philosophy in film

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Re: philosophy in film

Postby iambiguous » Thu Mar 14, 2019 7:25 pm

They all say the same thing. If you want to excel as an actor, you must be able to draw on the sort of experiences that make it possible for art to imitate life.

Nothing is off the table here because you never really know what frame of mind or emotion or psychological state you might be called upon to recreate up on the stage.

And, this being the case, there will always be those directing actors who are ready, willing and able to take advantage of it. Thus, "...when the workshop's ambitious director pushes Madeline to weave her rich interior world and troubled history with her mother into their collective art the lines between performance and reality begin to blur."

And this impacts not only Madeline's performance up on the stage but her very "sense of identity" itself. "I" tugged and pulled...and then completely twisted out of shape. And what if, from the very start, the actor is already emotionally disturbed? What might be the end result of that? A sane actor can portray insanity up on the stage with more or less skill. But what are the [possible] consequences of an actor less than completely sane being pushed all the more to go over the edge?

And then the part about encompassing sanity itself. In today's world in particular. One way or another we are often putting on a mask and adopting one or another persona in one or another context. And here you are never really certain if what you are watching is in or out of Madeline's head.

at wiki: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madeline%27s_Madeline
trailer: https://youtu.be/S_ezPTjSSPw

Madeline's Madeline [2018]
Written in part and directed by Josephine Decker

Nurse [from Madeline's dreamscape]: There you go. What you are experiencing is just a metaphor. The emotions you are having are not your own. They are someone else's. You are not the cat. You are inside the cat. Now lie back...

...

Evangeline [workshop director]: Madeline, what are you doing?
Madeline: I was a sea turtle.
Evangeline: You were a sea turtle, and then you were a woman playing a sea turtle. Look at your hands. Hands. Whose hands are those? Are they yours, or are they the turtle's?

...

Madeline: Drive, drive! Duck! Duck! Oh, shit. Oh, shit. Go, Mom!
Regina [Mother]: I'm going, I'm going. I can't duck and drive.
Madeline: Just go! Just go!
Mother: I'm going! Are you okay?
Madeline: Yes! Oh, my God. We just mooned Evangeline.
Mother: You did?
Madeline: Yes. Let's go!
Mother: I thought you...I thought something had really happened.

...

Son: Mom, what would you be if you were someone else?
Mother: Do you mean, like, a famous person?
Madeline: No, he means, um, if you could cut out someone's face and wear it as your own, who would it be?

...

Madeline: I had this dream that I wanted to tell you about, but, you know...
Evangeline: I know. You know what they say about dreaming. You just have to trust yourself. Jung says that...in all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder a secret order, that the pendulum of the mind swings between sense and nonsense, not between right and wrong.
Madeline: Dreams are awesome. I dreamt I slammed my mother's hand with an iron. I couldn't breathe. It felt like I was underwater, watching her.
Evangeline: Anything like that, you can always share it with me. I dreamt you were my daughter.
[a pause]
Evangeline: Do you feel safe around your mom...?

...

Boy: Hey, Madeline. What's up? What's in your basement? Yo, me and the guys over there, we took bets, and we think there's five dead bodies in there. Five, for every finger on your hand.
Madeline [bursting into a character]: I killed 'em with my fingernails!
Boy: You're weird.

...

Madeline: I was just showing them the basement.
Mother: Mm-hmm. Why don't you sit down. Let's watch this! Okay. Right? Sit down, Madeline. This what you were doing? This what I interrupted?
Boy: We were just...
Mother: Yeah? Well, just do it. Go ahead. Do it. Whip it out.
Woman from porn video: You're putting it in her asshole!
Mother [to the boys]: This is a good idea? You want her in a psych ward for another six weeks? With her condition?

...

Evangeline: I want to deepen the work that we're doing with the character that you're gonna play. Do you want to name her?
Madeline: Oh, I... I thought of a name. Zia.
Evangeline: Zia? -Yeah. That is... It's really powerful. You know, one of the ways that we could maybe...sort of make Zia more concrete would be...I was thinking we could explore the dream that you were telling me about and maybe act it out. The one that you... With the iron, and you slam your mom's hand. It's so just potent. And I-I can't stop thinking about those images. You know, dream work can be this really... Uh, anyway... we should... try acting it out. How do you feel about that?
Madeline [clearly uneasy]: I, uh...I guess, yeah.

...

Evangeline [disjointedly]: Madeline, was that...Is that about how it felt? What? I think we need to, um, emphasize the fractured, um, disjointed relationship with the mother at the beginning.

...

Mother [on phone?]: Yes, it's an emergency. Her prescription ran out a week ago. Mm-hmm. Why? Because she didn't tell me. I'm sorry. She's a teenager, so...She just doesn't tell me everything in her life.

...

Mother: You know, I just... I want... I want you to be careful. You know? Because... you're not...
Madeline: I'm not what?
Mother: Um... You know. You're not like the other people.
Madeline: Because I'm black?
Mother: No, Madeline. I just feel like you're maybe not ready, you know. Your situation, which is different...
Madeline: What are you saying?
Mother: It's different from the other people in the...Everyone else is...is stable, and, um... You know, if you had an episode, which you probably will, what would happen?
[Madeline throws a cup of soda at her]

...

Evangeline: Are you okay?
Madeline: I'm good.
Evangeline: Yeah? How's things with your mom?
Madeline: On the way here, she tried to give me the sex talk. I'm 16. I know everything.

...

