Tuesday, February 17, 2009


The use of time and the display of biographies' decisive points in plays/ movies

I never quite understood, why Aristotle would so clearly and strictly define the length of the time displayed in a drama. If I remember it right, the "unity of time" rule says that this length should not exceed the length of one day. In "Lidless" - at first sight - this rule was obviously broken. The Guantánamo time was displayed and the next time period shown, about 15 years after that, was displayed as the "real time" of "Lidless". But it would also have been possible, even to shorten the (not very lengthy) play by describing the events 15 years prior to the "real time" by one of the actors, for example. The important thing I realized while watching the play was that you have to display the DECISIVE moments in the life of the people. I thought of US-American movies like "Pulp Fiction" by Quentin Tarantino, of "Short Cuts" by Robert Altman, especially of "magnolia" by Paul Thomas Anderson. The plot writers connect the lives of several people in one movie by showing their encounters at IMPORTANT stages or important points within their lives, peaks in a plot. By doing this, you don't need to tell much of the history of the used characters up to this point in time - you just have to decide which facts you need necessarily or to speak with our rule: which things must have happened before, which not. Then, a very short "real time" that is displayed (while the play/ movie is staged/ shot) is enough to show the whole life of the displayed persons. I learned, that the lives of the characters as well as our lives in the real world maybe don't possess so many decisive moments. But if you find out the TURNING POINT, an IMPORTANT point in time, then you can display a good play. It sort of comprises and concludes the whole life in the microcosm of the play. In my opinion, that was and is a helpful and important insight. 

No comments:

Post a Comment