are good at showing off for the camera, and you and I think that is ... "good acting" ... and the moment you see this to its conclusion, you will know what is "trickery" and what is PURE ACTING.
This does not mean, that some of these people ar enot good actors. That is grossly unfair because many of them take their craft seriously ... but film, is not as well rehearsed as theater is, and the difference is that I have to stage on the stage a "complete" thing for you to see, to try and keep your attention ... and in film, there is scenery, lights, and many other details that can gradually and slowly grab your attention, so an actor/actress is not made to look weaker at almost any moment ... in fact, the best directors are masters of hiding bad acting,, if that could be said!
This is a visual experience from beginning to the end, and I even had to try it at the end of the film ... failed miserably, but you will sense, that you have a great idea of what you need to do to be able to get it done, and that is the one part that helps the most ... if there is a "trick" to acting, you have just been given the secret.
It's difficult to ask for anything else, from any director, and Peter Brook, has, forever, been one fo the great masters of the 20th century, and to see him still pulling its strength out ... will immediately break your idea that actors are often simple marionettes ... in this case they are the real thing, and the director the simple facilitator of the great result for the work at hand.
Do yourself a favor, and try to sit through this, specially if you are a musician, or an artist, or in theater or film ... there is very little, anywhere, that can teach you something, at such a deep level, and leave you feeling ... I wanna try that ... but you know what? You find real quick that we lack the discipline, to even consider doing something like this ... now, do me a favor ... take a child and create a similar circumstance, and watch the child finish ... and smile at you!
Still want to know what "acting" is all about?
CINEMATOGRAPHY: ALEXIS KAVYRCHINE
MUSIC: FRANCK KAVYRCHINE and TOSHI TSUCHITORI
With: Peter Brook, Hayley Carmichael, Jos Houben, Gauderic Kaiser, Micha Lescot, Marcello Magni,
Khalifa Natour, Yoshi Oida, Cesar Sarachu, Lydia Wilson, Shantala Shivalingappa
Please email me with questions and/or comments
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