Thursday, May 11, 2006

How did brando revolutionize film / stage acting?

This is not a write up on the method school of acting, not qualified to do that. What i can write about is my experience of cinema. Few film scenes which are their own proof about Brando changing acting.

Jack Nicholson - Five easy pieces.
The scene where Jack explodes at the waitress for not having the food that he ordered and sweeps the plates and menus from the table, a legendary scene, which shocks us for the sudden violence that erupts...brilliant but inspired from A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE, where Brando wipes the table clean, unexpected violence.

View both the scenes and you can clearly see the influence of Brando on nicholson....the ability to pounce like a tiger / go off like an automatic machine gun and leave the others stunned is all Brando. The Brando sequence is even more legendary in its impact.

Robert Deniro - Raging Bull.
The best film arguably of the last 25 years. Deniro gives a visceral performance, the weight gain etc...the impact. Then the punchline when Deniro playing Jake LaMotta, impersonates Brando playing Terry Malloy in On the Waterfront. That is just not play acting, but an ode to the original from his biggest follower and reminds the viewer of the impact of Brando. In the SCORE, one can clearly see deniro is in awe of Brando and is caught off guard by Brando's reactions in the scenes featuring them, especially where they are discussing the scheme and the money involved, what Brando does is pick up a mug or something and speak into it like a its a speaker and u can clearly see deniro was not expecting that. Brando pulled it out of thin magic.

James Dean – Rebel without a Cause.
You are tearing me apart, the way it is said by Dean to his parents, is all Brando. The pain, anguish, the delivery, everything is all Brando.

Nicholson said it best – Brando gave us (actors) our freedom.


Anonymous said...

OK KB I surrender...
when I think of Godfather I think of the background score that cocktails the sweeeeet mix of the pain & pleasure that together accompany any act of crime...beyond this the score is just undescribable (is there such a word?)...and then there's the Don..the master craftsman...the smooth operator..what can you say that would ever glorify his act..hey and the thing about oranges signifying death in the movie ranks at an all time high in my lil trivia book..and i have been totally thinking about oranges and their symbolism with death and as the good planner would go have bare stripped google searching for hints....
have seen a hundred blog sites to find my answers and the only rare ones that cam eacross are all dammned i tried to do some original thinking's a viewpoint

orange is the color of autumn (trees shed leaves) and hence could signify death
orange is also the color of sunset (makes sense here as well, dont it KB!)
so that could be one take

another way ..which i would enjoy more to write is this...the most obvious connotation of orange is health..and in the movie oranges could have been used as an interesting paradox to the same..a goddamn sharp witted rupture of the core essence of orange...that sounds so cool...kudos to capola if that was the idea!

one blog posts a comment that takes away all the thrill out of the orange mystery...the set designer in the movie in a book..the legacy of the godfather (or somethin' like that) writes that the only idea behind using the oranges was to draw a sharp contrast to the otherwise melancholic b/w dullness of the movie...and also that oranges look good in bright set lights...bohooos to that

more later

Idle Thoughts said...

Also Manish, Vito being a Sicilian also has something to do with it. If a traditional Sicilian talks about fruit, he is usually talking about oranges. Because oranges are the most common/popular fruits of Sicily.

Anonymous said...

Here's another one on oranges
One species of oranges is native to Italy..this species is called 'Taracco' and belongs to a special type of oranges called the 'BLOOD ORANGE'...any coincidences here idle thoughts?!!!

KBR said...

i sometimes wonder, did i sart a brando blog or an orange blog...
never the less, interesting stuff on the godfather. the oranges were very much a part of the godfather, infact in DON VITO's death scene, when the child actor was not giving the right expressions Brando told Francis Coppola, that leave it to me (brando). What happend next is for everyone to see, an immortal death scene. A mafia don, dies while playing with his grand son.

Brando used to use oranges to play with his own children to scare them, he just used this expericences to create a great cinematic moment.

Idle Thoughts said...

No idea about that anonymous. But oranges play a very vital role in the whole Godfather series. If you read the book, you will find many references to oranges (orchards, smells and stuff). When Michael falls in love while in exile in Sicily. Also in the Sicilian, Guiliano hides out often in orange orchards.
Probably Puzo, in some ways, associated oranges with Sicily.

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About Me

anything which i can do by not getting up from my back side, is to my liking. hard work never killed anybody, but there is always a first time for everything. SO CHILL is my motto.