Choosing the acting style is a difficult one, because it is the culmination of many dramatic options, requiring precise balancing. what style? this is the choice and arrangement of acting elements and Yew Longbow U attributes to describe the dramatic reality, the purpose of playing. the acting element consists of levels of reality, the dominant dramatic flow, the choice of emotions, intentions and the accompanying behavior. additional items include pacing, timing, the premise or purpose of the play, and the desired audience response. acting has to do with choice. one can define acting as the art and science of making and implementing options dramatic with imagination, clarity, and purpose.
Choices that supports the dramatic equation, propel the story to its optimum potential, and create the desired illusion in the minds of the audience. style is one of the more important choices. for ensemble acting, style is the Yew Longbow U full realization of the characters’ convictions. in other words, saying what we want to say we would like to say it. to illustrate how the style affects the description of the actors i selected two films, the drama “michael clayton” and the comedy “a fish called wanda.” the two films are actually hybrid style, a drama / thriller and comedy / comedy respectively, each drifting between the two styles.
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But the same parameters apply selection. understand that every genre has its own look and feel, a set of features that makes it more credible and gives it purpose. by comprehending the unique characteristics, the acting ensemble can express the truth, the essence of play and pursue the desired response from the audience. let the drama / thriller “michael clayton” and see how style parameter is used to fulfill the purpose of this film let. tracking the time indicated in parentheses show the location of various examples. michael clayton (george clooney) is delivered by his law firm as a “fixer” to remedy an embarrassing situation.
Star litigator of the company, arthur edens (tom wilkinson) suffers a nervous breakdown while representing a chemical company, one Yew Longbow U that he knew was guilty of a multi-billion dollar class action suit. the crux of the story revolves around michael’s growing suspicions about this case and the conflict between his loyalty to the company, he needs to pay off a loan shark, and his ethics as a person. a moral dilemma he was looking for answers. when the lawyer’s death look like a suicide or accidental overdose, clayton delves deeper into the case probing about what the lawyer can be uncovered.
Obstacles in his pursuit of truth is karen crowder (tilda swinton) is the chief legal consul for the chemical company. he finds future hanging his entire company on the outcome of a multi-billion dollar settlement. while the film is a blend of two genres, the acting style is intertwined with the drama thriller aspect. it starts out as a drama. reality is natural, realistic interpretation of the human condition having universal roots. it is realistic and typical of everyday situations. it remains that way until the car’s michael blows up (15:28). unknown forces put his life in danger and now the story becomes a thriller.
Reality becomes confined, almost claustrophobic as he frantically running away. where he could hide, whom he could trust? this scene sets up the narrative thriller where the audience experiences a vicarious thrill by identifying both acts of daring roles of the hero and the danger to which he was exposed. setting thrillers are usually in a dark, desolate and dangerous areas, and this film slowly slips into this environment. at this point, the film jumps back four days time. reverts to the genre of drama; however, the audience lingers in the thriller mode.
In this flash back, the main character does not know he is in danger, however, the audience knows she will be. thus, the audience aimed at the identification of perpetrators, plus why they want him dead. in drama, the behavior is natural and normal with a broad span of attitudes from negative to positive. there is a balance of internal and external thoughts and feelings. characters weighed with strong motivations and struggles, conflicts and solutions are pursued in earnest manner. thrillers, tension is inherent in the characters and situations, and behavior so that the stress-ridden and on the side. stress creates mistakes and errors of judgment such as not being able to see the whole picture.
When arthur asks michael (01:00:00) how they knew he called anna, she did not realize that arthur’s phone was tapped. such myopic Yew Longbow U behavior is rife with tension and sustainable multi-facet purpose. deceptive behavior and betrayal from within is also found in this genre. karen crowder (tilda swinton) the chief consul for chemical companies, puts a contract (1:05:39) in arthur’s life when she finds him detrimental to his case. it is an act of desperation because no other choice if he is to succeed. he justifies this immoral act to protect the legal responsibility of the company.
Abnormal personality types are likely to thrillers and this one; karen crowder can be classified as obsessive / compulsive. this is evident by his attention to detail and his meticulous preparation for an interview (23:04). in addition, his perfectionist drive likely contributed to having killed arthur. emotions drama, more so than anything else, drive the story forward. they have a wide span, usually deep play from around the passion to concealment. emotions can be elusive and subtle quality making them understandable only through public participation in the story. they can also be extremely volatile. thrillers, emotions have the same characteristics; more center more on survival mode.
