Usually, on this blog, we’re not talking about that movie. And for a change, today we will also talk about the theatre, but always from the point of view of the director ! If there are major differences between these two arts, there are also similarities, which have allowed, and many work to be adapted both to the cinema and theatre.
A few examples of works of film and theatre
Among the most important authors of theatre, it is indisputable, we can quote Shakespeare. However, it has been adapted many times in film. Thus, his works Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, Mavbeth or even a Lot of noise for nothing have been recopied several times in the film, by filmmakers very diverse, including the great Orson Welles. But it is not the only playwright whose works have been adapted into films. One also thinks of Molière, Eugène Ionesco and Marguerite Duras.
The reverse is also possible, especially in the anglo-saxon countries. Many of the works that have charmed the audience in the cinema have the right to adaptations on the boards, most usually in the form of musical comedy. Finally, some works are not orginaires the cinema or theater but literature. This is the case of the fairy tale beauty and The beast, several times adapted for the cinema by Jean Cocteau, the animation studios Disney or, more recently, the French director Christophe Gans. This tale has also benefited from an adaptation to the theatre in the form of a musical, first on Broadway, in the 90s, and more recently in Paris at the théâtre Mogador.
What is the interest for a future director to take an interest in the theatre ?
Why is it that it could be interesting for a filmmaker to be interested in the theatre ? There are in fact multiple reasons :
1/ The rules of narrative are similar, as any author knows, the universal. Theatre is, therefore, from the point of view of the narrative, just as interesting as seeing movies, or reading books.
2/ The constraints of staging are much more important, with a constraint of enormous space, the inability to replay a scene missed in the direct and other hazards of direct. So there’s a lot to learn by observing the techniques used by the producers of theatre, and particularly the creativity that they have shown to “break” the limits of the theatre.
3/ In a desire to reproduce similar constraints to the cinema. We can mention two works, like The rope of Alfred Hitchcock or Dogville by Lars Van Trier. The tour de force of these two films is to take the codes of the theatre, and yet, successfully deliver two oveuvres very cinematic, bold and inspired in terms of staging.
4/ To find new talent. In the theatre, many actors talents to work every day and, as they are not known, are not necessarily inaccessible financially. Go in search of actors of the theater, is finding actors experienced for its projects at lower cost.
I’ve mentioned to you four very important reasons in my eyes to justify the fact of going to see plays, but I’m on that you same, you’ll find plenty of others if you give it a try.