Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Fou Factor

The thing about the sketch approach is that you’re working on being both loose and rigorous at the same time. You’re leaving room for chance, for un-self-consciousness, while concentrating on improving a particular form or thought or sentence. For me, the thinking and rigor have always come more easily than the letting go. So I’m basically thrilled when I catch a glimpse of the unplanned peeping through. But in the end, it is a balance I’m after.

Chance for chance’s sake – just like expression for expression’s sake – bores me. I find it shallow, narrow. It is therapeutic, for sure, but it’s also self-indulgent if the work you’re making is for public viewing. Like Munch’s Scream: I’m not into it. Although I get where it comes from. Pierrot Le Fou, however, I love (the film had no screenplay).

So rigor is key for me. Another word for rigor might be boundary. Yes, everyone has a different definition of boundary.

All this to say that I enjoyed this quote in Anthony Lane’s portrait of filmmaker Michael Haneke (his films are most unenjoyable however) in this week’s New Yorker.
One tries to re-create the complexity of life, but in a completely orderly way. I don’t believe in chance during shooting. Chance is a gift of the moment, if that exists, but it’s an exception. You have to prepare a chance for an actor, for instance, and push him into a certain situation. But I don’t at all believe in the improvisational method.

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