Sunday, September 22, 2019
Lloyd Newson and Intertextuality Essay Example for Free
Lloyd Newson and Intertextuality Essay 1986 saw the formation of the physical theatre company known as DV8 Physical Theatre which since its inception until present day has been led by Lloyd Newson (www. dv8. co. uk) . Based in the United Kingdom this company has produced a lot of pieces which have toured internationally and have received awards , they also add to their achievements four award-winning films for television (www. dv8. co. uk) . In this essay I will discuss the intertextuality that can be seen in Dv8 original film The Dead Dreams of Monochrome Men conceived and directed by Lloyd Newson and how Newson approached the piece . Intertextuality can be defined as Ã¢â¬Å"the complex interrelationship between a text and other texts taken as basic to the creation or interpretation of the textÃ¢â¬ (Wall, 2007:97). Or the ways in which the components of a performance text get meaning on the basis of their relationship with other texts(Jordan , 1992: 257). I this case this will be the way in which the piece makes reference to other material other than what the director and performers thoughts are about Nilsen. Dead Dreams of Monochrome Men is loosely based on Brian MasterÃ¢â¬â¢s book Killing for Company which is the story of Dennis Nilsen a serial killer who lured his victims (all young men ) back to his homes in Cricklewood and Muswell Hill and killed them by chopping their bodies into little pieces and stuffing them down the drain (http://www. ailymail. co. uk). Newson liked to challenge his audience by taking risks in his pieces not only physical risks but risks in his approach and within the piece itself draw form real life -the sociological and psychological- Ã¢â¬Å" for many dance companies it seem risk just means nothing is risked in terms of content and approachÃ¢â¬ ( Lloyd :www. dv8. co. uk) . Newson stresses that as a company they only work on pieces that are motivated and driven by how the central idea affects them, they talk about their own personal experiences before they start to rehearse and set actual choreography, the process of coming up with the final piece is a collaborative process Ã¢â¬Å"by sharing the process the final work become collaborative and the performers get credited accordinglyÃ¢â¬ (www. dv8. co. uk) . The film also draws into homosexuality, at the time homosexuality was still something that people didnÃ¢â¬â¢t talk about widely it was all done behind closed doors . In Dead Dreams of Monochrome Men Newson Ã¢â¬Å"explores the interwoven notions of loneliness, desire and trustÃ¢â¬ (www. dv8. co. uk) . As mentioned earlier at the time of the film homosexuality was seen as somewhat Ã¢â¬Å"tabooÃ¢â¬ Newson draws on societies views and explores if what led Nilsen to his disturbing actions could have been the mere fact that there were already so many negative views place on homosexuality he was lonely in need of company -killing for company- Ã¢â¬Å"societal homophobia often results in tragic consequencesÃ¢â¬ (www. dv8. co. uk) . The film is in black and white this in itself could be seen as an intertext , a photographer by the name of Robert Mapplethorpe famous for his photo called Man in Polyester Suit all his pictures are in black and white most of his work could be described as homoerotic, so this can be seen as intertext from the start the films exploration of homosexuality . Dead Dreams of Monochrome Men starts off at a bar or club just like where Dennis would have picked his victim at this point of the film there is pop music (popular gay culture ) playing , the music used as an intertext , movement at this time is not to the music but influenced by the music . The body language of the performer is that of a hunter seeking its prey (victim) . Then as the piece progresses the music moves from pop to a more slower tonal sound . This is when the piece moves to a more Ã¢â¬Å"intimateÃ¢â¬ space Ã¢â¬â into DennisÃ¢â¬â¢s home-. Looking at the design and setting throughout the piece we can see that there are many deep intertexts , the use of the sculptures being one , sculptures of nude men almost as an objectification of men as if to say this is how men should look like . The costumes the white underwear not something you would have people where as their full costume on stage , and the dull colored shirts and pants worn by the other characters . There are a few scenes don in the bathroom where we see visible pipes relating to the drains where DennisÃ¢â¬â¢s victims body parts were found , this could be an intertext to point out that the body parts in the drain were the reason that Dennis was caught so have the pipes visible in that way shows his one mistake that lead to his arrest. Also Newson uses the bathroom which is a secret place where some of the action takes place this also draws to the gay culture -secretive Ã¢â¬Å"behind closed doorsÃ¢â¬ - . In the film most of the action is not actual Ã¢â¬Å"danceÃ¢â¬ its all realism itÃ¢â¬â¢s realistic everyday moves and gestures Ã¢â¬Å"realist dance can be said to communicate to audiences ,to attempt to reveal the truths of our worldÃ¢â¬ (Wall, 2007:91). In the bathroom scenes there is no dancing there is an exploration of weight and gestures no choreographed movement , the two men also exchange underwear this switching of something personal represents ntimacy (sexual acts) between them . The piece has a strong intertext to the womb in the bathtub the man lies in a fetal position there is also water and at some point he is immersed in it just like in the womb . The bathtub also being where Dennis drowned his victims or mutilated them . The picture of the man in fetal position in the water can be seen as both the beginning (fetus in womb) and the end (drowned by Dennis). Going back to the spacial design we see that besides the visible pipes the roof is not closed off -no ceiling- you can see the planks , when the performer is up on the roof and moving along the planks in an almost sneaky way this draws to secrecy again it also brings some Notre dame themes of people in the rafters sneaking around , bringing us back to the secrecy . Some have argued that in Dead Dreams of Monochrome Men Lloyd Newson portrays homosexuality in a bad way -as dirty and promiscuous- , they say that with this single film he has undone all the hard work done by gay activist in the past to have homosexuality accepted by society. In conclusion Dead Dreams of Monochrome Men is a powerful film digging deep into the action of a serial killer , playing on the intertextual meanings that we as the audience leave with questions about sometimes as viewers we consciously recognize where the style and ways of using style come from and at other times the origin just provides an unconsciously sensed undercurrent (Bazerman, 2001:1). Dead Dreams of Monochrome Men also shows that physical theatre is capable of taking on complex issues without simplifying the subject (www. dv8. co. uk).