They tend to be reactionary focusing more than expected or imagined. safety emotions include fear, panic, fear, fear, despair, loneliness, suspicion and fear. michael clayton probably feel fear when his car blows up (15:28), grief when his good friend arthur was found dead (1:15:28), and suspicion when he learns anna did not disclose his trouble conversation with arthur to one (1: 23: 40). he also feels apprehension an uncertainty about what is happening and it prompted him to dig deeper for the truth. when michael decides to enter the apartment of arthur (1:25:23), it is likely that over the feelings of desperation.
Drama, intentions tend to be very worthy, meaningful, and motivated, yet do not always read the beginning. sometimes, they unfold gradually pulling the audience deeper involvement. the real intentions are sometimes delayed or misdirected to increase tension and audience participation. in addition, the intention is revealed more in the subtext (implications) than the text (dialogue). thrillers, intentions tend to be reactionary and survival oriented. missteps or being overmatched playing in this genre where doubtful outcome to keep the audience on edge. in this film, the choice of michael include intentions like, to do the work, to pay the loan, to save myself, to get arthur right, to find the truth, and to make things right .
Note that a new intention occurs when something is to change it. in both dramas and thrillers, the intention is portrayed in earnest as the characters struggle to achieve a worthy goal. drama, pacing and flexing is meant to promote public input through imagery, questions, speculation, hope, reflection and solving serious emotional care forces. time is needed to nurture the unseen story, time to comprehend, process, refining, and respond to what may be multiple story elements. in the thriller, pacing, while moderate, slow down at critical moments to extend the tension and create vicarious pain in the audience.
When michael gets out of his car to see the horse (13:40), it is a mystical moment expanded to create added tension and set up the big surprise, the bomb blast. drama, timing is flexing and loose. it is usually mild, not clear that such complex performances and powerful emotional forces are not always generate an accurate response unison. emotional inertia is sustained, even heightened by the pause. timing, especially in thrillers, optimizes the tension and extends them near the border. when karen crowder struggles with the decision to kill arthur (1:05:39), this is done by subtle implication that leave the audience speculating.
She is going through this? its ambiguity and well-placed pauses create powerful emotional impact of the scene. the scene was later resolved when the murder takes place. another key moment was when michael timing receives the check from his boss (1:34:30). there is an extended pause in which he weighs his options, allocation of money or exposing the fallacy of secret memos / booklet he holds on the other side. it is long enough to get the point across and allows the audience to speculate that way he will go. his timing and uncertainty creates the pressing question, how does this story end? in this drama / thriller, the premise is fully fitted and has a strong connection with the audience.
Powerful opposing forces (polarities) made for empathic character. the writing is intelligent and serious having a compelling argument. the high moral implications nourish and purpose in the story. human dilemmas can be seen through the important decisions and their consequences. the premise of michael clayton shows us how the truth can be adjusted. a powerful corporation that suppresses the truth. however, the moral compass of a character unveils the conspiracy and right the wrongs done to the plaintiffs in this case. drama and thriller genres, the dramatic flow tends to be more emotional than informational. the emphasis is on the implied or inferred and almost lyrical delivery.
Multi-layered and complex imagery, powerful care forces unfold gradually by the wants / opposition – the hero / villain polarization. gaps are Yew Longbow U filled by the intense audience participation in co-creation. michael clayton, the dominant flow is emotional as we are caught up in the emotional struggles and decisions of the three main characters. the emphasis for the desired audience response to the drama is a caring, feel and recognize the struggle of the main character (s). caring ingredients include a sympathetic character to heighten jeopardy earnestly struggling to reach a worthy goal against formidable opposition – winning or failing to a satisfying resolution.
In a thriller, the emphasis is to keep the audience on edge and worried about the damage that can come with the lead character (s). it is to elicit fear chaos, an intensity of emotion, especially apprehension and enthusiasm in developing the most thrill. by being at risk, the pressing question is what is going to happen next. the film, michael clayton, is a non-traditional thriller to the climatic scene car bomb was pushed in front of the movie. it ups the ante and makes the audience more invested in the story and the outcome. in addition, the identity of the bad guys takes some time to unfold and red herrings are tossed into the mix to deflect this revelation.
It creates more interest in the story and the fate of the main character. while the film is a mixture of a drama and a thriller, the creative team maintains appropriate acting style throughout in a uniform manner. in the final scene (1:47:57) where michael serves up karen crowder’s comeuppance, so he uses his skills as a fixer / cleaner. it was a dangerous play, yet knew what cards he is holding. he cleans up a moral dilemma with a surprising twist that is both smart and satisfying. he turns the tables on her and records her trying to bribe him.