Nurse [actor in a skit]: What seems to be the problem?
Madeline [acting as the patient]: I'm sick.
Nurse: Yeah? What do you have?
Madeline: I'm de...Pregnant.
Evangeline: Hey, Madeline. It's a psychiatric ward, not a pregnancy ward.
Madeline: My mom wants me to have an abortion, but, um, I'm gonna keep the baby.
Nurse: Wh... I mean, do you...Do you think you're... you're ready?
Madeline: I think I'm ready. I... I want to take care of someone. Like she will. But I'm afraid that the birth will be horrible.
Nurse: How will it be horrible?
Madeline: Bloody and hard. What if the baby doesn't wanna come out? What if it's, like... And it dies inside of me.
Evangeline [not sure how to react]: Let's take five minutes, and then we'll, uh, regroup and try some more.

...

Woman: Madeline was telling us your show is about prison?
Evangeline: Uh, no. No, it's not.
Madeline: It's...It's a metaphor.
Woman: Metaphor?
Evangeline: No, it's not a metaphor. It's-It's, um... It's about mental illness. And-And...Wow. Madeline is the lead.


The look on Madeline's face says it all...

Madeline: So, um, how long have you and Evangeline been together?
George: Oh. We've been together five years. Five beautiful years.
Madeline: Wow.
George: Mm-mmm.
Madeline: That's funny, because she has never mentioned you.
George: She hasn't?
Madeline: Nope.

...

Madeline: So, um, it's my birthday this weekend.
George: Are you serious? Well, happy birthday. You're turning...
Madeline: Seventeen.
George: Seventeen.
Madeline: And do you know what I am doing for my birthday? I'm going to lose my virginity. George [taken aback]: That's... That's great. That's great. Who's...Who's the...Um, who's the lucky guy?
Madeline: I haven't decided yet.
George: Okay.
Madeline: You know, if you have any recommendations for, like, a position or anything, for... 'Cause I'm a beginner, you know. I was thinking that I could bend over, and he could squeeze my ass cheeks.

...

Evangeline: Were you drinking at my house, Madeline? Because you're not acting like yourself.
Madeline: You don't know myself. I am being myself.
Evangeline: I do know you. I know you!
Madeline: Are you insecure?
Evangeline: What?
Madeline: Are you... insecure?
Evangeline: I don't know! No. I mean no. I'm so... I'm not insecure. I'm trying to do something that's really hard. And I am, you know, holding down the fort on the whole project, and I'm spearheading this very collaborative vision that is fucking just... kind of fucked. So, yes. I mean yes, I'm insecure, because I don't know if the project's gonna work. I don't even know if my fucking marriage is gonna work. And I don't...
Madeline: Good.
Evangeline: What? What's good?
Madeline: That you admitted it. I'm insecure too. It's why I want you to like me so much.

...

Madeline: I don't think...I don't think I should be in your project anymore.
Evangeline: What?
Madeline: Okay. I feel like, you know, we're...
Evangeline: I think you might be right, Madeline. I think maybe you shouldn't be in the project. And actually, it feels like a huge relief. I mean, I...Of course, I want you to be in it, but...this doesn't feel like it's good for either of us.

...

Madeline [after Evangeline slams on the brakes and stops the car]: What was that? What... Was it a cat?
Evangeline: I don't know. Maybe it was nothing.
Madeline: Should... Should we check on it?
Evangeline: No, it's dead.

...

Madeline [acting out her mother in a skit at the workshop..with her mother in the room]: You really shouldn't use hand sanitizer like that. It dries out your skin. Oh, what sweater should I wear? The one with floral or the one with floral? The mood swings. They can be so bad sometimes. High, low. You never know where you're gonna go. Throwing things, hitting me. But I love you no matter what because you're my daughter. Were you smoking? I can smell it on you! Go take a shower, for Christ's sakes. Do you want some pancakes? Pancakes! I know you hate butter. Yes. Will you eat anything? Anything? See, Damon eats. Damon fucking eats. And he keeps it in. You're not going to rehearsal on Friday if you don't eat these pancakes. When you were a...just a little baby, I stroked your head so soft. I-I...I said to myself... I said, "This baby, she's so perfect. She's gonna be so strong." And look at you now. You are sick! You are so sick that you... No, Madeline. Madeline, no. Madeline, you're scaring me. Damon, tell her to...Put it down! Oh, my God! Oh, my God! My hand! My hand! Wow. Wow. Oh, my God. Oh, my God!!!


Her mother leaves the room.

Evangeline: That was so great. That was so amazing. Wow! Oh, my God. Are you okay?
Madeline: Yes.
Evangeline: You're so good. That was amazing. Did you guys see that? Oh, my God. That was amazing. Wow. Oh! Wow. I, uh... This... This is the play. This is immersive theater. Wow. Okay. Okay. I was thinking we were gonna do something else, but I think that, in light of this powerful new work, we should, uh... Let's everybody pick a piece, just a section of the improv that Madeline just did, and then we will make a dance. Make a dance of it and, um...
Workshop actor: When you talk about this being the play, is this about Madeline?
Evangeline: Well, no, no. I mean, it's about a character that we've been work... you know, creating together called Zia. It's about a character.
Actor: And it's Madeline's story.
Evangeline: No, Zia. Her name is Zia.
Actor: Yeah, Zia. And she's comfortable with that.
[she turns to Madeline]
Actor: You're comfortable with that? With us telling your story?
Actor [to Evangeline]: I mean...So you're going to tell the story of the inside of her brain.
Evangeline: Yes.


Evangeline completely misses the point that her students clearly get: that she is using and exploiting Madeline's very real emotional turmoil. Unless I'm completely missing the point.

Evangeline: Get off me! Madeline? Madeline. Madeline. Great job. You know, you're obviously taking a lot of risks, and I think you're so talented, you know? But if we're gonna collaborate, I think we should talk about a process that's a little more...Listen. This is done. I think this is done now. Okay. Everybody? Everybody, I think this is done now! So thank you very much, everybody! Great job. Hey! Just stop! Stop!
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
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iambiguous
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