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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 13: Sweet Smell of Success - Character as calculation

Slide 13: Sweet Smell of Success - Character as calculation

Alexander MacKendrick’s 1957 terse drama about a powerful columnist J.J. Hunsecker (Burt Lancaster) and criminally ambitious press agent, Sidney Falco (Tony Curtis), recounts the high cost of fame. Based on the experience of a real-life press agent Ernest Lehman (as it appears in his short story “Tell Me About Tomorrow”), it explores how quickly Falco will sell out his friends and family to get to the top. “The best of everything is good enough for me,” Falco says. Strangely the character of the manipulative press agent is so successful that its character has lived on as a type. Ben Brantley later wrote, "I've heard theater publicity representatives speak wryly of going into their 'Sidney Falco mode'.”