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pugetopolis
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« Reply #570 on: October 23, 2007, 09:35:48 PM »



Lotte Lenya

“It's the subtlety underneath the obviousness
that gives strength to The Threepenny Opera.”
                                        — Lotte Lenya
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« Reply #571 on: October 23, 2007, 10:04:41 PM »



Walter Benjamin

“The Threepenny Opera makes it clear how
intimately the counter-morality of the beggars
and rogues is bound up with the official morality.”               
                               — Walter Benjamin
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Dzimas
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« Reply #572 on: October 24, 2007, 03:05:49 AM »

I hope to watch Threepenny Opera by the end of the week.  Interesting thoughts by Llosa.  I have to wonder how much any one book or movie or play or work of art can change anyone's life.  I suppose if one is young and impressionable, it can happen.  Certainly, a good book or movie can spur someone in a new direction.  But, I think that sense of power is incumbant on an audience taking that work of art to heart, and it seems Western audiences are pretty jaded these days.

BTW, I thought they did a pretty good job with Llosa's Aunt Julia in Tune in Tomorrow.
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pugetopolis
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« Reply #573 on: October 24, 2007, 09:55:59 AM »


Otto Dix

Decadence


But, I think that sense of power is incumbant on an audience
taking that work of art to heart, and it seems Western audiences
are pretty jaded these days.


Yes, dzimas, but so was Weimar Germany...

We're jaded and decadent too...but perhaps in a different way...

For example, the somewhat negative reaction to Pabst's choice of Louise Brooks as Lulu in Pandora's Box... What does that mean? That jaded Berliners and Germans wanted something "more" jaded like Marlene Dietrich? Brooks was too innocent? Euro-intellectuals and movie-theatergoers wanted something ironic or gallows-humor-esque to comment or critique the terrible economic situation after WWI?

The nazis had their own critique of course...perhaps even more radical and theatrical than Brecht, i.e. Leni Riefenstahl, Albert Speer's grandiose architectural plans, etc. It almost seems like two magic realisms were competing with each other to seize the reins of of Deutschland power during this time:

Franz Roh—In his 1925 book Nach Expressionismus: Magischer Realismus: Probleme der neusten europäischen Malerei ("After expressionism: Magical Realism: Problems of the newest European painting") he coined the term magic realism. During the Nazi regime, he was isolated and briefly put in jail, a time he used to write the book Der Verkannte Künstler: Geschichte und Theorie des kulturellen Mißverstehens ("The unrecognized artist: history and theory of cultural misunderstanding"). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/

Threepenny Opera is, well, itself a Pandora's Box, isn't it? Is one more jaded than the other? Does Pandora portray decadence... while Opera satirizes it along the lines of Brecht?

It seems to me that Pabst, Lang and Brecht/Weil had their fingers on the pulse of what was going on... it was only a matter of time and economics which everyone was embedded in... to see who would, well, what?

Excel in the theatercraft of statecraft? All of this like us... in a time of accelerating decadence?

But what is decadence? It gets complicated...
   Smiley Smiley Smiley

« Last Edit: October 26, 2007, 04:23:20 AM by pugetopolis » Logged

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madupont
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« Reply #574 on: October 24, 2007, 10:10:49 AM »

Dzimas,

I was referring to Brecht's statement being acknowledged by the public over a period  of onward seventy to eighty years in the case of just this one  artistic creation. In regard to his other works, there are those other intellectuals who think the importance is shared by Mother Courage.  It has to do with the ideas, once set in motion, remain changed.  

This was particularly noted (within the material that I posted from just one site)that with the first performances, the  local working classes came out to the theater, most of them for the first time in their lives and many of them did so for the rest of their lives (although, I can say for myself that I am presently having considerable difficulty, despite the extended performance run of Pirandello's,Six Characters in Search of an Author, in actually getting there).  

