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The Dilemma of the Composition Role

Abstract

What could we possibly mean by the expression “composition role”? To this question we will try to find an answer as comprehensive as possible. Are we talking only about those “character roles” mentioned by Stanislavsky? This reference can be considered, since all those character roles require stage composition, the way Stanislavsky described his own acting experiences. But is this the only landmark? Should we label as composition roles only the characters that demand text-triggered stage composition? Indeed, there are characters that assume, within their construction, elements that do not belong to the actor as an individual. But are these the only cases when the term applies?

The composition role is therefore not limited to only a few obvious milestones identified in the text. On a closer look, some characters may require a stage composition based on external elements, even if this problem is not apparent. Yet we must not misunderstand things and come to the conclusion that all roles, following a deep psychological analysis, become composition roles. If we agree that the construction of a character involves many elements pertaining to externalization, we must consider the cases where such suggestions originate from the director. Some directors claim scenic effects from the actors, sometimes contradicting the natural line of the character created by the author, maybe even completely modifying its construction. How reprehensible, however, is the acting effect? Has it only arisen from a desire to simulate virtuosity?

The term “effect” in composition can be accepted in the sense of the element helping to achieve the contrasts indispensable to the stage creation, about which Michael Chekhov speaks in To the Actor. He confers to it a broader acceptance.

Solutions not related to elementary normality can give the actor an unbearable sense of awkwardness, inevitably leading to effort. This effort will not go unnoticed by the spectator. And the spectator, almost always without hesitation, gives a negative verdict to such a performance.

And yet, visible manifestations that seem to be chaotic can be lived from the inside, which averts effort in interpretation and artificiality. The actor can avoid some clumsiness in emotions, clumsiness that is spoken about by Dario Fo, among others.

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Stage Direction in Romania. The Postdramatic Perspective

Abstract

The last fifty years of theatre have put us closer to one of the most spectacular facts of this art: every generation of theatre makers managed – we do not know if programmatically – to build its own repertoire based on its own reality. In other words, every new wave of stage directors claimed that the dramatic authors define a new formula for the stage text and the reverse. This new reality also acted on a revisiting of the classical text or of the modern text deemed classical.

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The Problem of Form and the Relavitization of the Status of Documentary Film in Contemporary Slovak Authorial Production

Abstract

The present study offers a critical reflection of contemporary Slovak authorial production. Focusing on three films, the author analyses the authors′ approaches to representing reality from a formal point of view. The author claims that all of them relativize the status of documentary film, using as a tool of critical analysis Carl Plantiga’s definition of documentary film, included in his concept of “asserted veridical representation”. The films under analysis use three formally different approaches of relating to social reality. One relies on an acted form, the second takes the form of a historicizing essay, and the third promotes the author’s subjective views through a cut collage of motifs stemming from reality.

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The Reflection of a Classical Playwright in the Mirror of Postmodernism

Abstract

Since the beginning of the twentieth century, the search for a form of theatre that is as close as possible to the ideal became more intense and the active involvement of the public a habit. Likewise, postmodernism has become more and more present in the theatre shows. For the new generations of spectators, postmodernism in theatre is no longer an element of novelty and not even so difficult to digest, because when you grow into a certain historical period, you easily assimilate the features reflected in all aspects of life, cultural, social or political. A special generation from which the audience for the theatre under the postmodernist empire has been selected is generation Y, the generation of those born between 1980 and 1995. For this generation, Shakespeare, for example, can also be extremely cool, not only a classic. Among the performances that claim a modern Shakespeare, helped by video projections and modern music we can focus on the shows Hamlet, directed by Ada Lupu Hausvater at the National Theatre in Timişoara, and, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, directed by Radu Afrim, and also Hamletmachine, directed by Giorgos Zamboulakis.

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Changes of Power and Coups D´État in Július Barč-Ivan’s Plays Diktátor [Dictator], Neznámy [The Unknown] and Veža [The Tower]

Abstract

The paper discusses three lesser known and less frequently staged plays written by Július Barč-Ivan (1909 – 1953), namely Diktátor (Dictator), Neznámy (The Unknown), and Veža (The Tower). Dictator was supposed to be premiered at the Slovak National Theatre in 1937, but it was removed from the repertoire due to censorship. The Unknown was staged and published as a book in Turčiansky Sv. Martin in 1944. The Tower was premiered at the National Theatre, Košice in 1947, and published a year later. All three plays deal with politics and power, as well as with changes of authority and leadership in different historical settings. In order to discuss Barč-Ivan’s perception of the changes of power in history, the paper analyzes motives of social upheavals, coups d’état, and changes of leadership, as well as the portrayal of authorities, leaders, and the masses as dramatis personae in these three plays. It also discusses repartees and dialogues in the respective plays, wishing to show changes in Barč-Ivan’s elaboration of the theme between 1937 and 1947. The paper argues that Barč-Ivan gradually abandons the idea of eternal peace that was a key concept in his play Dictator; and in his play The Tower, he states that “the principle of love” can be only preserved by its counterpart – violence. Whereas in The Unknown the power was shaken but preserved, in both Dictator and The Tower a paradoxical replacement of original contrasting principles happened; and the opponents of the power ended up using the methods they originally rejected. The paper also claims that all three Barč-Ivan’s plays were an alternative to ideologies and politics of the era. They expressed historical pessimism based on a religious concept of history. Barč-Ivan believes that noble ideas inevitably remain contradictory to historical development: if they were applied successfully in societies, they would actually mean the end of history.

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Politics of Imperceptibility: Philosophy, Post-Feminism and New Media Arts

Abstract

The essay discusses Deleuze and Guattari’s notion of becoming-imperceptible and raises the question to what extent it can be interpreted in terms of feminist politics and seen as a specific strategy for new media arts. Although the notion of becoming-imperceptible was condemned by second wave feminists, recent post-feminists representing the third wave argue not for politics of visibility but for politics of invisibility. Examining the practices of Lithuanian feminist media artists, the essay argues that becoming-imperceptible in new media arts means not an escape from visibility or a drive toward annihilation but a new conceptual strategy: becoming-imperceptible creates the potential for social and political change. This new conceptual strategy can be related to the new quality of the image: in this regard there is a close affinity between Deleuze and Guattari’s notion of becoming-imperceptible and the notion of the crystalline image which appears in Deleuze’s film theory: both notions engender duration, temporality and qualitative change. Therefore the essay claims that the crystalline image does not represent the world but recreates this world through multiple, changing and virtual images.

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Bodily Violence and Resistance in Wojtek Smarzowski’s Rose (Róża, 2011)

1 In his monograph on Rose , Andrzej Szpulak focuses on the film’s continuities with the Polish national discourse. However, he declares that he is only interested in the narrative, claiming that, in his critical approach, the visual qualities of the film are of secondary importance (Szpulak 2016: 31). While accepting such a critical perspective, I will undertake a radically different critical strategy by demonstrating how Rose uses various formal, mostly audiovisual, devices to subvert certain elements of the national tradition. REFERENCES Ahmed

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