Synthesized-setting, A dual character…


In continuing studying the family dynamic, what can be most intriguing is synthesized-setting and how it develops characters with just the simple things–objects. Refrigerators and toasters. Objects, sometimes, have a way of defining people and characters. I had the opportunity to see two plays by Sam Shepard, Buried Child and True West, Buried Child at The Wilkerson Theatre in Sacramento and True West at Synthetic Unlimited in Grass Valley. Objects speak volumes. They did for me in addressing sharp uncanniness and vulnerability with two brothers. The unique, off-pink refrigerator was recognizable of the 1950s with a large, silverish bow-type handle. There were olive, green wooded windows unique to their own base. And there was a phone slightly off the hook, which helps make necessary the eccentricity of objects vs. people. The toasters were comedic relief, I think, for characters Austin/Lee. One brother is astonished at losing a writing agent to his other brother and becomes dysfunctional, while the other brother begs the question of what is the reason for competing in the first place. Both actors dualize a role, which is very effective. They switch characters–inadvertently trading roles that strengthens comedic relief set against objects, which really isn’t the premise of the play. In Buried Child, presented at The Wilkerson Theatre, a large screen window configures the roles of the brothers in defining their characters with one of them always leaving or needing to return; the screen, an effective backdrop, necessitates characters to be in the present. It’s what’s capable of being original in the sense that objects, presented in the decade itself, helps define more the objects themselves to see the inner conflict working between two brothers. Without really knowing it, the brothers, as characters, defy humanity but don’t exactly in that they challenge themselves; but, at the same, time they lose their inner battle. I’m looking forward to seeing more of Shepard’s plays.


Thinking comparative-film…


One of the most ingenuine things about comparative-film is getting the opportunity to look at one of my favorite comedic actors and writers of film and writing in general. I’ve always been intrigued by Woody Allen’s work–and in coming across two films Interiors and Broadway Danny Rose, not only is a simple setting like a house and an ocean as well as a table in a lounge provokative, but it’s what lies underneath: a subtext thematic of a family’s vision or a breaking up of that vision–at least that’s what I came across with while watching Interiors.

It’s interesting the inner-personal struggle and tragic-nature of the characters and how they either pretend to manage their strife and what plans they have or don’t yet have and how they deal with loss and/or cope with it. And, interestingly enough, in Broadway Danny Rose, a once non-lowlife entertainment agent seeks sustainability in such desperation that he loses sight of the reason why he’s an agent in the first place. Comparative-film invokes, for me, more of an altruistic way of looking at the family dynamic even when these characters aren’t related. The table, The lounge. The characters. Some find family in the lounge. And some, in general, with comedy–which is just about as close as some can get to family. What’s also intriguing is how adverse these characters are to inner-change.They know they need to change, but they can’t seem to either change themselves or want the risk in knowing what comes with change. The two films couldn’t be more different than one another; however, they are one in the same with characters who know a change is needed but they can’t find a way into that change.