The scene continues with a taxi ride (1:53:47) where his facial expression recalls the past four days, the uncertainties, mistakes, revelations, and the plans made things right. the film won numerous awards including best supporting oscar for tilda swinton and oscar nominations for george clooney, tom wilkinson, best picture, director, original screenplay and original music score. it also won afi movie of the year award. comedy has a different set of parameters. i took the film “a fish called wanda” to describe how acting elements represent the essence and purpose of play. this zany screwball comedy with farcical elements is bound to bring this hilarious story on screen.
While comedy is the dominant style of the film, it will slip straight comedy and is therefore a good example to study and discuss the multiple styles of acting. “a fish called wanda” is a funny comedy about an uptight british barrister (john cleese) is involved with wanda, a sexy con artist (jamie lee curtis), she mindlessly macho boyfriend otto (kevin kline), and their ambitious bank robbery and getaway schemes. after the robbery, wanda and otto to their ringleader, george and intend to take all the loot for themselves. however, they discover the loot was moved to a secret location.
Wanda decides to seduce george unhappily married lawyer archie leach (cleese) to find out where it is hidden. the film uses the same style of comedy acting and comedy to unleash this story, and aptly describes how certain parameters specify the action genre. in comedy, reality is distorted, and lack of balance. proportion is over-emphasized, under-emphasized, and above all surprising. it is founded on a true reality and true character values. the level of believability are suspended, fragile and detached. setting is vivid and specific. when the film opens, it does so with a comedic style. as each character is introduced, they appear almost normal.
However, when the gang assembles (5:12) to plan the robbery, their true nature emerge and the foundation laid for humor. they are a diverse group of characters with strange behavior that can and do get them in trouble. otto is a macho gun-totting self-intellectual style with an iq of a gnat. wanda is a con artist who would double-cross his own gang members. ken (michael palin), the procurer gang, a stuttering animal lover who is bullied by otto. george (tom georgeson) is the leader of the gang debonair sleeping with wanda. however, behind his back otto and wanda have a secret sexual relationship while pretending to be brother and sister.
All of these dynamics play with the potential for humor in a reality that is off-center, ugly and lacking in balance. also, when archie and his wife enter the story (0:34), we see that he has taken a hen husband lives with his oppressive self-absorbed husband. this adds another element to the equation and opens the door for more comic situations. in comedy, the level of believability are suspended more and more facts are distorted and exaggerated. however, there is a delicate balance in excess of believability. incongruent facts and situations, while the corner-stone of comedy, must be restrained enough to be plausible.
There has to be an element of truth to them. for example, the scene in the courtyard (7:25), otto catches the manager reaching for the alarm bell (8:38) and forces him to stand upright and then places an apple on his head and takes the goal with a bow. because otto was founded as eccentric and psychotic, this fact appears plausible. behavior in comedy is exaggerated, usually have high energy and positive attitude determined. this is exactly the movement, abnormal with wide differences among characters. behavior is readable, definitive, open, and outdoor.
The sequence of scenes beginning with ken entering the apartment (23:15), he shows safety-deposit box key to wanda the fish, while wanda, a woman watches from the room. what follows is a series of situations every character push his agenda. wanda wants the loot, otto wants to possess wanda, and wanted to know why otto is in the bedroom with ken wanda. while the characters hide the details from each other, nothing is hidden from the audience. what we see is what we get, and it has made a definitive heightened way. the characters are identifiable almost immediately and it allows the story to move forward with limited exposition.
In comedy, behavior is more exaggerated and more energetic. it has a certain positive attitude, extensive painted, underline, and false accelerated. it is executed with bold strokes simple. before playing the outrageous or ridiculous, it is best to establish the truth. credibility is aptly portrayed archie almost interrupts when the wife wanda in mid-seduction (47:22). the tendency of participants firmly established, we know we are in for an explosive scene. wanda and otto ambitious jealous hide while the humiliated straight-laced archie tries to explain a bottle of champagne and a gold locket with his righteous selfish husband.
By three people to panic, it’s classic comedy at its best. in both comedy and comedy, emotion is light, unmistakable, readable, and played mostly on the surface. vanity, greed and lust generate the wealth of comic film. otto grew pride of believing he is a very good running makes her retort, “do not call me stupid.” wanda’s greed forces her to betray his fellow gang members and foster plans to abscond with gems. archie hungry for a real relationship drives her lust for wanda. ken is a faithful soldier and determination, he follows the orders of his leader. these feelings become apparent immediately even if the characters are divisive and have a self-serving agenda.
