October 8, 2008

WEEK 7: The Rough Theater

~ The word "excellence" is a foreigner here ~

(Thanks to waterwinterwonderland.org for the image)

This week, we read as a class a short excerpt from the Empty Space, a book by former Royal Shakespeare Company Director, Peter Brook. More specifically, we focused on the concept of "the Rough Theater," an idea of a theater that brings dirt and grit to a performance - a ramshackle theater that might lend more to an audiences enjoyment than a pristine, state-of-the-art theater could. Certainly there are instances where a top-line theater is the best choice, but likewise, there are also instances where a scrappy hole-in-the-wall joint is more appropriate.

While Brook was talking about theater in the traditional stage-theater sense, we could apply the same principles to filmmaking as well as film viewing.

In an age where cameras and other filmmaking tools are becoming more high-tech and able to render image and sound with a hyper-real fidelity, where does black and white 16mm film, shot on the fly and processed in a bucket have a place? Or, with the ongoing desire to equip multiplex theaters with the best seats, projection and acoustic environment, where does a shower curtain, serving as a projection screen, strung up between two trees in someone's backyard have a place?

As the semester goes on, we will explore these questions.

1 comment:

Morgana said...

Thanks for writing this.