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The Weekend Report Archive for November, 2008

Jingle All the Way

It was a gift exchange as Americans rose from Thanksgiving tables to make the turkey trot to Four Christmases, which topped holiday viewing with an estimated $46.6 million for the five-day span. Though shy of a record breaker, business was brisk; experiencing a slight boost from 2007 but falling short of earlier sessions in 2005…

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Fang You Very Much

Twilight, the teen vampire romance sensation, bit down hard to debut with an estimated $72.7 million and command about 44% of weekend ticket buying revenues. The session also saw the bow of the animated family film Bolt, which ranked third with $26.8 million in a frame that saw the sort of expansion Wall Street dreams…

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Shakin’ All Over

Five decades of good will added up to a staggering estimated debut of 00-$71.1 million for the 22nd James Bond (under the Broccoli imprimatur), Quantum of Solace. It was the biggest bow-wow for the enduring series domestically and wound up selling about 46% of all movie tickets; its anticipated potency had potential competitors steering clear…

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The Lion in Autumn

The animated antics of Madagascar: Back 2 Africa roared to an estimated $63.3 million to corral about 45% of weekend ticket sales. Despite its dominance, there was still ample room for a potent bow for the teen comedy Role Model of $19.1 million to rank second. The third national newcomer – the urban musical comedy…

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Boo!

All Hallow’s Eve spooked the box office with debuts and holdovers crushed Friday as the nation dressed up and hit the streets but not the multiplexes. Even with a Saturday bounce back overall and individual performances were tepid with High School Musical once again leading the session with an estimated $14.8 million. Slacker comedy Zack…

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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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