Marat/Sade opening/closing credits

Discussion in 'DVD' started by StephenALT, Jan 29, 2006.

  1. StephenALT

    StephenALT Agent

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    I don’t know if this the right forum to bring this up—but it does refer to the DVD version of the film as much as any other version. (And the long, long, long, discussion about the ending of “Time After Time” is on this forum, right?)

    OK. This is for those familiar with the film “Marat/Sade” (1968) and since it only concerns the credits, I hope this wouldn’t be considered a “spoiler”. Anyway, the film begins with the credits popping up one word at a time, in small font, going from left to right, top to bottom. Once the screen is filled, then the film begins. (I doubt this unique method had been done before, but it was just done similarly in the film “Cache”.) The closing credits are similar but in reverse: the screen appears full of words and they begin disappearing, one by one, again from left to right, top to bottom.

    Now, here’s my topic: who has seen this film elsewhere (TV, VHS, theatrically)? I’ve seen it projected twice in the ‘80s in a Philadelphia revival house and distinctly remember BOTH of these credits happening at the BEGINNING of the film. The most jarring effect of this is that when the film ends as it does (which I won’t go into since that would be a spoiler), it has much more impact.

    Does anyone remember it this way?
     
  2. Leo Kerr

    Leo Kerr Screenwriter

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    This doesn't answer the question asked, but I merely am surprised by the mention of the film.

    At college, we staged the show... great fun, got to learn how to weld, and all sorts of things. I recall, though, at the beginning of the semester when they said what the show was, that the advice given was "avoid the film. It's terrible."

    Having seen countless rehearsals and 12-15 performances (can't remember now, it was 12 years ago this spring,) it makes me curious now...

    Leo
     
  3. StephenALT

    StephenALT Agent

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    Hi, Leo...
    Wow, that must have been an exhausting production! The film is relentless, taxing, and grotesque. I had always read that it was a meeting of the more experimental aspects of the Royal Shakespeare Acting Co and the kind of liberated documentary-style filmmaking that was becoming prevalent in the late 60's, which means a lot of handheld camera-work and rough edges and CUs. I imagine that could not sit right with those loyal to the stage production.

    I wasn't raised on the theater and when I saw it in high school I appreciated the film's in-your-face style, an interpretation of the live experience but with a different "language." Leonard Maltin in his film synopsis book--a kind of bible for me growing up in the pre-internet days--called it something like "nauseating" and meant it as high praise. For an outsider like myself, this was all I needed to be curious. And to see it projected was quite an experience, believe me. As someone who knows the play very well, you can imagine what some of the those sequences are like 20 feet high!

    If you get the itch to see, I recommend. Maybe 12 years distance will give you the freedom to see it with fresh eyes. Glenda Jackson is marvelous--sexy and scary as Charlotte Corday--and Patrick MacGee is chilling. And the trailer on the DVD is one of the finest examples of optical-printing-in-trailers I've ever seen.

    Stephen
     
  4. Bill McA

    Bill McA Producer

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    I've seen this theatrically twice and the opening/closing credits were the same as they appear on the DVD, that is, one set at the beginning with the credits appearing one word at a time and the end credits disappearing one word at a time.

    Great movie!!
     
  5. StephenALT

    StephenALT Agent

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    I'll take your word for it, Bill. Between you and the DVD, chances are that's the way it is. Thanks.
     
  6. Leo Kerr

    Leo Kerr Screenwriter

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    To be honest, after having been involved in the production (set construction, lighting installation and operation, and safety-eyes during the finale,) I've had a couple of thoughts about it:

    1. I was, in some ways, glad to have been involved with something of that.... magnitude with the calibre of performing artists.

    2. I don't think I ever want to be involved with it again! [​IMG] Though that may change as it gets further into the past.

    Actually the worst part of it was the role of safety-eyes during the end. For those who know the end of the show, add thick smoke (stage-smoke) and a small, somewhat contained fire on-stage. With a liquid accellerant!

    Stage Mistress, Lights (myself), and Sound were all in the booth, eyes peeled, and on head-sets. All of the remaining techies were in the wings, on head-sets, eyes peeled, but with fire-extinguishers in hand, safety pins removed.

    It was, to put it mildly, stressful.

    Particularly since the whole thing was in a 90-second fade to black, and the fire was the last light on the stage - it got dark, and combined with all of the fog?!

    Leo
     

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