Particularly notable was that hearing of this unusual performance of Three Penny Opera through the grape-vine by word of mouth, as it was unlike any thing the "upper" rather than mittel-burgher classes were used to in the format of theatrical performance art (I'm sure lhoffman could tell you that is the case with what was normally associated with opera among German audiences), there was an interesting after-effect, in so far as that segment of the audience having laughed uproariously at themselves through the ironic humor of Brechtian dialogue as well as the wrong-end of the telescope spectacle mirroring back (and that may be what was noted by Lhoffman,re: Pabst's film, "It's interesting to note what Pabst does with mirrors, glass, reflection in the film.  Something always seems a bit skewed, as if what you see is never what you really get.") of self-awareness, self-consciousness about being bourgeois and having had that skewed consciousness. They found their outlook changed.

That consciousness gap between the classes has recently made the news again, one of the columnists in the previously TimesSelect sector of the nytimes.com  entered the fray by bringing up the disconnect between the upper-middle classes unawareness of working class problems at this point in the Bush administration; and she was instantly hit  by a barrage of responses suggesting that she take a good look at plain Middle-class for conditions unknown to the upper-middle as the reduction in standard of living has become so extreme.  

I had it further pointed out to me that the experiences at present of workers being dictated to on the job has caught them at a loss where there is a gap in consciousness due to their particular age as breadwinners for the family; none of them know that they are working under conditions, although they hate,which caused the political crisis under Naziism so that upper-middle class Weimar industrialists could retain their profits and led to a popular vote for the NSDAP.

They haven't been taught the similarities. That itself is a horse-laugh of the Berliner kind.

The posting in here referencing Walter Benjamin  is particularly apt, in regard to  this dual and ironic consciousness. I first become aware of  how this works with the unusual death of young John Kennedy and wife(and her sister) flying out from New York on their own without a flight plan under weather conditions where he possibly did not know that they were flying upside down.

This got me into some momentary trouble without even mentioning the Kennedys, during a blog by a young woman artist that ran for many months in nytimes.com TimesSelect, that is to say it was a Painterly Blog with commentaries of a poetic nature --and one day we were presented with one of those that included her depiction of a book in which Walter Benjamin revisited the Berlin of his childhood. Just for the hell of it, I posted if there was much difference in consciousness between two such Berliner children at the time as Walter B. and let's say Marlena Dietrich?

In the mind of one woman poster there was. Despite their sameness of class, "Of course, there was. Walter Benjamin was Jewish!"

Personally, I don't agree with that. (nobody else did either, at least not publicly)
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madupont
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« Reply #575 on: October 24, 2007, 10:22:53 AM »

What's really great about this, pugetopolis:

Franz Roh—In his 1925 book Nach Expressionismus: Magischer Realismus: Probleme der neusten europäischen Malerei ("After expressionism: Magical Realism: Problems of the newest European painting") he coined the term magic realism. During the Nazi regime, he was isolated and briefly put in jail, a time he used to write the book Der Verkannte Künstler: Geschichte und Theorie des kulturellen Mißverstehens ("The unrecognized artist: history and theory of cultural misunderstanding"). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/

-- is that the Nazis put Expressionist painters into "re-education" camps rather quickly as well, while the burning of books went on, and the exhibit of Degenerate Art went up as "let that be a lesson to you"; they continued to re-educate Expressionists where ever they went, when they occupied a country.  Paris was a field day of Eastern-born artists who had come west, making it to Paris for the same reasons as Picasso leaving Spain. There was a camp just on the outskirts to the north of Paris where Roualt and others were detained, their mistresses brought them packages of food and warm clothing; Picasso went south to Vichy.

I've been too busy recently to catch up my reading on Gertrude and Alice(Stein and Toklas, that is) who accordingly, to Janet Malcom, did the same.

Picasso, of course, was not Jewish; just Communist and that had already been a determining factor in Berlin.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2007, 10:39:39 AM by madupont » Logged
madupont
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« Reply #576 on: October 24, 2007, 10:37:45 AM »

AS YOU CAN SEE, this presents a certain irony that a Walter Benjamin or his readers could fully appreciate; the misunderstanding of Nazi authorities arresting somebody and "isolating" them with jail -- because, as Nazis, they were such great appreciators and authorities on authentic art.



