Part 1: Heavy and Light; or Radio, Cinema, and a Bit of Literature

Part 2: Heavy and Light; or Radio, Cinema, and a Bit of Literature

Part 3: Heavy and Light; or Radio, Cinema, and a Bit of Literature


     Continuation of
Aesthetic Realism class report:
"Heavy and Light; or Radio, Cinema,
and a Bit of Literature"
By Michael Palmer

     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."

      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."

      An actress 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."

      Mr. Siegel 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." 

  For next page click here

Home | My bio | Links | Email | Sitemap

To Aesthetic Realism Foundation