Posted at 05.10.2018
"The purpose of the Meisner strategy has often been referred to as getting celebrities to " Live truthfully under imaginary circumstances. " (Silverberg 1994: 45),
Critically analyze this statement, with regards to at least three different display dramas.
It is the writer's perception that to attempt to examine the assertion a brief recap on Meisners operating predecessors should be one of them essay.
Arguably Stanislavski can be called the foundation of modern acting techniques. Challenging himself to be a better acting practitioner than the melodramatic thespians of his time. Stanislavski found that they didn't form a link with their identity or the other stars and directed their dialogue directly at the audience. Through taking notes and trial and error; he came up with an performing system. He was greatly responsible for the brand new change in Russian theatre, so that it is more accessible to the people.
Many of his guidelines called after the actor to draw upon their own experience and take an analytical method of the character to be portrayed. He created the "If" theory, what would you do in a situation out with your experience but is faced by the character. This principle issues the actor to work with their imagination. Stanislavski wanted actors to draw upon their own life experience to create the truth of their persona and not to invent falsehoods. His subsequent students and fans used and developed his techniques.
When these teachings crossed continents into America these were altered, whether through linguistic translation or imaginative interpretation.
Stella Adler was a strong follower of his teachings and travelled to Europe to learn his techniques firsthand. Through dealing with Stella Adler and Lee Strasberg, Meisner built after the Stanislavski system and developed his own approach.
The Meisner approach is about the stars truthful reactions within an imaginary scenario. Stanislavski`s system results in as regimented and over analysed with activities /reactions preordained before being performed in comparison.
Though there are definitely more similarities than dissimilarities of these two practitioners' techniques at the main. Both assume that the stars own life experience should be get upon to bring fact to their figure.
By reacting instinctually when in persona within the parameters of the written text under the imaginary circumstances fresh discoveries can be made. Discoveries about the characters behaviour and the actor's unconscious interpretation of these reasoning.
Even through extreme analysis of the written text, these discoveries might not have been brought out through intellectual study.
This is the center of his approach, finding behavioural truths which freely happen when the actor is in the moment.
The ultimate goals of these methods are to bring truthfulness and believability to the type. If the actor takes on this fact of persona action /reactions and totally is convinced it themselves, then your audience will also.
In the theater it is generally stated that the performance is life compressed onstage but also for functioning on camera this must be enhanced. The camera can follow the action up-close and detect moments of question or an professional going through the movements. The acting professional isn't banging it out to the cheep seats but striving to make a condensed realistic piece of acting.
The blend of the celebrities own life experience and the figure`s creates this living true to life under imaginary circumstances.
My first example of Meisner's technique in action on display screen was found in the Crying Game (1992) aimed by Neil Jordan.
A disillusioned member of the Irish republican military tries to drop off the radar which is pursued by fellow agencies. After aiding in the kidnapping of a black British soldier, Fergus sorts a bond with his captive and agrees to look up his lover if discussions for his release fall season through. The prisoner Jody escapes but Fergus cant bring himself to shoot his new good friend but Jody is tragically wiped out by his own military when they accidently run him over. Fergus appears up the sweetheart Dil and almost immediately sorts a marriage with her. When He discovers that he isn't the only person keeping secrets, Fergus continues with this affair along with his new love. The reveal in the film was stunning at the time as this new love Dil was actually a man.
The landscape that captured my attention was the kissing field between Dil and Fergus. When Fergus says to Dil 'be a good girl, go inside. ' Dil looks directly into his eyes and replies, 'only if you kiss me. ' Fergus is taken aback by the directness of the declaration and takes a moment to recuperate, continue to kiss her. He is loving but stunned and confused which is evident on his face. The bafflement that is due to kissing another man is made evident by the snort Fergus makes and his downplaying of the significance of the kiss by requesting, 'are you happy now?' Dil's reply, 'delirious' is charged with anger at Fergus's reluctance to accept his feelings.
The arena is very important to how the emotions of the character types, rather than the words they say, portray the meaning of the picture. Dil and Fergus' moving towards and away from each other, looking at the other person but refusing to touch and make physical contact, the awkward and defiant postures they adopt, all show the physical and emotional attraction that is accessible between them, and Fergus' repulsion at the thought of kissing a man. Both are highly mental and make that emotion available to one another and the audience with only a second use of terms. The arena is a remarkable achievement for how it portrays the shock and excitement, and the newness of the knowledge. The characters look not to understand what will happen, yet are alive and expectant to what that might entail. These are prime examples of Meisner's assertion that, 'the quality of your operating will depend on how fully you are doing what you are doing, '.
The second example is from Moon (2009) aimed by Duncan Jones
Set soon, earth natural recourses have been fatigued and the moon is now being mined. Loan astronaught Sam Bell is isolated and shut down from globe as communication is down. As he approaches the ultimate month of his agreement Sam has an accident outside the house in a moon vehicle. Getting up in the medi laboratory he slowly starts to realize all is not right when the computer tries to keep him restricted. Venturing outside Sam locates the hurt Sam and brings him back to the laboratory. Is Sam loosing his head or is the business abusing their electricity by cloning him. Who is the true Sam and can the business let several version exist.
In the chosen scene because of this example the Sam who may have been harmed and almost completed his term is confronting the recently awaked clone Sam. Injured Sam is still not sure what he's experiencing is real while clone Sam is battling to work through why this is going on. Even though this is a field involving the same actor and the relationship are being imposed upon each other, the momentum is not lost and the technology of the landscape doesn't draw emphasis from the performing. Meisner trained Sam Rockwell provides two wholly believable distinctly different shows in this field. A guy loosing his brain against one who is struggling to keep up his sanity. The struggle of wills while they fight over music is well choreographed and an extreme exemplory case of acting truthfully under imaginary circumstances.
A third example of Meisner's technique originates from his own performance within the Story on Page One (1959) directed by Clifford Odets.
A married Jo Morris is a woman who is stuck in a loveless relationship to a domineering man who's abusive to their young daughter has an affair. Through a series of unfortunate happenings her fan Larry Ellis, accidently eliminates the husband plus they decide to hide Larry`s presence. What follows is the next trial by the legal system and tabloid press. Larry's domineering mother primarily interfered in his budding relationship and triggers more problems for the fans through the trial.
In this film, Meisner performs Phil Stanley the prosecuting lawyer. After the accidental getting rid of by Gig Young of his lover's husband, Meisner puts on a amazing performance in the courtroom displays. In scene after scene, the questioning and mix examination of Gig Young and the other witnesses in the case is completed convincingly and intensely.
Meisners technique, as showed by the three display screen shows used as good examples in this newspaper, therefore lives up to Meisner's own declare that acting ought to be to live truthfully under imaginary circumstances. The celebrities all appear to be reacting to genuine impulses and motivations, guided by their emotions and by powerful motivating factors.