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MCN Columnists
Leonard Klady

Klady By Leonard KladyKlady@moviecitynews.com

21 or Bust…

The card counting added up to an estimated $24.1 million as the debut of 21 ascended to the top of weekend movie going. The solid bow coupled with a better than expected $9.4 million opening for Superhero Movie still could not stave off another box office erosion as the movie experience hunkers down in the…

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Easter Lays an Egg…

The second weekend of Horton Hears a Who led weekend film going but not as definitively as it had in its debut. The Seussical sophomore session rang up an estimated $25.3 million while the debut of Meet the Browns from niche auteurTyler Perry was within striking distance at $20.2 million. The Easter weekend (not one…

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Who’s On First…

Doc Seuss’s Horton Hears a Who translated best to the big screen audience this past weekend with an estimated $45.3 million. It was sloppy seconds for the frame’s two other national freshmen with the teen martial arts yarn Never Back Down generating a respectable $8.8 million to rank third overall and the Apocalyptic adventure Doomsday…

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35.1 Million B.C. (Big Cume)…

History be damned, 10,000 B.C. went to the head of the class with an opening weekend estimated at $35.1 million. In an otherwise depressed frame, there was also positive spin for College Road Trip that debuted in second spot with $13.8 million and a rather respectable $5.4 million launch for the ripped from the headlines…

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So What!?

Wednesday morning Motion Picture Association of America president Dan Glickman got on the phone with (by my count) 15 or so entertainment business journalists. He told them a few things they probably knew, a lot they could have guessed and a panoply of things of no great significance. The seeming important news was that the domestic…

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Semi-Po’ and Con…

Despite topping the weekend box office chart with an estimated by $15.4 million, Semi-Pro provided slim comfort in a depressed post-Oscar frame. No Country for Old Men added close to 1000 theaters and saw its revenues rise 63% but other winners saw no immediate benefit in the domestic arena. The frame also saw a strong…

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Klady

Quote Unquotesee all »

“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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