"Roh was, then, emphasizing the "magic" of the normal world as it presents itself to us (i.e., how, when we really look at everyday objects, they can appear strange and fantastic) and not the world of magic (in which objects are literally transformed into something fantastic) that the literary school emphasizes."

Previous paragraph:"... his magic realism has a very different meaning from the one used to describe the work of writers such as Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Isabel Allende that dominates our current understanding of the term. Roh, celebrating the post-expressionist return of the visual arts to figural representation, utilized the phenomenology of Edmund Husserl and Martin Heidegger to emphasize that "the autonomy of the objective world around us was once more to be enjoyed...."

Actually this has been happening again periodically, in a return to the figure (in painting) following a period of ersatz Cornell boxes and installations back in the early 1980s.
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pugetopolis
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« Reply #577 on: October 24, 2007, 04:45:44 PM »

Thank you Maddy...

Weimar cinema and theater very interesting.

Threepenny Opera Criterion copy arrived today...

Enjoyed Pandora's Box very much...

Am looking forward to watching it tonight and this weekend...

It's going to be an exquisitely decadent Thread I think...


 Smiley Smiley Smiley



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« Reply #578 on: October 25, 2007, 10:55:17 AM »

Quote
But what is decadence? It gets complicated...   

Perhaps decadence is the natural state of things, related to the pursuit of more and lack of satisfaction with the status quo.  And humans understand the science well enough to understand that things left to their own devices collapse back into chaos.
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« Reply #579 on: October 25, 2007, 11:36:08 PM »

Plus, a bunch of people are pussies.
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pugetopolis
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« Reply #580 on: October 25, 2007, 11:49:51 PM »


Brecht / Faulkner

I was in a Brechtian mood tonight...

I got thru the commentary version of Threepenny Opera...

So asute... so mindboggling... so many film crit perspectives...

One being that Brecht was essentially a poet...

And the the Brecht/Weil songs in Threepenny Opera serve several purposes...

One being of course appealing to the audience... still popular lyrics and songs.

Mack the Knife... various versions by Darin and Sinatra all the way up until now...

Then there's the V-effect... alienating or rather educating the audience...

As to the plot and narrative that usually unfolds for the audience in time...

But with Pabst and Brecht and Weil... the songs interrupt the narrative...

To show what's going on... and what's going to happen... and what's already happened...

I went back and redid some of the Faulkner lyrics... tightening them up...

For Brechtian purposes... to interrupt the Roth Carrothers / Butch Beauchamp narrative...

The pomo pastiche flow I've been posting...

Brecht / Faulkner...   Smiley



I wanted to share this Fiction post with the Movie Club readers...
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pugetopolis
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« Reply #581 on: October 26, 2007, 12:09:20 AM »




William Faulkner
—for Noel Polk

[Sung to the tune of Stephen
Foster’s “Camptown Races”]

Faulkner novels here I come—
Doo-dah doo-dah—
Sound and Fury oh so glum—
Oh dah-do-dah day…

Benjy Compson stupid Fool—
Doo-dah doo-dah—
Dirty panties way up there—
In that Old Pear Tree…

Oh that Southern Lit!!!
Oh that Dixie jive!!!
How I love it when it rots—
Oh dah-do-dah day!!!


Love that Quentin he’s so gay—
Doo-dah doo-dah—
Him and Dalton get it on—
Plus Caddy Compson too…

Love those Wild Palms & those Floods—
Doo-dah doo-dah—
Love those Snopes Boyz having fun—
Oh dah-do-dah day…

Oh that Faulkner Lit!!!
Oh that Popeye Puke!!!
How I love it when it stinks!!!
Oh dah-do-dah day!!!


Delta Bourbon Literature—
Doo-dah doo-dah—
Grows like mold on rotten cheese—
Oh dah-do-dah day…

Sanctuary here I come!!!
Corn cobs!!! Corn cobs!!!
Ole Miss Reba has some fun!!!
So do all the Girls!!!

