Wednesday, January 19

Theater vs. Film

It's a big surprise to me that theatre is my first love. I didn't know that when I was young. I loved theatre, but, as technology explodes more and more, I'm learning to love it even more.

There's a beautiful Milan Kundera quote in his new book where he talks about the birth of a new art form called cinema. It was completely usurped by big business. Basically, now, it's big business. It's not cinema as art. What qualifies as an art picture is not what qualifies as literary fiction — and what a shame that is.

As people start watching "The Godfather" on an iPhone on the subway, the theatre becomes more and more relevant, and you realize that this ancient art form is going to survive all of this. It's funny, with rock music, music is cheaper and cheaper…but a live Bruce Springsteen concert is still priceless. A great work of theatre is priceless. It can't be repeated.

There's a great Meryl Streep quote I heard recently. When she was younger and really into theatre, they were saying, "Movies are immortal." Now that she's older, she realizes, "God, all the movies are dated." The only thing that's immortal is her production of The Cherry Orchard 33 years ago. The people who saw it love it and remember it. That hasn't dated, whereas even "Silkwood" is dated. Theatre lives. When I meet somebody who says to me, "I saw you in Jack's Henry IV," the first thing that comes to my mind is "What night?" They say, "Oh, Christmas," and I say, "Was my voice hurting?" "Yeah, your voice was really ragged." "I know. I was having such trouble." It hasn't aged a day. That's the beauty of theatre. You can't buy it on your iPod. You can't download it on iTunes. That makes it more special now.

1 comment:

Kirby said...

I love all of your Ethan Hawke posts. I'm so glad that you do post his quotes and things, otherwise I would have no idea what a fascinating guy he is!

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