lotesse: (Default)
number of times I have made it through the Hamilton cast recording without uglycrying over the death of his son = approx 0
lotesse: (btvs_wishverse)
love meme over at [personal profile] mockingbird's:

Happy Galentine's Day
my thread


and, just beause:
Years ago when I
~Bertolt Brecht


Years ago when I was studying the ways of the Chicago Wheat Exchange
I suddenly grasped how they managed the whole world’s wheat there
And yet I did not grasp it either and lowered the book
I knew at once: you’ve run
Into bad trouble.

There was no feeling of enmity in me and it was not the injustice
Frightened me, only the thought that
Their way of going about it won’t do
Filled me completely.

These people, I saw, lived by the harm
Which they did, not by the good.
This was a situation, I saw, that could only be maintained
By crime because too bad for most people.
In this way every
Achievement of reason, invention or discovery
Must lead only to still greater wretchedness.

Such and suchlike I thought at the moment
Far from anger or lamenting, as I lowered the book
With its description of the Chicago wheat market and exchange.

Much trouble and tribulation
Awaited me.
lotesse: (trek_changein)
I've been having a lovely wallow in Brecht over the last few days - I volunteered to lead seminar on him this week, because he's where I come from and very dear to me. I very much like his point about the unsure intersection between ethics and sympathy, although I don't always live by it - but it gives me language to talk about what happens to me in fandoms like Iron Man or Stargate, where I fundamentally disagree with the characters on ethical grounds but fall in love with them anyway.

(I just realized, this might be why I watched all the "Jack and Daniel fight" episodes of SG1 this week - because those episodes actually get close to articulating some of the Very Deep Issues I have with the entire premise and mission of the SGC. This is also, nb, why I hold so close to earlier characterizations of Daniel and am troubled by latter ones - because for me there's a big difference between a geeky outsider trying to shift the system and a scientist-collaborator who sells knowledge and intellect to a government for the purpose of making war.)

I don't want to NOT fall in love with them, though. My love affairs with characters like Tony Stark are oddly precious to me. They represent some of the best feelings of my life. And, every now and again, some lovely fanworker will make something like Average Avengers Local Chapter 7 of New York City, and bring love into line with ethics. Brecht knows that to be a passive part of the audience is to open oneself up to being used through one's loves; his solution is to force the audience to participate in the creation of meaning, so that they cannot be victimized, so that they have to be a responsible part of what is made.

I watched Theater of War last night, a gorgeous documentary - available on Netflx Watch Instant! - that follows the Tony Kushner/Meryl Streep production of "Mother Courage and Her Children" in 2008. Seeing clips from that production was lovely, but the documentarians also did amazing things with the model book from the original 40s production. The model book gives a series of stills of the production, sometimes only seconds apart; the documentary put them into a semi-animated slideshow, with the text spoken over, so that you got a real sense of ghosts in motion. Streep has a great line at one point - the interviewer asks her what it is to be an actor - she says that she is the voice of people who have died.

The film's worth it if only for the footage of Brecht's testimony before the House Committee on Un-American Activities. He treats it like a farce. It's beautiful.
lotesse: (sparkling diamond)
The show is over. I feel so depressed.

Because, see, I hate this play. I think it's stupid and ill-written and maybe has a good point somewhere but dear god why are there no arcs? I'm spoiled--I've worked on nothing but Shakespeare for at least the past five years, and I'm used to plays giving more and more as you press them harder. I'm used to having someplace to fall down into as you let go of your ego-self, somewhere to go. But I don't think I found anything more in performance tonight than I did in reading the script at the auditions.

It was a favor to a friend. But it took up more of my time than I would have liked. And something in me squirms and wiggles desperately at having to play a part in anything that I don't truly admire.

It's like bad sex--no matter what, when the house lights go down, there's that rush. And you step out in you makeup, standing differently, moving differently, speaking differently. Becoming not-yourself. And the audience is there, and you throw your energy out to them, and they reflect it back only with about ten times more intensity. But when the show's just no good, the glow dies quickly. And then in half and hour you feel depressed and somehow dirty. It's even worse than not having sex in the first place, because you know that there's this marvellous thing that sex is supposed to be, can so easily be, and this so clearly wasn't it.

