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Hogarth judge

November 2018



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Hogarth judge

Marlon Brando is dead

The images of Brando that will always stay with me are of Johnny in "The Wild One" and, of course, of Vito Corleone. He had his ups and downs. For those roles, especially, he was an American icon.

So is it finally OK now to dissent from the Method? or to call for a revival of the older, semi-balletic and consciously artistic kinds of acting, now mostly preserved in silent films? I've had my doubts about this for some time. What seems vexing to me is its assumed aesthetic judgments. The Method seems to assume that the best theatre and acting are intimate, emotional, and realistic, as opposed to being theatrical, abstract, and symbolic.


Jay: Stelllaaaaaaaa!!!! I mean HECTOOOOOOORRRR!!!!

Andy: I have been dissenting from the Method for some time. It's not that I don't like the Method as such; it's that what you say is entirely true; its adherents assume that their way is best, and they back it up with so much pseudo-academic flaxscript that no one dares to object.

I think that what we have now is a multitude of plays that allow for a variety of acting styles so I think there is room for both the classic "theatrical" style and the modern "natural method" style. Musicals and conceptual plays (anything by Brecht, Ionesco and others like them) would lose their emotional and conceptual punch if the acting was straight natuarlistic method. Likewise, plays that are meant to be refections of human behavior, such as anything by Mamet, would be done a disservice if the acting was in a high thematic theatrical style. Then there are classic plays that commonly fall into a horrible midzone. I love Shakespeare and Chekov but rarely have I seen a play lately were I didn't feel the actor was constantly saying in his or her mind "I'm ACTING!". Booming voices, acting based soley on theatrical convention, and no change in dramatic levels....yeesh....it just get silly after awhile. Anyway....I guess I'm just saying I think there is room and acceptance for all kinds of acting styles.
I think this contributes to my "fifteen minutes to Shakespeare" phenomenon. If I start watching a live performance of Shakespeare, it takes about fifteen or so minutes before I can fully understand what the actors are saying.