Henry James’s style – three specimens.

“Seated at my own table in clear noonday light I saw a person whom, without my previous experience, I should have taken at the first blush for some housemaid who might have stayed at home to look after the place and who, availing herself of rare relief from observation and of the schoolroom table and my pens, ink, and paper, had applied herself to the considerable effort of a letter to her sweetheart.”
The Turn of the Screw

“One day, however, a visitor had arrived. The two young persons, after spending an hour on the river, strolled back to the house and perceived Lord Warburton sitting under the trees and engaged in conversation, of which even at a distance the desultory character was appreciable, with Mrs. Touchett. He had driven over from his own place with a portmanteau and had asked, as the father and son often invited him to do, for a dinner and a lodging. Isabel, seeing him for half an hour on the day of her arrival, had discovered in this brief space that she liked him; he had indeed rather sharply registered himself on her fine sense and she had thought of him several times. She had hoped she should see him again–hoped too that she should see a few others. Gardencourt was not dull; the place itself was sovereign, her uncle was more and more a sort of golden grandfather, and Ralph was unlike any cousin she had ever encountered–her idea of cousins having tended to gloom. Then her impressions were still so fresh and so quickly renewed that there was as yet hardly a hint of vacancy in the view. But Isabel had need to remind herself that she was interested in human nature and that her foremost hope in coming abroad had been that she should see a great many people.”
Portrait of a Lady

“He met you as if you had knocked and he had bidden you enter. Strether, who hadn’t seen him for so long an interval, apprehended him now with a freshness of taste, and had perhaps never done him such ideal justice. The head was bigger, the eyes finer, than
they need have been for the career; but that only meant, after all, that the career was itself expressive. What it expressed at midnight in the gas-glaring bedroom at Chester was that the subject of it had, at the end of years, barely escaped, by flight in time, a general nervous collapse. But this very proof of the full life, as the full life was understood at Milrose, would have made to Strether’s imagination an element in which Waymarsh could have floated easily had he only consented to float. Alas nothing so little resembled floating as the rigour with which, on the edge of his bed, he hugged his posture of prolonged impermanence. It suggested to his comrade something that always, when kept up, worried him–a person established in a railway-coach with a forward inclination. It represented the angle at which poor Waymarsh was to sit through the ordeal of Europe.”
The Ambassadors

Free ebooks – Project Gutenberg

Project Gutenberg offers over 57,000 free eBooks. Choose among free epub books, free kindle books, download them or read them online. You will find the world’s great literature here, with focus on older works for which copyright has expired. Thousands of volunteers digitized and diligently proofread the eBooks, for enjoyment and education.

https://www.gutenberg.org/

Here’s a link to their William James collection – https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/author/325

Johannes Gutenberg

220px-Gutenberg

Johannes Gutenberg, c. 1400 – February 3, 1468 was a German blacksmith, goldsmith, printer, and publisher who introduced printing to Europe with the printing press. His introduction of mechanical movable type printing to Europe started the Printing Revolution and is regarded as a milestone of the second millennium, ushering in the modern period of human history. It played a key role in the development of the Renaissance, Reformation, the Age of Enlightenment, and the scientific revolution and laid the material basis for the modern knowledge-based economy and the spread of learning to the masses.

via https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johannes_Gutenberg

Locked Down / Fixed Shot (Film)

Locked-Down Shot
A shot where the cam­era is fixed in one po­si­tion while the ac­tion con­tin­ues off-screen. It says life is messy and can not be con­tained by a cam­era. Beloved by Woody Allen and the dolly grips who can take the af­ter­noon off.

Another interpretation I read: It says the world goes on without us. I think this take was from Andrew Sarris and he was referring to Robert Bresson. But I can’t find the specific reference. Could be wrong.

Film Studies 101: The 30 Camera Shots Every Film Fan Needs To Know Empire Online, By Ian Freer, illustrations by Olly Gibbs Posted 02 Oct 2015

Acting – resistance vs creativity

Resistance Slows the Flow of Creativity

Our resistance to feel can be so ingrained that we sometimes feel a little ashamed when we express certain emotions. We get embarrassed. We fear that some of our feelings may be regarded as weak.