Oh Magnolias!!!
Oh those Pralines too!!!
How I love that Mardi Gras!!!
All those Frenchy Boyz!!!


Light in August my oh my—
Christmas!!! Christmas!!!
How they cut his peter off—
Oh Mulatto Boy…

Same with Henry’s cute boyfriend—
Doo-dah doo-dah—
Tall dark handsome Charles Bon—
Fatal tinge of dinge…

Oh that Land of Jive!!!
Oh that Decadence!!!
Delta boyfriends oh so cute!!!
Plus the Senate too!!!


Tallahatchie Literature—
Snopes Boyz!!! Snopes Boyz!!!
Eula’s got a big Fat Ass—
Oh dah-do-dah day…

Temple Drake she fell in love—
Doo-dah doo-dah—
Alabama Red oh so cute—
Bye Bye Bad Boy Red…

Oh that Memphis booze!!!
Oh that Moonshine glow!!!
Surely worth a Nobel Prize!!!
All those Pecan Pies!!!


Way down South in Baton Rouge—
Huey!!! Oh Huey!!!
Way down South at LSU—
Kingfish Dynasties!!!

Gumbo boyz and garfish too—
Doo-dah doo-dah—
Cajuns Creoles Gators too—
That’s where I fell in Love…

Oh that Bayou Lit!!!
Oh that Swamp Boy Love!!!
Cajun Boyz can be so cruel!!!
Pouty pirogue Lips!!!


Go Down Moses was my Thing—
Doo-dah doo-dah—
How I loved that Broussard Hall—
Oh those quarterbacks…

English Major there I was—
Doo-dah doo-dah—
How I burned the midnight oil—
Tiger Jocks so fine…

Oh those Delta Blues!!!
Oh those Dixie Nights!!!
Honeysuckle busy lips!!!
Oh dah-do-dah day!!!




Those of you Movie Club cineastes who are enjoying Threepenny Opera and have had the time to view the movie with the two Criterion commentators narrating the action and theory behind the Pabst / Brecht / Weil scenes already know the significance of "Mack the Knife" and the other classic songs and how they offset the usual narrative flow with the Brechtian V-effect i.e. Brecht's epic theater method of alienating the audience enough to actually "think" within the play / film and "learn" something about the social issues of Weimar politics and power during that controversial zeitgeist....

I wanted to briefly share what we are doing with decadence in the Fiction forum... and at the same time use Brecht's V-effect to temporarily interrupt the Faulkner flow with some Brechtian humor... since so much of Faulkner is dark, moody and full of Southern decadence.

Southern decadent literature (Faulkner, Capote, Williams, etc.) has similarities with Euro-decadence during the Weimar... in terms of film, stage and lit. I like the compare / contrast method when it comes to doing comparative pomo lit...   

Threepenny Opera is a Pandora's Box with many surprises...
  Smiley

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pugetopolis
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« Reply #582 on: October 26, 2007, 12:32:57 AM »


Shadow of the Vampire (2000)

Hoffman Martin—I’m sure by now you’ve both seen Shadow of the Vampire with John Malkovich as F. W. Murnau the director of Nosferatu. Another German genius—but Elias Merhige is pretty good too. His version of Dracula seems Brechtian to me—the way the film is about making a film. And how the compulsive Murnau—would do anything to push Film as the ultimate Artform. Even sacrificing the cast and crew—a devil’s bargain with Schreck…
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« Reply #583 on: October 26, 2007, 01:49:45 AM »

I haven't seen Shadow of the Vampire.  I'll have to see if I can get my hands on a copy. 

I watched the French version of TPO.  I think I prefer the German.  The French version seems noisy, sometimes distractingly so.  But even with all the noise, there is a feel of a silent movie about it.  Also, Albert Prejean, who plays Mackie, seems a bit more self-aware than Rudolf Forster. 

In the French version, we don't hear Polly speak until the wedding.  I didn't notice, but is this true in the German also?
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jbottle
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« Reply #584 on: October 26, 2007, 03:08:10 AM »

Like I said, you can bring a pussy to a movie, but you can't help him understand it.
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