As a person who had
worked in radio for over 30 years, I was excited as Mr. Siegel gave examples
of listeners being affected by these opposites on radio--in the successful
oratory of President Franklin Roosevelt--how he could speak of the largest
matters and make it [seem] as though he was talking just to you; of the
success of radio commercials using both the soft and the hard sell; and
how one commercial slogan put heavy and light together particularly well--"I'd
walk a mile for a Camel."
Aesthetic Realism class report:
"Heavy and Light; or Radio, Cinema,
and a Bit of Literature"
By Michael Palmer
It was thrilling
as he said,"If you want to know yourself, ... be interested in the relation
of heavy and light and find every place that relation can be." He
showed how these opposites have been crucial to the success of the cinema.
For example there were movies that could bring tears--like "Humoresque"
and "Seventh Heaven" and then there was the phrase "comic relief."
Citing how ancient classic drama did not have comic relief, Mr. Siegel
said it took a long time for a play to have both. He mentioned actresses
who stood for comedy in the film--Zazu Pitts being one, and observed "She
began quite seriously and then changed to comedy."
who affected people as much as anybody in the cinema is Greta Garbo.
Mr. Siegel placed her meaning as no one else has and showed it had to do
with these opposites. He said, "The mingling of deep feeling and
stoicism was present in perhaps the most esteemed [actress] the cinema
has ever had. The thing Greta Garbo took people with was that she
was very strong and any emotion that would come her way she would know
how to take gracefully, and at the same time, she could be very much affected."
said the opposites of strength and grace--related to heavy and light--are
what people are hoping to have together in their lives. He said,
"There are people who go around feeling hollow because they have trained
themselves to make emotion less. I think it is very hurtful
the way it is gone for." The purpose of a person," he continued "is to
have all the emotion that is possible...the reason people go to plays is
to have emotion."
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