It’s actually counterproductive to eliminate any one human emotion. If you categorize certain emotions as “good” and certain ones as “bad,” an attempt will be made to eliminate the “bad” ones. This will shut your instincts down. By discriminating against one emotion, you discriminate against them all.

Consciously or unconsciously, emotions organically move through us all the time. Each of us is a part of the whole of the human consciousness. Each one of us can relate to and reach into each other’s sufferings, hopes, and realities. Each one of us can feel because we share the commonality of the scale of all emotions. It just takes willingness. Your emotions are your most important asset. In the work, the last place an actor needs any of his feelings to be is in hiding.

In acting, a weak performance is being stuck in one emotion or choice.

“Acting Is About Making Great Choices”. Kimberly Jentzen, www.backstage.com

Also

Non Existent Movie – Still by Cindy Sherman, Theme by Japancakes

still from non existant movie sherman35

Cindy Sherman’s series ‘Untitled film stills’ took place over a five-year period beginning in 1977 when she was 23 years old. In small black-and-white photographs, she impersonated various female character types from old B-grade movies and film noir. As both performer and director, Sherman investigated the diverse ways in which glamorous mass-mediated images socialise us or discipline us, fool us or placate us.

Cindy Sherman Untitled film still #35


Japancakes – Theme for a Film

Book Review Bingo

BookReviewBingo

“Happiness,” the French novelist Henry de Montherlant observed, “writes in white ink on a white page.” No one wants to read about contented people leading untroubled lives. Characters in novels must want something if they are to hold our interest, and they mustn’t get it without a fight. Contentment, in fiction, is almost always boring. But does this law extend beyond fiction itself? Does it encompass not just the fates of characters but those of books themselves? Is it possible, in other words, for a critic to say nice things in ways that don’t make you want to gnaw through your own wrists?

Paraic O’Donnell via Irish Times

Author identification forensics

Stylometry is the application of the study of linguistic style, usually to written language, but it has successfully been applied to music and to fine-art paintings as well.

Stylometry is often used to attribute authorship to anonymous or disputed documents. It has legal as well as academic and literary applications, ranging from question of the authorship of Shakespeare’s works to forensic linguistics.

In one such method, the text is analyzed to find the 50 most common words. The text is then broken into 5,000 word chunks and each of the chunks is analyzed to find the frequency of those 50 words in that chunk. This generates a unique 50-number identifier for each chunk. These numbers place each chunk of text into a point in a 50-dimensional space. This 50-dimensional space is flattened into a plane using principal components analysis (PCA). This results in a display of points that correspond to an author’s style. If two literary works are placed on the same plane, the resulting pattern may show if both works were by the same author or different authors.

via wikipedia

Act your way into right thinking

I picked up an envelope that had to be hand-delivered and stalked out of the building. I was in one of thoses moods where you are so frustrated you forget where you are for long stretches of time, carrying on imaginary conversations in which you try so hard to defend or explain yourself that you even start talking out loud without realizing it. I was doing exactly that when I heard a quiet, firm voice say, “That’s a poor walk, young man.”

I stopped in my tracks. Was it in my head or did somebody actually talk to me? I turned around and saw an extremely old man wearing a black felt hat, a full-length black wool coat and black shoes polished to a mirror finish. He was standing in front of the library as if waiting for someone to pick him up. He stood ramrod-straight had his gaze fixed directly in front of him.

Continue reading “Act your way into right thinking”

Pirandello’s Henry IV remembers a priest sleeping in a public garden

Henry IV: Look here, doctor! I remember a priest, certainly Irish, a nice-looking priest, who was sleeping in the Sun one November day, with his arm on the corner of the bench of a public garden. He was lost in the golden delight of the mild sunny air which must have seemed for him almost summery. One may be sure in that moment he did not know any more that he was a priest, or even where he was. He was dreaming… A little boy passed with a flower in his hand. He touched the priest with it here on the neck. I saw him open his laughing eyes, while all his mouth smiled with the beauty of his dream. He was forgetful of everything… But all at once, he pulled himself together, and stretched out his priest’s cassock; and there came back to his eyes the same seriousness which you have seen in mine; because the Irish priests defend the seriousness of their Catholic faith with the same zeal with which I defend the secret rights of the heredity monarch! I am cured gentlemen: because I can act the mad man to perfection, here; and I do it very quietly, I’m only sorry for you that have to live your madness so agitatedly, without knowing it or seeing it.

