Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from February, 2015

"See, I'm Smiling": THE LAST FIVE YEARS from stage to screen

When I wrote my review of Into the Woods, I thought a lot about adapting stage shows to film – and whether or not the musical genre, in particular, is next-to-impossible to translate to the big screen. If something is written with the stage in mind, sometimes it can be hard to open it up on film – and sometimes opening it up breaks the fragile reality created on stage.
Stage plays can suffer the move from stage to screen because plays are often static – a couple of scene changes or a small number of fixed sets. August: Osage County presented a large ensemble family drama on one set, but the film insisted on opening things up – and an odd tonal shift. God of Carnage benefited from the claustrophobia of one set; a film in one location is anathema to the form, but then the tension of the story can be lost.
Musicals, by their very nature, are theatrical. Singing the story isn’t natural, but it’s no more odd on stage than minimalist sets or a curtain or seeing a show in the round. This is…

See, Watch, Hear: January 2015