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Bertolt Brecht (1898 – 1956). Bertolt Brecht (1898 – 1956). Interest in film, esp. Chaplin and slap stick. Bertolt Brecht (1898 – 1956). Interest in film, esp. Chaplin and slap stick Dramaturg in Berlin. Bertolt Brecht (1898 – 1956). Interest in film, esp. Chaplin and slap stick

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bertolt brecht 1898 19561

Bertolt Brecht (1898 – 1956)

Interest in film, esp. Chaplin and slap stick

bertolt brecht 1898 19562

Bertolt Brecht (1898 – 1956)

Interest in film, esp. Chaplin and slap stick

Dramaturgin Berlin

bertolt brecht 1898 19563

Bertolt Brecht (1898 – 1956)

Interest in film, esp. Chaplin and slap stick

Dramaturgin Berlin

Dramaturg: researcher, scholar; but with eye towards production

bertolt brecht 1898 19564

Bertolt Brecht (1898 – 1956)

Interest in film, esp. Chaplin and slap stick

Dramaturgin Berlin

Dramaturg: researcher, scholar; but with eye towards production

1933-45: exile in Denmark and US

bertolt brecht 1898 19565

Bertolt Brecht (1898 – 1956)

Interest in film, esp. Chaplin and slap stick

Dramaturgin Berlin

Dramaturg: researcher, scholar; but with eye towards production

1933-45: exile in Denmark and US

Collaborates with Fritz Lang in Hollywood on film, Hangman also Die

bertolt brecht 1898 19566

Bertolt Brecht (1898 – 1956)

Interest in film, esp. Chaplin and slap stick

Dramaturgin Berlin

Dramaturg: researcher, scholar; but with eye towards production

1933-45: exile in Denmark and US

Collaborates with Fritz Lang in Hollywood on film, Hangman also Die

HUAC, returns to Europe and settles in East Germany

jungle of cities

Jungle of Cities

Agassiz Players, Harvard, 1967

jungle of cities1

Jungle of Cities

Agassiz Players, Harvard, 1967

The Crimson, August 18, 1967: “Even in theory the set is out of place. A jungle gym may remind one of the jungle, but it is misguided to try to cage the scenes of a highly dialectic play into once central playing area.”

jungle of cities2

Jungle of Cities

Agassiz Players, Harvard, 1967

The Crimson, August 18, 1967: “Even in theory the set is out of place. A jungle gym may remind one of the jungle, but it is misguided to try to cage the scenes of a highly dialectic play into once central playing area.”

A.R.T. 1998 under Paul Woodruff

prefatory remark
Prefatory remark:

“It is the year 1912 in the city of Chicago: you are witnessing an inexplicable wrestling match, and the destruction of a family that has come from the prairie lands to the great city jungle. In observing this battle, do not rack your brains for motives: concern yourself with the human element, evaluate the antagonists’ fighting spirit impartially and concentrate your interest on the showdown.”

prefatory remark1
Prefatory remark:

“It is the year 1912 in the city of Chicago: you are witnessing an inexplicable wrestling match, and the destruction of a family that has come from the prairie lands to the great city jungle. In observing this battle, do not rack your brains for motives: concern yourself with the human element, evaluate the antagonists’ fighting spirit impartially and concentrate your interest on the showdown.”

slide14

Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle (1906), set in the slaughterhouses of Chicago

City is difficult to navigate; things are connected, you just don’t know how

slide15

Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle (1906), set in the slaughterhouses of Chicago

City is difficult to navigate; things are connected, you just don’t know how

paranoia

slide16

Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle (1906), set in the slaughterhouses of Chicago

City is difficult to navigate; things are connected, you just don’t know how

Paranoia

Opening scene: Shlink has prearranged everything; someone is pulling the strings

prefatory remark2
Prefatory remark:

“It is the year 1912 in the city of Chicago: you are witnessing an inexplicable wrestling match, and the destruction of a family that has come from the prairie lands to the great city jungle. In observing this battle, do not rack your brains for motives: concern yourself with the human element, evaluate the antagonists’ fighting spirit impartially and concentrate your interest on the showdown.”

brecht s emerging theory of theater
Brecht’s emerging theory of theater

Going to the theater like watching sports

brecht s emerging theory of theater1
Brecht’s emerging theory of theater

Going to the theater like watching sports

Not about motives, but moves in a game

brecht s emerging theory of theater2
Brecht’s emerging theory of theater

Going to the theater like watching sports

Not about motives, but moves in a game

Do not empathize, but observe impartially

brecht s emerging theory of theater3
Brecht’s emerging theory of theater

Going to the theater like watching sports

Not about motives, but moves in a game

Do not empathize, but observe impartially

Brecht’s admiration for the “objective” fighting style of Boxer Paul Samson-Körner, to whom he devotes a (unfinished) play called “The Human Fighting Machine”

prefatory remark3
Prefatory remark:

