{Of all lies, art is the least untrue - Flaubert}

Monday, October 09, 2006


No don't weep, keep your calm, lets take it as objectively as possible, these things happen. Lets not lose the temper. calm down... ya, thats better.

I want it extremely sentimental, sentimental to the point that it is laughable. There should be a made-up layer of imitation, easy to tear apart but difficult to ignore. It should seem as if I want to give them what they want but actually I don't. Is it clear. Any questions.

Put the ages in bracket. It might seem cold, but let it be. Don't manipulate with descriptive words. Don't say that young kids were brutally killed. Say 3 persons are killed at so and so place. Put the ages in bracket.

Your profile is better, slender neck even better. Keep those bones stretched out, sob slowly, drain all the emotions out of your face, just sob, slowly. Camera is not at your face. Don't think it is. Clear.

Touch her. Move slower as you proceed. Remember camera is synchronized with your actions. Your are being shot. The beginning of touch is her shoulder and you have to decide the destination as you move on. slow or fast, you have to decide. We will take only one take. Obviously you don't know the girl. For the girl there are no instruction. If she can manage, try to be as cold as possible. You can make that sound again. Louder... ok, leave it.

Slowly open that window and stare at the sun. Stand there for the while. Close the window fast, get in the sheets and stare the wall for a longer time. Don't close your eyes. Act like you are watching a movie on the wall in foreign language. You are interested but not understanding. Cover you face with the sheets. Still, no movement. Do it one more time.

We are not here to portray any reality. You are all fragments of a farce. You are all parts. Don't embarrass yourself by performing the real. Lets rebuke, but don't have any fun out of it.

Be as real as possible. As if you are living the moment. Express yourself with subtle emotions. Read the lines again. Don't overdo it. Think of a similar situation. Think and act. You look great. Any more questions.

Don't think. Just be. Emotion no. 341. Mild leg movement. Hands in hips pockets. Smile towards the end.


Alok said...

can we have a seoarate post which explains the context please?

Alok said...

oops, that's 'separate'!

Alok said...

Is this post about the philosophy behind acting? Just trying to think.

anurag said...

May be.

It may be about the extremes of ways in which instructions are given, very vague to very precise, denying any emotions or extremely emotional, caring/involved/exploitative or indifferent, mininal to descriptive, interactive to authoritative, open or closed.

I think I have huge sympathy for actors. I feel bad and agitated by the ways they are prostituted in the name of a greater good.

wildflower seed said...

"I think I have huge sympathy for actors."

Right on! But...

"I feel bad and agitated by the ways they are prostituted in the name of a greater good."

Cant agree with you here. Two issues : First, isnt the actor prostituting himself? An actor must know that the profession he has chosen is guaranteed to leave him unstable. But he still chooses it. The blame, if there is any to be assigned, must first be placed at his own feet. There is no better demonstration of the law of karma than to examine closely the life of an actor. Second, there is a presumption that the artist (lets get general here) is serving some greater good. I am highly skeptical of this view. But that debate is for another day and another time. :)

Keep writing.

anurag said...

ws-f (vb),

Yes, I feel unjustifiably sympathetic to actors, at times. What you say is right. They do it by their own choice, but whatever we do by our own choice might not be what we want to do, in some cases.

Actually I first wrote "I feel bad and agitated by the ways they are prostituted in the name of a greater good, art", but I removed it for the fear of generalisation :). You are right that things cant be justified in the name of art.

so, in the karma context, is god the director ? In that case, its a nice analogy. and then what is "greater good" ?

Alok said...

wow deep discussion. there is a philosophy of acting which says that you should find events in your past life which resonates with the character you are playing and then play it. and then there is other philosophy which asks you to dissolve your own personality and transform your self through imagination...

it can be very hard I think, being an actor.

wildflower seed said...

Alok's last comment is very close to a point I was going to make, in trying to explain what I said about karma. I think the best way to appreciate the truth of karma is to examine one's own life, but if you want to take a detached analytical perspective, then seeing an actor continuously engaged in the process of becoming and unbecoming is perhaps the closest we can get to actually observing the kernel of truth in the birth-rebirth metaphor that a lot of religious philosophies have constructed to explain the binding nature of the yearning to be someone other than who we are - a yearning that keeps reinventing itself in ever new forms, and always results in consequences whose origins, never mind the specifics, can be traced back to that need.... to "become", to manipulate our environment, to exercise control. An actor must play out this birth and death cycle over and over, throughout his career, and must suffer the consequences each time - how great must his suffering be.

Does that make any sense? I didnt really have the notion of "director as god" in mind, so I thought I'd clarify. In fact, I think the director also suffers from the same affliction. Most of us do. We are all experience junkies. We want new experiences all the time. Well, what's more new than living out someone else's life?

anurag said...

I got the point to some extent.

We do knowingly act in our normal lives, "One for the master, One for the dame" types, living several lives. You are right, we are all actors in that sense, spontaneous, mature and professional.

The point I am trying to look closer is, Is this "acting" in life of any good. If I assume, our aim is find our true self. Will playing different role get us any closer to what we like to be (by hit or trial), or by living several different 'experiences' or is it putting a different face as per the requirement of time and space to fit better. I know your point is to reinvent and use past experience to play the part better and to do this doing/undoing seamlessly and to derive pleasure from it. As you can see I am little confused, may be I am still trying to fit some analogy !

I read your comment again. I get the feeling that the 'acting' you are talking about is actually different from what thought. I think, by acting and changing roles, you didnt mean doing it manipulatively. It was like living a different life, a new one !

Correct me if I am getting it wrong, which I think I am ;)

wildflower seed said...

Man, now I am confused! :D

Never mind. Another time, another post - maybe we will get a chance to revive the discussion?

scarecrow said...

@anurag: talking about your point that "is acting in life any good?"

well, in trying finding one's true self we are invariably put on the path of finding a meaning out of life i.e why life? why everything? etc..and these questions are so exhaustive in interpretation that sticking to just one perspective is just injustice to them.
and since living(one life) is actually seeing life from just one window so acting essentially helps us peep from other windows also.

ps: couldn't help pocking my nose in.

anurag said...

sorry for replying late.

wildflower seed, Of late, I am getting more and more confused. I know, in certain cases, dead logic leads us nowhere. Sorry, I have no intention to confuse you. will discuss it some other time, in some other post ! And you have not written anything on films for long !

scarecrow, Thanks for visiting. I was talking about Chichikov'ian acting, the deceitful stunt to climb ladders. The context in which where 'wildflower seed' talks about acting is surely desirable, to live a new life, and detaching from previous 'roles'. But I was little confused because it is possible for professional actors but not in life, that easily, also wfs is talking about the analogies between the philosophies to understand each better, not acting pe se. I digressed from the topic to some stupidity.

Vidya said...

Brilliant! Whatever the original intent of this post, to me it seems like a screenplay for a short movie like 'The Perfect Human' or of that genre.

anurag said...

Thanks Vidya. I visit your blog often. The picture on your latest post is great.

Also, I am planning to see 'The Five Obstructions' soon :)