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Volume 12: Review: Romance at the Atlantic Theater David Mamet Society Presentations on audio from the MLA December, 2005.
The panelists from the David Mamet Society's presentations at the MLA. Left to right: David Sauer, Ira B. Nadel, Christopher C. Hudgins, and Steven Price.
This paper argues that though many adaptations of David Mamet's plays to film have been less than successful, the film version of Glengarry Glen Ross succeeds for a variety of reasons, including an Eisensteinian 'uninflected cut.' In a well-made Mamet film, one element of a scene comments on another, informing it, and that informs the audience's interpretive activity as they consider these uninflected cuts.
Oleanna works on the stage because it concentrates conflict within a theatre to create a threatening space from which there is no escape. But on the screen, this dissipates as conflict becomes pathos at the same time it tempts viewers with visual escape, although there is no place to go (in his other work, escape and action seem to substitute for language: re Heist or Spartan ). Carol can claim that she wants action not words from John but neither he, nor Mamet, delivers.
Studies the links between the cinema and the narrative theatrical sensibility in Mamet. The paper argues that despite Mamet's claims that all he knows about film he learned from Eisenstein, in matter of fact there appears little connection between Mamet's and Eisenstein's cinematic theories. In a 1999 interview, in fact, Mamet revealed that he had actually read fairly extensively from film theory. This paper suggests that that Mamet's films are particularly influenced by the work of V.I. Podovkin. When you look at Eistenstein's construction of uninflected shots, then examine Mamet's films in detail, it becomes apparent that Mamet's narrative cinema uses sequences as (Podovkian) linkage, rather than (Eisensteinian) collision.
Photos from the 2005 David Mamet Society panel at the annual convention of the Modern Language Association.
This play shows Mamet’s continuing exploration of every single genre of film or stage—from screwball comedy (State and Main) to spies (Spartan) to (theft) Heist, to political satire (Wag the Dog), etc. But he’s never done a farce, nor has he done a courtroom drama, and this play is both in one.