“It is the year 1912 in the city of Chicago: you are witnessing an inexplicable wrestling match, and the destruction of a family that has come from the prairie lands to the great city jungle. In observing this battle, do not rack your brains for motives: concern yourself with the human element, evaluate the antagonists’ fighting spirit impartially and concentrate your interest on the showdown.”

prefatory remark4
Prefatory remark:

“It is the year 1912 in the city of Chicago: you are witnessing an inexplicable wrestling match, and the destruction of a family that has come from the prairie lands to the great city jungle. In observing this battle, do not rack your brains for motives: concern yourself with the human stakes, evaluate the antagonists’ fighting spirit impartially and concentrate your interest on the showdown.”

brecht s emerging theory of theater4
Brecht’s emerging theory of theater

Not about motives, but moves in a game; not why, but how

brecht
Brecht:

"The actions of people in our time, as they are presented in the newspapers, cannot be explained by means of common motives. More and more police reports appear without providing the motive of the perpetrator. For this reason you must not be surprised that in the new drama certain people act differently in certain situation than you would expect and that your hypotheses about their motives prove to be false. In this world and in this drama philosophers have an easier time than psychologists."

brecht1
Brecht:

"The actions of people in our time, as they are presented in the newspapers, cannot be explained by means of common motives. More and more police reports appear without providing the motive of the perpetrator. For this reason you must not be surprised that in the new drama certain people act differently in certain situation than you would expect and that your hypotheses about their motives prove to be false. In this world and in this drama philosophers have an easier time than psychologists."

brecht s emerging theory of theater5
Brecht’s emerging theory of theater

Not about motives, but moves in a game: not why, but how

Watch theater like a philosopher: develop hypotheses

slide30

Battle: "The basic idea of the play is that pure sportsmanship could involve two men in a battle which fundamentally transforms their economic situation and themselves beyond recognition."

slide31

Battle: "The basic idea of the play is that pure sportsmanship could involve two men in a battle which fundamentally transforms their economic situation and themselves beyond recognition."

economic battle
Economic battle

Buying books, buying ideas

economic battle1
Economic battle

Buying books, buying ideas

Extreme world of starvation and plenty, selling yourself, selling your body, dependency and domination

economic battle2
Economic battle

Buying books, buying ideas

Extreme world of starvation and plenty, selling yourself, selling your body, dependency and domination

Shady business dealings

economic battle3
Economic battle

Buying books, buying ideas

Extreme world of starvation and plenty, selling yourself, selling your body, dependency and domination

Shady business dealings

Rough sexist and racist language; unvarnished

economic speculation and gambling
Economic speculation and gambling

Shlink “I declare war on you. I’ll begin this fight by shaking the foundations of your life” (16)

economic speculation and gambling1
Economic speculation and gambling

Shlink “I declare war on you. I’ll begin this fight by shaking the foundations of your life” (16)

Garga: “You’ve skinned me, just for the hell of it. And I’ll settle my accounts with you.” (25)

economic speculation and gambling2
Economic speculation and gambling

Shlink “I declare war on you. I’ll begin this fight by shaking the foundations of your life” (16)

Garga: “You’ve skinned me, just for the hell of it. And I’ll settle my accounts with you.” (25)

Manky: “It’s all part of the same business” (33)

economic speculation and gambling3
Economic speculation and gambling

Shlink “I declare war on you. I’ll begin this fight by shaking the foundations of your life” (16)

Garga: “You’ve skinned me, just for the hell of it. And I’ll settle my accounts with you.” (25)

Manky: “It’s all part of the same business” (33)

Shlink: “I’ve gambled away all I had” (39)

economic speculation and gambling4
Economic speculation and gambling

Shlink “I declare war on you. I’ll begin this fight by shaking the foundations of your life” (16)

Garga: “You’ve skinned me, just for the hell of it. And I’ll settle my accounts with you.” (25)

Manky: “It’s all part of the same business” (33)

Shlink: “I’ve gambled away all I had” (39)

Garga: “Every time I look at your face I see you’re sizing me up. You’ve backed the wrong horse?” (49)

slide42

Battle: "The basic idea of the play is that pure sportsmanship could involve two men in a battle which fundamentally transforms their economic situation and themselves beyond recognition."

slide44

Changes in character by changing places:

Garga takes over Shlink’s lumber business

slide45

Changes in character by changing places:

Garga takes over Shlink’s lumber business

Shlink supports Garga’s family

slide46

Changes in character by changing places:

Garga takes over Shlink’s lumber business

Shlink supports Garga’s family

Garga goes to jail for Shlink

slide47

Changes in character by changing places:

Garga takes over Shlink’s lumber business

Shlink supports Garga’s family

Garga goes to jail for Shlink

Positions are more important than character

slide48

Do changes in economic circumstances change character?

