On IMDb, you can comment on films that strike you with musings, and encourage you to set them down. One such, for me, comments on the actor’s life, and how foreign it is to others.
I had this to say:
“Just saw this on TV. As a lifelong professional actor, and therefore of “the other world” (the other other world is everybody else, the “private people”), I want to say how it seemed to me to be made for actors only. Full of wondrous insights, dealing with the shallowness of actors, and their ever present self-concern that maybe where real life is concerned, they just don’t “get it”, but want to. (Hence our “method” approach to the craft.)
For me it has everything that I’ve never seen before in films that purport to be about the theatre, but in actuality pander to the ignorance of Private People about things of the theatre, and lie. These guys really don’t care about that, but would rather stick to the truth. Yes, it’s a huge “in” joke. Like the no-no of breaking up on stage, and destroying the fourth wall, not supposed to do that, it upsets the audience.
This exploration of that unreal world will always stand for me to be definitive. If you’re one of the outsiders, don’t bother, you won’t understand. If this sounds elitist, it’s not meant to be. Put it down to an actor’s insecurity. But enjoy it for its beauty if you wish, don’t look for more.”
Theatre that made me think
The Three Sisters
Back in 1964, I was fortunate enough to be able to go to the dress rehearsal of this Actors Studio produced and Lee Strasberg directed play at the Morosco. I was especially curious, because I had recently begun studying with Lee at his private classes which he gave at his Carnegie Hall studio. Using mostly “his” actors, I wanted to see how they performed.
I found that they performed very well within their characters, totally believable, and less well when relating to each other in a group. And the end I found very moving.
A few days later, I was now even more curious to go over to the City Center to see what the visiting Moscow Art Theatre would be doing with this same play (and curiously, I don’t find that production recorded in the IDB website.)
It was in Russian, of course, but earphones and familiarity with the dialog helped a lot. There I found the group playing perfection itself, but the ending very stilted, and actually it seemed to have been transformed into a commercial for Communist ritual.
So, my conclusion was that the two efforts were actually mirror images of each other, that is to say, they only matched in their opposition.