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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 6: The Entertainer - Character as characters

Slide 6: The Entertainer - Character as characters

Already established as one of England’s great stage and screen actors, Laurence Olivier decided to move in a different direction when he pushed playwright John Osborne to create the character of Archie Rice in The Entertainer for him. After its theater run, the play was enlarged and adapted by Tony Richardson with Olivier recreating his famous character on the big screen. Archie Rice is a third-rate song and dance man who clings desperately to his threadbare vaudevillian characters as his own life dissolves before him. His family falls apart, the country goes through war, the theater slides into disrepute, but Archie keeps his greasepaint on, always ready for another song or bawdy joke.  Before long, every gesture from his entertainment life (the soft shoe, the megawatt smile, the drawn-on eyes) grows more and more macabre. Bosley Crowther wrote in the New York Times, “as an antidote to all the bromides about show people being lovely folk, amusing, courageous, soft-hearted and dedicated to spreading sunshine in the world, we suggest that you see The Entertainer.”