"When I read Marx's CapitalI understood my plays. Marx is the only spectator for my plays I’ve ever come across."

slide50

In this world and in this drama philosophers have an easier time than psychologists:

Garga to Shlink: “You‘re staging a metaphysical battle” (50)

slide51

In this world and in this drama philosophers have an easier time than psychologists:

Garga to Shlink: “You‘re staging a metaphysical battle” (50)

Garga to Shlink: “You turn members of my family into resources, you live off my supply. And I’m getting leaner and leaner, I’m drifting away into metaphysics.”

slide52

In this world and in this drama philosophers have an easier time than psychologists:

Garga to Shlink: “You‘re staging a metaphysical battle” (50)

Garga to Shlink: “You turn members of my family into resources, you live off my supply. And I’m getting leaner and leaner, I’m drifting away into metaphysics.”

Shlink: “So you have understood it. We’re companions, comrades in a metaphysical action!” (81)

slide53

Shlink: “You just wanted to finish me off, but I wanted the fight: and it wasn’t the body, it was the soul.” (85)

geography and racism
Geography and racism

Estrangement: making the familiar unfamiliar

geography and racism1
Geography and racism

Estrangement: making the familiar unfamiliar

Setting plays in America, Asia

geography and racism2
Geography and racism

Estrangement: making the familiar unfamiliar

Setting plays in America, Asia

"Practically speaking it would have been enough if the theater had an enlarged photography of America as a back-drop and to indicate the Asian origin, Shlink had painted his skin yellow."

slide59

Manifesto form:

  • Making the hidden manifest, meeting rumors, exorcizing specters
slide60

Manifesto form:

  • Making the hidden manifest, meeting rumors, exorcizing specters
  • Grand history culminating in the present
slide61

Manifesto form:

  • Making the hidden manifest, meeting rumors, exorcizing specters
  • Grand history culminating in the present
  • Dramatic structure, including crises and turning point, rather than dialogue or credo
slide62

Manifesto form:

  • Making the hidden manifest, meeting rumors, exorcizing specters
  • Grand history culminating in the present
  • Dramatic structure, including crises and turning point, rather than dialogue or credo
  • Dramatic story telling, including the use of the sublime and a sudden reversal
slide63

Manifesto form:

  • Making the hidden manifest, meeting rumors, exorcizing specters
  • Grand history culminating in the present
  • Dramatic structure, including crises and turning point, rather than dialogue or credo
  • Dramatic story telling, including the use of the sublime and a sudden reversal
  • Intervention, not just description: manifesto contributes to the reversal it describes
2 nd assignment
2nd assignment

Either critical paper or creative assignment:

write a Manifesto of Capitalism.

2 nd assignment1
2nd assignment

Either critical paper or creative assignment:

write a Manifesto of Capitalism.

Think about the form: would it be adequate to copy formal features from the Communist Manifesto, or should you change the form as well as the content?

2 nd assignment2
2nd assignment

Either critical paper or creative assignment:

write a Manifesto of Capitalism.

Think about the form: would it be adequate to copy formal features from the Communist Manifesto, or should you change the form as well as the content?

Would you emphasize history or ideas?

2 nd assignment3
2nd assignment

Either critical paper or creative assignment:

write a Manifesto of Capitalism.

Think about the form: would it be adequate to copy formal features from the Communist Manifesto, or should you change the form as well as the content?

Would you emphasize history or ideas?

What role would the crises of capitalism play in your account?

2 nd assignment4
2nd assignment

Either critical paper or creative assignment:

write a Manifesto of Capitalism.

Think about the form: would it be adequate to copy formal features from the Communist Manifesto, or should you change the form as well as the content?

Would you emphasize history or ideas?

What role would the crises of capitalism play in your account?

Whom would the manifesto be against? Marx?

2 nd assignment5
2nd assignment

Either critical paper or creative assignment:

write a Manifesto of Capitalism.

Think about the form: would it be adequate to copy formal features from the Communist Manifesto, or should you change the form as well as the content?

Would you emphasize history or ideas?

What role would the crises of capitalism play in your account?

Whom would the manifesto be against? Marx?

What would it be making manifest?

manifesto assignment cont
Manifesto assignment cont.

From what position would you write your manifesto?

Would the recent financial crisis and/ Occupy Wall Street play a role?