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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 8: Le Samouraï - Character as style

Slide 8: Le Samouraï - Character as style

Raymond Durgnat said of Le Samouraïdirector Jean-Pierre Melville, “Melville has a way of watching, rather than sharing, his characters' perplexities. He seems not to mind what they do, provided it suits them.” Indeed Melville’s hit man Jeff Costello (Alain Delon) is less a person, as a collection of gestures and mannerisms. The character says very little, explains even less, but is nevertheless aware of every gesture he makes, from adjusting his hat in the mirror to handling a gun. Melville once explained, “There is a moment of truth in all my films. A man before a mirror means a stock-taking.” His character begins––and in many ways ends––with how he looks.