Z

The Weekend Report Archive for June, 2009

Transformers: Triumph of the Risen

The tracking was great … just not this seemingly boffo. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen smashed the competition with an estimated weekend gross of $110.8 million and a five-day near record gross of $200 million. That left the frame’s other wide release — the decidedly femme-centric, weepy My Sister’s Keeper — picking up scraps of…

Read the full article » No Comments »

Wedding Bell Green

The Proposal was an offer the audience couldn’t refuse as the romantic comedy romped to an estimated $34.4 million debut to gain weekend bragging rights. The frame’s other national freshman — the caveman comedy Year One — grunted $20.1 million to finish fourth overall. New titles in limited or regional release had a few bright…

Read the full article » No Comments »

Sub-way Stories

Hangover and Up once again dominated weekend ticket sales with respective grosses of $33.1 million and $30.7 million and that put the kibosh on new releases. The highly anticipated The Taking of Pelham 123 pulled into third spot with a just passable $24.6 million gross while the $5.6 million box office for Imagine That was…

Read the full article » No Comments »

Land of the Loss

Belmont be damned … it was a photo-finish at the weekend box office with initial estimates giving the animated adventure Up a slight edge on the debut of the gonzo comedy The Hangover. First blush pegs Up with $44.5 million for a $200k lead on the new “boys’ night out” misadventure. The weekend’s other major…

Read the full article » No Comments »
Z

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

Z Z