In a stroke of luck, during some recent channel surfing, I happened upon Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstein. As I settled in and watched, and heard, for the umpteenth time, Victor's cry to the heavens (which I referenced at the beginning of Shadows and Ghosts), I couldn't help but be affected.
The impassioned rawness of his plea, and its unabashed boldness seemed to embody, more than any other image I could have used, Ida Mae Glick's wish that her work would be blessed with life.
Beyond the various types of artistry—directing, acting, cinematography, editing—that go into crafting a film, there is an element of magic to it: the filmmaker must transcend the boundary imposed by the screen, and the artifice imposed by script and staging. She must entice the audience to suspend its disbelief, she must suck them in—utterly.
I'm reminded of another image mentioned in Shadows and Ghosts, from Woody Allen's Purple Rose of Cairo, where Tom Baxter steps off the screen to meet a real woman. I used to show Purple Rose to my "Introduction to Literature" classes at the start of the term to illustrate how intimate the relationship between audience and art can be. It never mattered where the students came from, what their backgrounds or experiences were; the reactions to the film were always the same. The minute Tom Baxter stepped off the screen, they gasped; the film came to life for them. Magic.
Causes Barbara Froman Supports
Chicago Coalition for the Homeless
Greater Chicago Food Depository
Lawyers for the Creative Arts