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NF-Lee's Gildor and Frodo

Sir Ian, Pt. 3 (conclusion)

Posted on 2008.09.03 at 10:39

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karin_woywod at 2008-09-07 10:57 (UTC) (Link)


Dear Mechtild,

I can't reciprocate in length and effort, when I am commenting on this. This is just to let you know that there are people out there who read and appreciate your most recent set of entries.

I enjoyed this very much. I knew next to nothing about Sir Ian. When you see today's culture, it seems the emphasis is placed on films, not theatre work. (I may be guilty of this myself, as I've gone to almost no stage plays, and seen even less - mostly Shakespeare - as DVD recordings). Yet, in the end, you see all these quality stage actors grace the big screens of current film productions, and you just know all this experience DOES pay off !

Thanks for your essay and all the efforts it must have meant, and thanks for the pics of a young Ian McKellen - I think I share your crush on him now :o)

Love,

- Karin.
Mechtild
mechtild at 2008-09-07 13:41 (UTC) (Link)
in the end, you see all these quality stage actors grace the big screens of current film productions, and you just know all this experience DOES pay off !

It *does* pay off, I think you are right. I think film actors who've never learned to work on stage--playing a complete role, with its complete "arc", over the course of a couple of hours in front of a live audience--could deepen their craft and abilities if they tried stretching themselves in this other medium.

In Sir Ian's case, talking this over with Jan-u-wine, I think that Sir Ian's *particular* gift and genius was honed by being a scholar of literature. He had a gift for words, and words, great words, seem to release his soul in a role. He's played roles with very few lines (like Walter in "Loving Walter") brilliantly, but even then, I wonder if his mind wasn't full of Walter-words--the flights of mind and spirit that a man with a mental impairment, yet human dignity and soul--might experience, however dimly. In one of the interviews after Lear, Sir Ian said that in acting the king he tried more than ever "to let the words have their way with me". In Shakespeare, whose words are notably worth surrendering to, one can literally do that. But even playing roles with very little spoken words, or poor words, a knowledge of acting that is conveyed through expressed thought: spoken language: can inform those roles with depth and complexity they might not have otherwise.

Thanks, Karin, for stopping by. I like to see Sir Ian appreciated, especially now that I know so much more about his life and art. Yep, I'm a fan now. :)

Edited at 2008-09-07 01:42 pm (UTC)
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