Thursday, July 05, 2007
How about a couple more theater videos then I'll lay it to rest for a bit? "Method Actor Boyfriend" (above) is a really terrible clip, even though it was probably fun to watch live. It's a skit about a girl who invites her method actor boyfriend to a party. The reason I put it up is that, flaws and all, it raises interesting questions about stage movement.
Looking at it, I wonder why the method guy fails to dominate the scene. The actor could be better but let's put that aside. The method guy shouts and has all the funny lines and yet his girlfriend is the one our eyes keep coming back to. Why is that? Why doesn't the method guy steal the show?
I'm not an actor so I can only guess at the answer, but it was probably a mistake to allow some of the party people to move around more than the the star. Also the background design and lighting might have directed attention better. The girlfriend is the best actor in the film and I think it would have been a mistake to deliberately diminish her role to make the boyfriend look good. If anything I would have given her a little more to do because she's such an interesting contrast to the guy.
It seems to me that what the boyfriend needed (apart from voice control)was better stage movement. When he leaned into the character he was threatening the two of them should have backed up for a couple of steps as if his glance had the power to push. He should have showed us the hand before he licked it. In short, he should have given more thought to his stage movement. The people reacting to him should also have paid more attention to theirs. I always thought animators would benefit from a careful study of live action stage movement.
Above is a short interview with Stanislavski himself! I'm amazed! I didn't know he was ever filmed. Well, he has charisma, you have to give him that. He completely dominated the interviewer without ever moving from his seat.
Here's (above) David Beckham talking to another actor who does a great imitation of Al Pacino. I love the rhythm these guys have going.