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Non-Naturalistic and Naturalistic Performance

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This slideshow is from a lecture in Performance in Film and Videogames at the University of Calgary.

This slideshow is from a lecture in Performance in Film and Videogames at the University of Calgary.

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  • 1. Non-Naturalistic and Naturalistic Performance Brecht and Stanislavski
  • 2. Bertold Brecht (1898 – 1956) The stage began to be instructive. Oil, inflation, war, social struggles, the family, religion, the meat market, all become subjects for theatrical representation. — Bertolt Brecht, Theatre for Pleasure or Theatre for Instruction, as cited in Beyond Fun and Games (Shyba) Naturalistic and Non-Naturalistic Performance
  • 3. Bertold Brecht (1898 – 1956) • Playwright including Mother Courage, Three-Penny Opera, and Galileo. • Interested in early use of media, notably projections, in theatre and theatre’s social function. • He set up “The Street Scene” as a basic model for Epic Theatre, notably featuring “Verfremdungseffekt” or Alienation-effect which “forces the spectator to look at the play’s social commentary.” (Brecht) Naturalistic and Non-Naturalistic Performance
  • 4. “Verfremdungseffekt” or Alienation-effect • A technique where the artist aims to distance him/herself from the audience and prevent attachment to the work. • Allows audience to carefully contemplate the sociopolitical implications of the work. This theory has been widely influential amongst various filmmakers. • The goal is to purposely alienate the audience – intentionally prevent the audience from emotionally investing in the characters. “Making strange.” Naturalistic and Non-Naturalistic Performance
  • 5. The Street Scene (Non-naturalistic A-effect approach) • The demonstrator (actor) need not be an artist • Demonstrated in the 3rd person. Would be spoilt if the bystanders’ (audience) attention were drawn to the actor’s power of transformation. • Brecht’s theatre also includes “gestus” which is the combination of physical gestures and “gist” or embodiment of attitude. • Also useful in courts of law for re-enacting a crime. Naturalistic and Non-Naturalistic Performance
  • 6. Directors Known to be influenced by A-Effect Lars von Trier (Melancholia: Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg) Jean-Luc Godard Breathless: Jean-Paul Belmondo) Nagisa Oshima (Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence, David Bowie) Rainer Werner Fassbinder (Marriage of Maria Braun, Hanna Schygulla) Naturalistic and Non-Naturalistic Performance
  • 7. Constantin Stanislavski (1863 – 1938) “Never come into the theatre with mud on your feet. Leave your dust and dirt outside. Check your little worries, squabbles, petty difficulties with your outside clothing -- all the things that ruin your life and draw your attention away from your art -- at the door.” —Stanislavski, On Acting and Actors Naturalistic and Non-Naturalistic Performance
  • 8. Constantin Stanislavski (1863 – 1938) • Stanislavski’s ‘system’ includes concentration, voice, physical skills, emotion memory, observation, and dramatic analysis – strives for naturalism (realism). • His actor training approach explores character and action both from the ‘inside out’ and the ‘outside in’. • Many actors routinely identify his system with Lee Strasberg’s “Method” approach, an adaptation of Stanislavski's approach. Naturalistic and Non-Naturalistic Performance
  • 9. Develop Emotion Memory by studying: 1. Sensory memory (the memory of our five senses). 2. Memory of past experiences. 3. Triggers, or ways of gently jogging our memory, without trying to force what is hidden out into the open. Naturalistic and Non-Naturalistic Performance
  • 10. Stanislavski System Exercises 1. Mental Images. If I am given a line of dialogue, “I am going home,” how can I draw upon my own home? (emotions we feel in the situation the writer has invented.) 2. Emotion Memory. “Would you like a coffee?” Recollect what coffee tastes like. Instant, espresso, capuccino, Turkish. “What are you doing for Christmas?” (Substitute your own holiday if required). 3. Recurrent Emotion. If emotion memories go well in rehearsal, feelings can arise naturally in performance. Naturalistic and Non-Naturalistic Performance
  • 11. Melancholia, (Lars von Trier, 2011) • Kirsten Dunst Plays Justine • Charlotte Gainsbourg, Claire • A beautiful movie about the end of the world. • Dunst won Best-Actress and Gainsboroug Supporting Actress, Saturn award, 2012. • Clip 2:00:00 – 2:08:00
  • 12. Bibliography • Brecht, Bertolt. 1950. "The Street Scene: A Basic Model for an Epic Theatre." In Brecht on Theatre: The Development of an Aesthetic. Ed. and trans. John Willett. New York: Hill and Wang, 1964. • Benedetti, Jean. 1998. “Emotion Memory.” In Stanislavski and the Actor. New York: Routledge. pp. 61 – 69. Naturalistic and Non-Naturalistic Performance

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