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David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

DP/30: Shame

co-writer/director Steve McQueen, actor Michael Fassbender

actor Carey Mulligan

8 Responses to “DP/30: Shame”

  1. Paul MD (Stella's Boy) says:

    DP are these safe for people who have not seen Shame?

  2. Boo says:

    Thanks for the interview. I saw this film twice now at the festivals, two months apart. The actors have a shot but the film in the blogosphere is really borderlining between hype and buzz.

  3. berg says:

    here is joan jett and lita ford from an ABC special in the late 70s

    http://www.dangerousminds.net/comments/the_runaways_in_rock_n_roll_sports_classic

  4. David Poland says:

    Hard to say, Paul. It’s not really a “spoiler” movie. If you know the premise and that the actors are naked, you are pretty much in for experiencing it.

    On the other hand, if you don’t want to hear discussions about what the subtext might be or about thoughts behind some of the ideas presented, you might want to wait.

  5. Paul MD (Stella's Boy) says:

    Thanks DP. I wasn’t sure if it’s a spoiler movie. Wanted to ask before I listen, which I really want to do.

  6. LexG says:

    The biggest “spoiler” in all these DPs is that “Steve McQueen” isn’t some hardcore chain-smoking Irish petty thug who looks like Hardy in “Bronson,” but rather Miss Jay from Top Model.

  7. sanj says:

    i officially request that Carey Mulligan becomes the special host for dp/30 … take her to Sundance festial – let her do 8 dp/30’s with different actors / directors. it would be easy for her and she’d be fair to everybody – even if the movie aren’t great.

  8. Sam says:

    She could host them in a Wendy’s over a dollar menu business lunch!

    I hope she interviews mouth-breathers with bare feet. Every question should be about how bad they feel that Midnight In Paris smoked their trashy name-checking movies at the box office. LOOOOOOK AT HER!

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“The core fear is what can happen to you, personally. Your body. That’s what horror films deal with, precisely. We are a very thin skin wrapped around a pumping heart and guts. At any given moment it can come down to that, be it diseases, or somebody’s assault, or war, or a car wreck. You could be reduced to the simple laws of physics and your body’s vulnerability. The edged weapon is the penultimate weapon to disclose that reality to you.”
~ Wes Craven, 1996, promoting Scream

MAMET
Well, that, to me, is always the trick of dramaturgy; theoretically, perfectly, what one wants to do is put the protagonist and the audience in exactly the same position. The main question in drama, the way I was taught, is always what does the protagonist want. That’s what drama is. It comes down to that. It’s not about theme, it’s not about ideas, it’s not about setting, but what the protagonist wants. What gives rise to the drama, what is the precipitating event, and how, at the end of the play, do we see that event culminated? Do we see the protagonist’s wishes fulfilled or absolutely frustrated? That’s the structure of drama. You break it down into three acts.

INTERVIEWER
Does this explain why your plays have so little exposition?

MAMET
Yes. People only speak to get something. If I say, Let me tell you a few things about myself, already your defenses go up; you go, Look, I wonder what he wants from me, because no one ever speaks except to obtain an objective. That’s the only reason anyone ever opens their mouth, onstage or offstage. They may use a language that seems revealing, but if so, it’s just coincidence, because what they’re trying to do is accomplish an objective… The question is where does the dramatist have to lead you? Answer: the place where he or she thinks the audience needs to be led. But what does the character think? Does the character need to convey that information? If the answer is no, then you’d better cut it out, because you aren’t putting the audience in the same position with the protagonist. You’re saying, in effect, Let’s stop the play. That’s what the narration is doing—stopping the play… It’s action, as Aristotle said. That’s all that it is—exactly what the person does. It’s not what they “think,” because we don’t know what they think. It’s not what they say. It’s what they do, what they’re physically trying to accomplish on the stage. Which is exactly the same way we understand a person’s character in life—not by what they say, but by what they do. Say someone came up to you and said, I’m glad to be your neighbor because I’m a very honest man. That’s my character. I’m honest, I like to do things, I’m forthright, I like to be clear about everything, I like to be concise. Well, you really don’t know anything about that guy’s character. Or the person is onstage, and the playwright has him or her make those same claims in several subtle or not-so-subtle ways, the audience will say, Oh yes, I understand their character now; now I understand that they are a character. But in fact you don’t understand anything. You just understand that they’re jabbering to try to convince you of something.
~ David Mamet

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