Monday, 10 October 2011

Chris Port Blog #318. “Like all good monsters, she aroused my pity…”

© Chris Port, 10th October 2011

“Tippi would never make ingenue now. Those eyes had seen too many ceilings. Watching her play little girl lost was like watching grand guignol - Norma Desmond playing Shirley Temple, Yaweh caked in mascara - a vain, jealous, insecure god.

But when she tried to play femme fatale, something interesting happened. She didn’t have the sex for it. I noticed an endearing gaucheness, a clumsy vulnerability. A little girl still, playing with costumes in Miss Havisham’s mad attic. To her, we were all just mirrors.

Like all good monsters, she aroused my pity. I’ve always had a soft spot for monsters. Right in the neck. Maybe that’s always been my downfall. Never mind. Of all the stairs to trip on, I’ve fallen up worse…” (Marty Gull)

*           *           *           *           *           *           *

“Good actors have courage and integrity. The courage to imagine what they’re not, and the integrity to remember who they are. Cowards and backstabbers thrive on backstage intrigues. Backstage is all they’re good for. They die under the lights. The theatre is a pitiless tiger pit. It removes you from reality, and then it strips you of artifice. If there’s nothing left, the audience will see right through you. And they will laugh at you. No tricks will save you then…” (Marty Gull)

“So they were grinding after all, those cameras. Life, which can be strangely merciful, had taken pity on Norma Desmond. The dream she had clung to so desperately had enfolded her...” (Joe Gillis in Sunset Boulevard)

Sunset Boulevard (Final scene)

Any actor who hasn’t watched this doesn’t yet know the insanity of their craft. One of the best stage monologues ever. A masterful performance from Spalding Gray. Theatre at its most simple and complex - a man sat behind a desk, talking about playing a small part in a big film. Funny, sad, mad, thoughtful and mesmerizing.

Swimming to Cambodia ~ Part 1 

Swimming to Cambodia ~ Part 2

Swimming to Cambodia ~ part 3

Swimming to Cambodia ~ part 4

Swimming to Cambodia ~ part 5

Swimming to Cambodia ~ part 6

Swimming to Cambodia ~ part 7

Swimming to Cambodia ~ part 8

Swimming to Cambodia ~ part 9

Swimming to Cambodia ~ part 10

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