Max Beckmann, Quappi in a Pink Sweater, 1935
II-A. HEDDA GABLER: TREVOR NUNN | RSC | 1975
Glenda Jackson is not a convincing Hedda Gabler, and it’s Trevor Nunn’s direction that’s to blame for this failure. He got the dramaturgy right—the concision of his filmmaking brings out Ibsen’s dramatic lines with great clarity—but his conception of Hedda is all wrong. In this film version of his stage production she comes across as a shrew who needs taming, but as Tesman is no Petruchio her shrewishness becomes a drone that drowns out all other notes in her character. One-note Hedda, far from fascinating us, bores us. The director did nothing to get his actress off this monorail to nowhere; when her suicide comes, we simply don’t care. As I have no way of knowing what’s behind this directorial failure, I will focus on what we can all see: Glenda Jackson’s acting.
More generally, we observe that the director, by bringing the actress’ voice to the fore in his mise-en-scène—highlighting her delivery, accentuating her repartee—makes it hard for us to imagine that Hedda has anything in her that’s beyond the reach of words. In thus reducing Hedda to her verbal expression, in undermining the intuition that she has reserves of silence in which her struggles play out, he gives us a Hedda who cannot fascinate and excite. Indeed, if we do not feel that Hedda has forces within her that are greater than what she can verbalize, she cannot be Hedda Gabler.
II-B. HEDDA GABLER: WARIS HUSSEIN | BBC | 1972
II-C. HEDDA GABLER : RAYMOND ROULEAU | FRANCE TÉLÉVISION | 1967
II-D. HEDDA GABLER: ALEX SEGAL | PARAMOUNT-BBC-CBS | 1963
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By Richard Jonathan | © Mara Marietta Culture Blog, 2023 | All rights reserved