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The Failure of Theory; or, Oleanna on Stage and Screen

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.

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