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Greenberg and Other Character Studies

Posted March 08, 2010 to photo album "Greenberg and Other Character Studies"

Noah Baumbach’s comedy Greenberg probes the psyche of a man in search of himself. We consider other films that study character.

Slide 1: Introduction
Slide 2: Citizen Kane - Character as perception
Slide 3: Sunset Boulevard - Character as reflection
Slide 4: The Searchers - Character as manifest destiny
Slide 5: Taxi Driver - character as psychosis
Slide 6: The Entertainer - Character as characters
Slide 7: The Motorcycle Diaries - Character as destiny
Slide 8: Le Samouraï - Character as style
Slide 9: Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles - Character as surface
Slide 10: The Ice Storm - Character as cultural confusion
Slide 11: All That Jazz - Character study as musical
Slide 12: The Graduate - Character as ambivalence
Slide 13: Sweet Smell of Success - Character as calculation
Slide 14: What is yours?
Slide 11: All That Jazz - Character study as musical

Slide 11: All That Jazz - Character study as musical

Probably no genre seems farther from doubling as a character study as the musical, but Bob Fosse’s All That Jazz, a frenzied autobiographical fantasy about a director-choreographer who is quickly killing himself with Dexedrine, alcohol, work, cocaine, Visine, Alka-Seltzer, and sex, is also a profound psychological portrait of a man, Joe Gideon (Roy Scheider), dealing with his morality and sense of self worth. Fosse once quipped, “My friends know that to me happiness is when I am merely miserable and not suicidal." And in the film, the character’s happy misery stems from his insatiable (and impossible) desire to make everything he does (dance, film, love) perfect, while sabotaging the results in the process.