Comedy intentions are usually symbolic, and pursued with considerable vigor and vitality. the goal is simplistic normal, bright, and played out. in the scene where wanda and archie meet (18:29), wanda pursues the lawyer pretending to be a fan to get his name. his enthusiasm awakens primal urges of archie and he becomes schoolboy babbling again. so he is befuddled by his advances he drives away in his briefcase still on the roof of his car. his intention, to get his name, was significant in that it serves its general matter, to find the gems.
In comedy, the intention is highly significant to the character and pursued with frantic desperation. let us return to the scene where the wife of archie interrupts wanda’s seduction (47:22). as wanda and otto hide, archie entered the room with a bottle of champagne from the refrigerator. he mortified to find her husband sitting on the couch. she had a panic attack and his mind goes into a survival mode. he was surprised at every revelation snowballing. otto is now a cia agent, wanda is not behind the wine cabinet, and wanda’s gold locket lies on the carpet. in this scene, archie over all the intention is not to get caught.
This plan is pursued in frantic desperation and while he succeeds, he digs himself a deeper hole when her husband assumes the locket was a gift for him. pacing is the rate at which these materials interesting story is delivered to the audience. this includes dialogue, action, movement, gestures, and technical aspects such as cut, light, and sound. music is another dimension affects the pace. in comedy, pacing is fast, energetic, fast, fast, to limit the exploration of transparent story where logic and reality are distorted. the fast pace also keeps focus on the lighthearted wit and humor, and replaces dissipating information with new, more exciting information.
Usually comedy, speed can be mad up to the sense of importance. “a fish called wanda”, scene length is a function of the pacing of short vignettes offer quick glimpses of the story; . having lots of gaps in the audience fills the montage comparing the ugly life of archie the sexual escapades of wanda and otto (34: 54-37: 27) allows the audience to project a more romantic pairing , an archie and wanda. the actors aptly portray this contrast. in addition, the longer scenes, more complications arise keeps the audience involved. questions come to speed up the film, as the audience becomes a collaborator providing interesting facets of the story.
Expectations, judgments, and reflections by the audience play an important role in the success of this film. the actor and director charles crichton, Yew Longbow U understands it is far more amusing to say something, and let the audience speculate on what not to say, rather than simply said. the imagination of the audience exceeds that of the creative team. the cast understands this storytelling force. john cleese, in particular, is highly skilled in the use of readable behavior to develop this cooperation. in the above scenario (47:22) where the wife of archie’s wanda interrupts seduction, archie’s behavior state unsaid.
“you are what you (my wife) doing here?” “where’s wanda?” “who are you?” (otto). we relish seeing him squirm, embarrassed by his own ignorance. the moving speed medium fasts as his dialogues and reactions of others to fill this hilarious sequence. in comedy, timing is an obvious part of the performance. timing is the ability to sense what is going on in the minds of the audience and use the dimension of time to encourage and enhance the desired response. in comedy, it is very calculated, highly responsive, building the audience reaction. sharp accent is used to emphasize, focus control, and stress the intended humor.
In the scene where wanda archie’s visit to his office (28:49), archie learns his full name. there was a long pause in which he weighs the possibilities. he is looking at this bed young thing; however, he has an alibi witness in case he is handling, and thus forbidden fruit. he paused long enough for the audience to understand that this struggle and its reversal of fortunes. timing symbolizes his passion for her and set up a torrid affair that follows. in comedy, timing is very accurate and dynamic taking advantage of the accelerated pace and strong beats.
It is heavily accented to emphasize and stress the intended humor. i’m using the example starting with (47:22) again as it best describes a farcical timing setting. inertia of the scene is predicated on close calls and expectations of being caught. precise timing is so necessary to sustain this hilarious sequence. what is the length of the timing is favorable? delayed timing and draws attention to the behavior; therefore we question its authenticity and the emotions behind it. on the other hand, by rushing the timing, the full impact of the behavior is not realized and the humor, suspense, or caring forces are not optimized.
Also note that the timing of the reaction, pause, and behavior varies depending on the importance of the moment. some moments need more emphasis than others do and the timing flexes to accommodate the desired audience response. the timing of this scene is as good as it gets and is mainly due to the highly accomplished comedy actor. the premise is moderately comedy worthy of serious pursuit of an ultra sometimes ridiculous and unreasonable goals. comedy is compliant with the spirit in which the protagonists succeed and it provides an external observation of human nature.
