Quotation by Frank D. McConnell

Listening to Thelonious Monk play I Surrender, Dear, or listening to Cecil Taylor play one of his own compositions, we are concerned with the struggle of the performer against the predetermined nature of his medium (the theme, the chord structure, etc.). Like jazz performance, film acting is improvisatory, on an almost metaphysical level. In the drama, the aim of performance is to achieve a kind of psychophysical translucence, whereby the potencies imagined by the author of the drama "shine through" the immitigable fasciculate of presence-on-the-stage. In film, however, the dramatic text is—rightly—only a pre-text for its eruption into the moving figures, the absurd images, who are not really there but whom the film, at the height of its artifice, can convince us do exist in their own lucid fasciculate.
Frank D. McConnell (b. 1942), U.S. educator, critic. The Spoken Seen: Film and the Romantic Imagination, ch. 6, Johns Hopkins University Press (1975).
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