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December 1997, Week 1


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Donald Larsson <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Fri, 5 Dec 1997 11:09:08 -0600
TEXT/PLAIN (34 lines)
Paul Clinco offers:
> Most books on filmmaking spend 75 pages on lens selection and 1 to 2
> pages on talking to actors. The audience, however, couldn't care less if
> a 50mm or a 48mm lens was used, preferring instead to connect with the
> characters.  What makes someone like Cassavetes so fascinating is that
> he made *performances* the center of his work, not things like nifty
> dolly shots.
You have a point here, but is it the performance alone?  Surely,
Cassavetes hand-held cameras and other technical aspects gives his
films (especially the earlier ones) a sense of immediacy that underlies
those performances.
There's a telling point made by Bob Fosse in ALL THAT JAZZ.  Throughout
the film, Roy Scheider (playing a Fosse-like, self-destructive jack of
all media) works on editing and re-editing one standup bit by a
comedian in a film of his until he gets it just right, causing the
producer endless headaches over the delay in release (based in part on
Fosse's film about Lenny Bruce). When the movie is finally released, a
critic blasts the film *except* for the standup bit, which she credits
to the talent of the actor!
Don Larsson
Donald Larsson, Mankato State U (MN)
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