Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Thoughts on John Logan's Red

-Reading the bio of John Logan is like Holy screenwriting credits, Batman.
-As a general rule, I get a little bored by art about art. But, it was good, so what can you do?
-Why are we obsessed with leaving an imprint on the world?
-It was so refreshing to see a character completely self-absorbed who made no apologies for it. There are times we all wish we could be so egotistical. Seeing it let me feel it, and just feeling it vicariously through an actor feeling it vicariously through Logan feeling it vicariously through Rothko was enough vanity to last me at least a year.
-There are many cliches in the beginning of the play. It's hard to mind too much because the dynamic of the characters is rich. Then, when the cliches are actually called out, to the surface, wow. Wow, wow. Just say what we all know.
-To hate the world's progression (even if it's not progress) just leaves you poorer and bitter. Roll with the punches, be who you are.
-The play takes place in the 1950s, but nothing about it made it seem so. I actually didn't like this. I want to see America in the 50s. This is America in the 50s, is it not? I see 2013 everyday. Let me draw my own connections past to present.
-Movement is not boring.
-I wish I could see theatre and not think things like, "I wonder how much this company's budget for canvas is."
-We've got to figure out how we expect/shouldn't expect intermissions. Red was a 90-minute one-act. I did not have to go to the bathroom, so I was pleased every time the lights fell and the house didn't rise. I was pretty entrenched in this world, and I had zero desire to make chit chat with the other conference attendees around me. I think the best solution is to be sure intermission and run-time is always in the program. Perhaps that provides audiences too strict a format, but I think it's important to know. After the 70-minute mark, one starts to worry there WILL be an intermission...and this is the longest play ever. Never worry your audience about being an audience. As humans, yes, worry them. But as seat-fillers, please do not.
-It's hard not to see suicide as beautiful when all the best people keep doing it.
-The last line should have been cut. Super cheap. Come on, Logan. Leave the question open.
-To me, this play was more about the intimacy we come to find with whoever keeps showing up. I believe Ken and Marc portray a type of terrifying relationship. Their arc seems to argue, in intimacy you have nothing of your own. And one of you must leave.

When I was your age, art was a lonely thing: no galleries, no collecting, no critics, no money. We didn't have mentors. We didn't have parents. We were alone. But it was a great time, because we had nothing to lose and a vision to gain.

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