Thursday, April 19, 2007

Middle-Aged Brando

And here he is in Last Tango in Paris. Proof, if any were needed, that his mastery of film acting was unsurpassed. I assume that this monologue was improvised, as I understand was most of his dialogue in the film.

Young Brando

Evidently, based on the age slated for him (23) and the Broadway credits Brando mentions at the end, this screen test was shot in either the Summer or early Fall of 1947, before he'd been cast in A Streetcar Named Desire. He mentions playing Marchbanks, the young, delicate poet, in Bernard Shaw's Candida; and as difficult as it is to think of that when you see him playing Stanley Kowalski, you can just about imagine it when you see him at the end of this clip, gentle and boyish.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Two videos

Once again, I'm a bit too busy to post anything of my own this week, but here are a couple of related videos which, in combination, are pretty amusing.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Barker Poem

At the Queen's Department of Drama's "Somewhat Formal," I read a poem by the English playwright Howard Barker at the end of my speech, and a couple of people have asked me for a reference, so I thought I would reproduce it here. I hope this constitutes fair usage. I notice that Peter Hinton has also been using the poem as a means of helping to suggest the outlook inherent in his programming for the National Arts Centre English Theatre. Here's the poem:

"First Prologue to The Bite of the Night"
by Howard Barker

They brought a woman from the street
And made her sit in the stalls

By threats
By bribes
By flattery
Obliging her to share a little of her life with actors

But I don't understand art
Sit still
, they said
But I don't want to see sad things
Sit still
, they said

And she listened to everything
Understanding some things
But not others
Laughing rarely, and always without knowing why
Sometimes suffering disgust
Sometimes thoroughly amazed

And in the light again, said
If that's art I think it is hard work
It was beyond me
So much beyond my actual life

But something troubled her
Something gnawed her peace
And she came a second time, armoured with friends

Sit still, she said

And again, she listened to everything
This time understanding different things
This time untroubled that some things
Could not be understood
Laughing rarely but now without shame
Sometimes suffering disgust
Sometimes thoroughly amazed

And in the light again said
This is art, it is hard work
And one friend said, too hard for me
And the other said, if you will
I will come again
Because I found it hard I felt honoured

Saturday, April 7, 2007

The Proffice

Do other professors --- of physics and philosophy, for example --- have to put up with this sort of insolence from their students? I doubt it. Pretty funny, though --- especially if you know the people involved.

Naturally, every year, there are plots hatched of vengeful counter films in which the profs lampoon the students; but they're too smart for us. They do this just before graduating. Of course, we could always fail them and THEN humiliate them. Hm....