Thursday, February 08, 2007

The Blue Angel and Toolkit #3

So I Netflix'ed disc 2 of The Blue Angel, even though it was the "English" version, because it promised special features that disc 1 didn't have. Alas, the disc doesn't have any special features and English is only actually spoken when they can justify it within the plot, leaving me with a bit too much unsubtitled German to process (though the plot is easy enough to follow in any language). Good news: it's as fabulous (and sad) as I remember it, with stunning performances by Dietrich and Jannings, delightfully disturbing glimpses (onstage and backstage) of what Berlin Cabaret calls a "tingeltangel" club (not a "cabaret" proper...apparently there are quite a few semantic rules about cabarets vs. nightclubs vs. revues, etc), and some what seems, from some of my other readings, to be a fairly authentic peek at an authoritarian German classroom. We'll cue up a bit of the film for the retreat and add one of the scenes from the screenplay to the reading packet...

And here are some toolkit additions:
  • Noise that floods in from outside sources whenever a door or window is opened
  • Caricatures
  • A character that never speaks
  • A policeman or other authority figure who makes rounds
  • Costumes with peekaboo elements
  • Tophats and canes
  • First time inebriation (like in the Fantasy Island scenes in Pinocchio)
  • Other performers messing around while another performer is featured
  • Handkerchiefs
  • Greased down hair
  • Failed and/or anticlimactic magic tricks
  • Performance posters hanging on the wall
  • Piaget's stages of child development
  • Freud's stages of child development
  • Lacan's stages of child development
  • Prosthetic noses
  • Postcards of the lead performers
  • Clowns not doing clowny things, for that matter any highly stylized performer behaving "incorrectly"
  • Backstage banter in German


David said...

While we are talking about non-print media to check out, I have recently been listening to Man Man, and their sounds somehow seem to fit right in with the aesthetics we are talking about. Kind of playful yet dark, circusy and toylike sounds but with a layer of grotesqueness and anger, but fun in the end. I've got the album Six Demon Bag on my i pod. Maybe look them up on for a legal way to browse their stuff, if you don't wanna be a downloader.

Jon said...

...and while we're talking about music, the Tiger Lillies are a no-brainer here. Second that for the Dresden Dolls and Tom Waits. Hmmm...Em, I think you might need to make a mix CD for the "reading" packet...