At least it's over. I can go back to focussing on papers and teaching and Shakespeare. I have to--term ends in ten days, and then it's off home for a while. And I can brush my hair again, and there will be no more greasepaint in my ears.
lotesse: (Miranda)
Saw "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead" last night, and it got me thinking about theater and metafiction. Because the show totally plays with the awareness of text--Ros and Guil are peripheral characters who know it, who exist only in the margins and are aware of it, and this allows you to make really sexy points about theater and story and fate and watching.

I was thinking--can you do that sort of thing? The only film that I can think of that does it successfully is "Baron Munchausen," but then again I reads as very theaterical to me. It feels more like a show than a movie.

Actualy also connects with the Tiptree Awards flummox, I think, because fanfic and prolit intersect in the same ways that stage and screen do. Fanfic watches itself watching, the way that theater does (the way that women do?). And some things just can't be translated, even though you can make a movie of a play. I love the film of "R and G," but it's not like the play. For one thing, they can leave the stage in the film. There's not the same awareness that they are characters caught on stage, unable to enter or exit. And when you lose that you lose a great deal of the meta.

Theater conventions simply don't work in movies. Theater is always larger than life, almost grotesque in the intensity of it all. Look at stage makeup, look at projection. You have to be frenetic in order for it to come off to the audience at all. Is fic like that? Think about how strange stage make-up looks up close. It's great on stage, but it doesn't work outside of its context. I feel the same way about the Tiptree sitch--it's fic out of its natural environment, and it looks grotesque. But on stage it's lovely.

drama

3 Oct 2005 06:22 pm
lotesse: (Miranda)
I'm feeling increasingly frustrated with my theater work. I'm prepping a monologue--Viola from "Twelvth Night," "I had a sister lov'd a man"--and I just. I can tell that I'm over-intellectualizing it, but classes keep being about archetypes and class and scansion, and we've yet to do any hands-on work at all.

It doesn't help matters that I have no space to go and work and move and speak except my dorm, which is titchy. I love it, but it's not a very good rehearsal hall. I'd go outside, but I'd feel too self-conscious.

Also, I have a paper due in three days that I've suddenly lost the ability to write. Ack.
lotesse: (Miranda)
I'm having massive feminist anxiety again.

Actually, it's all sort of dogpiling me at the moment. I'm digging through writing a paper on "Cinderella," trying to do what Gilbert and Gubar did for "Snow White" in "the Madwoman in the Attic," trying to find some way of justifying my feeling that the story is not nearly as sexist as we think it is. This is turning up some really weird stuff about feet and girly bits, esp. with Bettelheim, who somehow comes up with the sister's mutilation of their feet as a symbolic castration, but moving on...

Twisty, who blogs at <http://twistyfaster.typepad.com>, has been talking about women's clothing and fashion. To her, all fashion is misogynistic. And I've felt really uncomfortable with my heels and lipstick.

Part of this is the uneasiness that I feel over the paper--am I excusing a reprehensible story? is it really a story of subjugation to the patriarchy? am I a bad feminist for writing this?--and part is just the old insecurity about "bad feminists."

I'm clinging to my "fashion as theater" concept, and it's sort of saving me. The idea is that clothing is costume, and you pick your part. Some mornings it's one thing, sometimes another. High feminine drag can be used ironically. Right? but is that really why I love it so much? The trouble is that, yes, I agree with the rhetoric that points out that no choice is made in a vacuum. I can't reconcile breast implants with feminism or feminist choice for that reason. But yet I'm saving up for a corset. How the hell does this work?

Awareness has to be the key. The corset attracts my inner antiquarian, my inner submissive. But when I wear it, I am no less than any other person. If men think that it's for them, I'll do my best to disabuse them of that notion. Female desire is a valid motive, and female sexual expression is necessary to the feminist cause.

And Cinderella is a self-motivated agent of femal sexual awakening, damn it!

daughter of the sea, oregano's first cousin

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