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The Weekend Report Archive for May, 2010

True Grit: The Sands of Tommy

May 31, 2010 The pre-ordained juggernaut of Sex and the City 2 was naut. Smiling ogre the Memorial holiday weekend was Shrek Forever After with an estimated $55.6 million. The weekend’s incoming box office behemoths — Sex 2 and Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time — duked it out for the Miss Congeniality spot…

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Star Shrek: The Wrath of Con

May 23, 2010 Shrek Forever After held sway ogre the weekend with an estimated debut of $72.5 million. The session’s other wide opener MacGruber wound up a causality of ware with a humorless $4.1 million bow. The Bollywood hybrid Kites touched a toe in the water with 208 playdates and its $1 million box office…

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There Goes the Neighbor, Hood

May 16, 2010 Iron Man 2 took a 60% tumble but retained the top spot at the weekend box office with an estimated $51.9 million. A trio of new national releases followed in its wake, most noticeably the new millennium Robin Hood, which was pretty close to the bullseye with $37 million. A pair of…

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Iron and Steal

May 9, 2010 Iron Man 2 signaled the start of the summer season with a blockbuster-like debut gross estimated at $134.1 million. With the comic book sequel fusing more than 70% of the marketplace, holdovers generally experienced 50% plus erosions and other debuts were confined to the niches. The non-fiction Babies bowed at 534 theaters…

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Elm Oakay

May 2 , 2010 The resurrection of Mr. Krueger in A Nightmare on Elm Street scared up an estimated $32.1 million to claim weekend bragging rights in an otherwise soft movie viewing session. The frame’s other national debut, the unintentionally horrifying Furry Vengeance, ranked fifth in the lineup with $6.5 million. Niche freshmen including Bollywood…

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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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