Posted by Patricia Zimmermann at 12:41PM
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DRAFT April 2, 2013
THINK SLOW ACT FAST
Sherlock Jr. Script FLEFF 2013
By Patricia Zimmermann in collaboration with actress Cynthia Henderson
(image: one image of Buster in close up from Sherlock on the screen)
PRELUDE—to the image of Buster Keaton
Scene: A rehearsal in the beatnik era but remixed with an inflection of postmodern performance art; a sense of trying out the ideas and the space and engaging the audience; performed as a dialogue with Buster Keaton and also with the audience to explore, in a Brechtian way, acting/theater/cinema breaking the fourth wall
Hello! (to Buster) Delighted, just delighted to work with you today. I’ve been thinking: if only I could do some scenes with a silent film star. A director like you who unfurled an absolute anarchy of movement to defy the borders of a set. An actor who installed a hinge between dreams and reality.
Your face defined DEADPAN. A fixed face. An unmoving face. A face without a smile. DEADPAN.
An actor. A director. An acrobat. Buster, you wrap vaudeville around cinema. You splice a stoney face to a body that moves constantly, insistently, explosively. Your body erupts with spontaneity.
There you are, with your physically daring body and your stoney face. You’re a contradiction. You parody all forms of cinema. But you and your acting also pushes us to think…about mobilities.
Oh, and you’re here too? (looking at the audience) So glad you could join us tonight. We need you.
Buster would have liked that, all of you in the theater, waiting for him and for me to DO SOMETHING.
Picking at your popcorn. Scrolling through your Facebook page and Twitter feeds. Wondering, when is this show going to start?
And waiting, waiting, waiting, for Buster Keaton. Waiting for him to startle you with spectacle. To do something with space and in space that we simply CAN NOT imagine.
And you, waiting. So, hello. Welcome. I need to know you are there. Hello! Hello?
It’s you. (looking at Keaton image) I think a lot of folks here maybe do not KNOW YOU AT ALL. I think maybe a lot of us do not know you as one of the most brilliant directors of silent film. You said NO to melodrama and YES to anarchy. The Great Stone Face.
An idea has been traveling through my brain and my body lately. It just keeps moving and churning and unsettling…MOBILITIES.
Help me say MOBILITIES? (reach out to the audience)
No, not MOBILITY. That would be too, well, simple, predictable.…not mobile. That’s your phone. The one you really, really want to look at now, the one you are texting on in the dark, hoping no one will see your thumbs scurrying across the screen … But something more, something plural, something expansive, something …unpredictable…MOBILITIES.
Can you help me out again? MOBILITIES.
Louder. I need your help. Can’t HEAR YOU.