all mechanical triggers

I was reading a book for school on theatrical improvisation. At the start of one chapter they quoted an old interview with Roman Polanski about Knife In The Water, his 1962 film and how he wanted to see if he could make a film with only three characters and no other people present. In a way he was playing a game, could he maintain interest for the viewer with only three characters in the frame. As it turns out the whole black and white film is on Youtube and I watched it and found it very brilliant. The frequency of new camera angles surprised me within the often confined spaces of the story. It occurred to me to share the Polanski film with my classmates in the improvisational studies I’m enrolled in but then thought about Polanski’s life and the charges of sexual assault that follow him, sort of ruins everything I wanted to celebrate about his relationship to film. .The issue of separating the artist from their artwork is not something I have definite opinions about, sometimes I’m revolted and can’t explore anything further about that person, alive or dead, at other times, even if what they did is repulsive I’ll still study their output more or less untriggered. I have no satisfying explanation just different stories will push different buttons. .Three years ago I took a course called Art In Crisis at York University and among the works we discussed were Leni Reinfestäl’s film Triumph of The Will, a propaganda piece for Hitler. Even though the point of us viewing it, relative to the course content, was to consider her job in 1935 framing Hitler as a hero/ savior. The context of our viewership in that instance was to consider the techniques and creativity employed making propaganda, like for instance, how Reinfestähl filmed from the cockpit of an airplane through clouds changing from dense to clear skies, an angle apparently not done before, but the class disintegrated into who most loudly could declare themselves unlike her. Everyone wanted to be on the record for how they would never do such a thing but I wondered if my classmates diligently imagined being a twenty something year old woman in the 1930s offered the role of director which ostensibly would establish their career where only men had that opportunity before. .I had a meeting recently with the teacher of one of my current classes, at one point our conversation addressed the situation in theatre when actors play parts of people they do not represent, she said yeah if someone straight is playing a gay character it’s horrible if they don’t cut it but if they really pull it off, it can be amazing. Does that make any sense? True, I’ve seen actors who aren’t Jews play a Jewish character and it makes a certain part of me rage and sit offended. I saw a film about indie rock made by not an indie rocker and it was so wrong in every way, my bandmate and I looked at each other while seated in the theatre and took turns making throw up faces, it was only appropriate. I saw a play one time and the actor was playing a Jew and it was obvious to me they were Jewish yet after the play ended I read their bio in the program and found out they were Gentile and I was astonished, left with no other conclusion than it’s about acting or put another way if you’re that good all mechanical triggers fail.

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