Henry IV, Luigi Pirandello

Listen and react

 

Listen and react. If you’re thinking about your lines, you’re not listening. Take your response from the other person’s eyes, listen to what he says as though you’ve never heard it before. Even if you’re rehearsing. Actually, rehearsing can be a good test of your spontaneity: if you’re running lines with another actor and the assistant director comes up and says, “Sorry to interrupt your rehearsal,” you’ve failed. If he comes up and says, “Sorry to interrupt your chat,” then you’re on the right course. Your lines should sound like spontaneous conversations, not like acting at all.

Acting in Film: An Actor’s Take on Movie Making, Michael Caine

Joe Turner’s Come and Gone

“Still another is Joe Turner Blues. Here you get folklore with a bang. It goes back to Joe Turney (also called Turner), brother of Pete Turney, one-time governor of Tennessee. Joe had the responsibility of taking Negro prisoners from Memphis to the penitentiary at Nashville. Sometimes he took them to the “farms” along the Mississippi. Their crimes when indeed there were any crimes, were usually very minor, the object of the arrests being to provide needed labor for spots along the river. As usual, the method was to set a stool-pigeon where he could start a game of craps. The bones would roll blissfully till the required number of laborers had been drawn into the circle. At that point the law would fall upon the poor devils, arrest as many as were needed for work, try them for gambling in a kangaroo court and then turn the culprits over to Joe Turney. That night, perhaps, there would be weeping and wailing among the dusky belles. If one of them chanced to ask a neighbor what had become of the sweet good man, she was likely to receive the pat reply, ‘They tell me Joe Turner’s come and gone.'”

Handy, W.C. Father Of The Blues: An Autobiography. Da Capo Press, 1991.

via Wikipedia on August Wilson’s play by that name.

“I knew I hadn’t written in vain!”

A friend of mine, Dorothy Day, had been put in the women’s prison at 6th Avenue and 8th Street, for her part in a protest. Well, once a week at this place, on a Saturday, the girls were marched down for a shower. A group were being ushered in when one, a whore, loudly proclaimed:

Hundreds have lived without love,
But none without water

A line from a poem of mine which had just appeared in The New Yorker. When I heard this I knew I hadn’t written in vain!

W.H. Auden

Sitting better

Instead of focusing on the chest or shoulders, Sherer says, we need to turn our attention to a body part that is lower down, below the waist: the pelvis.
Or to put another way — your butt.
“The most important thing to change to reduce back pain is your pelvis position,” she says. “It’s like a stack of toy blocks. If the blocks at the bottom aren’t sturdy, then the top has no chance.”

I Want My MTV

STEWART COPELAND: In those days, the band had to look the part. Your haircuts and sartorial choices were very much a part of the product. And, led by Sting, we were good at it. We would tease Stingo that he couldn’t walk past a mirror without primping. And he would say, “Fuck off, it’s my job. And yours, too, by the way.”

MARTIN FRY: The record companies weren’t pressuring anyone to look a certain way. That came later. For “The Look of Love” we wanted to cross the visual style of Benny Hill, a really crude slapstick comedian, with An American in Paris. I don’t think Kurt Cobain would have ever put on a striped blazer and sung to a wooden crocodile. There’s a parrot on my shoulder at one point. We were pushing it to the limit, seeing how embarrassed we could get. Art is what you get away with.

JOE ELLIOTT: Rock of Ages was a laugh. I wield this giant prop sword through fiery hallways and then the sword magically turns into a guitar. It’s very Spinal Tap. When I sang ‘All-right,” which sounded a bit like “Owl-right,” Mallet put an owl in the video at that moment.

BRIAN SETZER: My hair was my speciality. If you don’t have cool hair, don’t make a video.