Read Instead…in Print

A photo of a good book about cinema. No discursive, pretentious analyses, no verbose scrutiny. Because the idea is to invite you to read the book, not read about it here. But instead of using social media, I use my journal. Back to basics. Take it as a wish to break free of over-reliance on social media (even if it’s just for posting a photo of a good book) for presenting my work, cultural finds and interests. These are things to be enjoyed as stand-alone pieces in a more substantial and meaningful way than showing them in the black hole of Instagram thronged with an audience with a short attention span. This is also a look through my voluminous collection of books about film that I use as research in my adamant decision to rely less and less on the online and more on more on print materials.

Stella Adler’s book, The Art of Acting, is not about cinema, but about theater, and that’s why it’s even more valuable – it rises above the world of film that has become debased. She didn’t prepare her students for careers in television and movies but for the supreme confrontation – dramatic literature. And she went against the Method, teaching acting as non-acting, as a way of experiencing much more than the actor’s own life and feelings, and using the imagination to reach the character. “In our theatre the actors often don’t raise themselves to the level of the characters. They bring the great characters down to their level. I’m afraid we live in a world that celebrates smallness.” And if the world celebrated smallness decades ago, how small are we today?

“The actor can not afford to look only to his own life for all his material
nor pull strictly from his own experience to find his acting choices and feelings.
The ideas of the great playwrights are almost always larger
than the experiences of even the best actors.”

Why this book is even more valuable, it’s because is for everyday life, not just about acting, or for actors. It’s for every one who truly believes in something and in himself. Train your innocence, preserve it, get wise, realise that the currency of civilisation is art, recognise the importance of living every moment (“You don’t have to amplify it, just recognise it“), take things from life, not from a second form or a second rate truth (the tv), use your imagination, do not look for pleasing anyone but yourself but be demanding, keep the instinct of fighting boredom alive (just like children), read, study the human behaviour, fight the disposable culture surrounding us, truly see. Don’t remain small.

“We live in a society where more than one thing is always happening.
When you go to a movie you have popcorn in one hand, a Coke in the other.
You have no concentration. You’re modern by not concentrating, or by concentrating
on something electric that’s doing it for you, that’s the problem with mechanization –
the machines do the living now, not us. All we can do is watch.
There’s nothing left to lift the spirit. So we go to psychologists.”



Read instead…in print: The Contender: The Story of Marlon Brando

The undesigned outfit, the new symbol of American maleness:
Marlon Brando in A Streetcar Named Desire

Read instead…in print: Unquiet, by Linn Ullmann

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