The actor as intermedialist: remediation, appropriation, adaptation
Appropriation / Adaptation Sarah Bernhardt in Les Amours de la reine Élisabeth (1912) Eleonora Duse in Cenere (1916)
Les Amours de la reine Élisabeth; The Loves of queen Elizabeth <ul><li>Directed by Louis Mercanton, Henri Desfontaines </li></ul><ul><li>Produced by Louis Mercanton </li></ul><ul><li>Written by Émile Moreau (original play and script) </li></ul><ul><li>Starring Sarah Bernhardt , Lou Tellegen </li></ul><ul><li>Distributed by L’Histrionic Film (France) / Famous Players Film Company (USA) </li></ul><ul><li>Release date(s) 1912 </li></ul><ul><li>Running time 53 mins. </li></ul><ul><li>Country France </li></ul>Les Amours de la reine Élisabeth (Queen Elizabeth) Louis Mercanton (Swiss, 1879-1932) 1912. France. 35mm print, black and white, silent, approx. 31 min. Acquired from Paramount Pictures http://www.moma.org/collection/browse_results.php?object_id=107651 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Les_Amours_de_la_reine_Élisabeth
A. To allow the close-ups would have given the camera the power to extract the emotional moment, rather than authorizing the actress’s body to project it. B. This “regally attitudinized death” is entirely in keeping with a film that every turn denies its film-ness. Thus Bernhardt resists making the performance medially transparent by subordinating herself to film’s naturalistic aesthetic and simply disappearing; in salvaging the theatrical she retains what Bolter and Grusin refer to as the medium’s “hypermediacy” – essentially, the continuing visibility of film as a secondary medium through which theater (as the orginary medium) is mediated. It is only in the hypermediated mode that the performer’s autonomy survives erasure. Thus she appropriated the film in theatrical way.
Cenere Directed by Febo Mari Produced by Arturo Ambrosio Written by Febo Mari, Eleonora Duse Starring Eleonora Duse , Febo Mari Cinematography Eugenio Bava Distributed by The Ambrosio Film Co. Release date(s) 1916 (Italy) Running time 38 minutes Country Italy
A devoted filmgoer, she was convinced also that films were not living up to their artistic potential, and she began to conceive of possible film projcts for herself. I want to do nothing that resembles, even remotely, my work of the past. We never see her opening her mouth, and the lines assigned to her appear as if they were mental projections of her will This strategy of indirection was used also by Griffith in scenes of what Tom Gunning has dubbed “hidden emotion.” Duse found that she could not pull off the feat of reappearance. She called film making a “spiritual problem” and complained that she felt “detached” when she saw herself on screen. Duse adapted herself for quintessential film-ness.
Synthetic Performances Reenactment of Marina Abramovic and Ulay's Imponderabilia by Eva and Franco Mattes aka 0100101110101101.ORG <ul><li>live at Artists Space </li></ul><ul><li>PERFORMA07, New York </li></ul><ul><li>November 13 2007 </li></ul>