At best, it is a distortion of reality that gives greater insight and better understanding of themselves. in comedy, the premise has little concern for facts or mirror of life, yet can be established quite worthy themes. even absurd, ridiculous, satire, pure foolishness, or having the character of completeness, the goal of the play is to be funny. the story is usually organized into “possible, but unlikely” and more emphatically than in situations in character. the premise of this film can be many things; however, my version is as follows. there is dishonor of the robbers but not lovers. the gang is set to double-crossing each other, however, when archie and wanda fall in love, the story takes off in another direction.
Combine their efforts, goes on the plane together and leave the country with the loot. in comedy, the dramatic flow is more informative than emotional. rhythmic pointalistic deliveries build upon a simple singular line of thought. comedy produces almost immediate clarity of wants / opposition – the hero / villain polorizations. farce tends to be more informative than emotional. it has outside of comedy and zany than emphasizing language or character. in this film, the antics of gun-totting otto and ken stutter add to this frantic style of humor. the running gag, “do not call me stupid,” (1:04:15) has a big payoff when wanda score his absurd thought.
Film fans will be quoted the zingers repeatedly. this is the comeuppance where the audience has waited long and delivered in a matter of fact way. the information is what is funny. patterns play an important role as they build up expectations and pull us deeper into comedy. pattern recognition is a pleasant interaction for though we guess wrong there is still a big surprise waiting, one that is probably better than what we had anticipated. a good example of the pattern of the propensity of otto for messing things up with his jealous interruptions. the audience has come to expect this behavior, yet do not know how it will unfold.
In addition, with otto at the wheel usually a fender bender because of his crazy driving. in the third accident, he stopped the wig off and shoots the man driving the other car. wanda and archie also has a pattern in which an object or a person who obstructs their romantic rendezvous. when things finally look promising, archie was caught dancing naked by a family that rented apartment (1:14:17) he and wanda uses. the embarrassing situation will be resolved in an amicable way british. in comedy, the pattern is punched up to emphasize their existence and comic value.
In this film, the classic three-part joke is used when ken attempts to knock off the old lady, a witness to the gang get-away. the gag, commonly call the triple is a staple item in many comedies. ken tries three times to sniff out this witness and each time he ends up killing one of her three little dogs. he uses a fierce doberman pincher first time (52:49) and instead of attacking the old woman, the animals snatches up one of the small dogs and scampers away. his second try (1:02:55), she tries to run her down the street, but instead runs over one of her little dog.
For his third attempt (1:18:13) he shoots a wedge holding up a large concrete block, which plummets down the last killing dogs. he thinks he’s messed up again; instead, he was surprised to find that the old woman had died from a heart attack. he could not believe his good fortune and laughs while others mourn her death. the irony in this joke is that he is a passionate animal lover and sorry for their loss. but he was exhilarated to accomplishing his goal, the elimination of a witness. triple, the first item is a stated fact or expected.
The second is a variation reflects the first, and the third, with the punch line, is a complete deviation from the first two. in comedy, the emphasis for the desired audience response is to surprise the audience in a funny way. this is to make them laugh; make them feel that life, with all its frustrations, is still worth living. it extends inwardly towards the heights which laughter triumphs over fear and hatred. by observing from the outside, we develop new insights into the nature of man. in comedy, the emphasis is to surprise the audience in a humorous way by recognizable characters in awe.
It may be by the discovery of one’s self, one’s anxieties, facades, or the idea of ??a man. the constant goal of becoming the belly laugh comedy routine use and roll – laughter laughter building through accurate timing and interconnecting situations / subjects. while “a fish called wanda” drifts back and forth between the two genres, the desired audience response remains focused on surprising the audience in a funny way. the dramatic choices are made to facilitate this objective. emotions are readable and played over. intention is quite significant in character and pursued with frantic energy.
The pacing is fast, accurate timing and dramatic flow is more informative than emotional. this selection and arrangement of the acting element refers to the acting style, and more importantly, how the ensemble portrays the characters and their stories. the film won numerous awards including an oscar for kevin kline in a supporting role, plus oscar nomination for best director, charles crichton, and best original screenplay, john cleese. style is an important part of the dramatic craft. get in the habit of applying the style considerations scene study, auditions and your performance. explore it by examining many genres. then you will be able to create a strong credible character to fulfill the purpose of the play and the efforts of the ensemble cast .
. for a more information on this topic, see ezinearticle entitled “acting styles, what specifies the difference? ”