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Are My Methods Unsound

author
Carole Stephens
• Sunday, 27 December, 2020
• 12 min read

The first major movie star to employ method acting, Brando helped to popularize the technique that famously uses one's experiences to assist in characterization. The most well known proponent of this technique, Lee Strasbourg, ran the Actors' Studio, where Brando studied, as did director Elias Kazan.

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(Source: methodsunsound.com)

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Impressed by Brando's portrayal of the brutish, animalistic Stanley Kowalski in the stage version of A Streetcar Named Desire (1951), Kazan signed him to star in the film. The director changed playwright Tennessee Williams' focus on Blanche Dubois (played in the film by Vivien Leigh) to Stanley, resulting in Brando's immediate stardom.

His combination of vulnerability and determination as washed-up boxer Terry Malloy in On the Waterfront (1954) earned Brando his first Academy Award (“Hey, you want to hear my philosophy of life?” It also earned the actor a measure of respect and admiration in Hollywood and beyond that would persist until his death, despite numerous professional disappointments, personal tragedies, and outrageous conduct.

He was nominated again for Sayonara (1957), performed an improbable and delightful song-and-dance turn in Guys and Dolls, (1955), and an impressive directorial debut with the dark character study, One Eyed Jacks (1961), Brando's career lapsed into disarray. Reportedly unhappy with the simultaneous excesses and critical failure of Lewis Milestone's Mutiny on the Bounty (1962), he bought property in Tahiti, and endeavored to remove himself -- at least emotionally and philosophically -- from the bustle of the industry.

Bernardo Bertolucci's remarkable and highly controversial Last Tango in Paris had Brando's depressive, passionate Paul, involved in a “sex-only” relationship with the impetuous Jeanne (the amazing Maria Schneider). His role as Mafia boss Vito Corleone defined and also delimited his reputation as a brilliant artist, intuitive, inspired, and wholly affecting.

While such sentiment and his ongoing activism are commendable, Brando's clumsy statement-making repeatedly got him into trouble and cast doubt on his political sincerity. Like almost everyone else involved in the project, Brando (who showed up in the Philippines, rather notoriously, overweight and without any intention of reading a script) used the film to wrestle with his own demons, his confusion, anger, and ego.

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(Source: methodsunsound.com)

But while a movie like The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996) is best remembered via South Park's parody, his scenes with Johnny Depp in Jeremy Even's Don Juan DeMarco (1995) might remind us again of Brando's sly wit, occasional magnificence, and indeed, his poignant self-understanding. “I have no doubt that losing a love like this can be very painful,” his Dr. Michael tells the patient who believes himself to be Don Juan (Depp).

Daniel Nixon reviews : Sebastian Gorky May Be a Far-Right Nativist, but for Sure He’s a Terrible Scholar It’s possible for relative outsiders to produce important work. Often, those scholars extend their intellectual reach beyond their area of immediate expertise and bring fresh or disruptive perspectives to research communities.

In other words, I think it would be grossly unfair to reduce Gorky to his dissertation, or to use it as evidence that he is unqualified for his position. Indeed, it would be unacceptable as an undergraduate thesis for the Department of Government or the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.

But the article came out 3-4 years before the dissertation, and Gorky couldn’t be bothered to change the text or update the data to reflect that gap. The first twenty pages also reveal a pattern that persists throughout the entire thesis: Gorky is not big on citations, especially scholarly ones.

Moreover, the citation practices are, shall we say, lax The Gorky Dissertation, Part III I wasn’t that enthusiastic about writing another installment. But now I see that some right-wing media outlets are alleging a conspiracy to ‘take down’ Sebastian Gorky by nefarious Obama supporters.

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(Source: unsoundmethodology.blogspot.com)

In the classic style of deflection, his defenders say that he’s a “patriot” and “consummate professional.” Indeed, Georgetown PhD Mike Gallagher, now a GOP Representative from Wisconsin, says that “The counterterrorism field is highly politicized, and I fear the personal attacks on him are politically motivated.” So, like it or not, welcome to Part III. I want to stress again that I am simply commenting on the academic merits of Gorky’s dissertation and, inter alia, some claims found within it. My assessment has no direct bearing on any of the other controversies surrounding Gorky, except to the extent that he uses his doctorate to buttress his authority.

Lt. Col. Kilgore: They were going to make me a major for this, and I wasn't even in their fucking army anymore. I felt like he was up there waiting for me to take the pain away.

Benjamin Willard: Part of me was afraid of what I would find and what I would do when I got there. But the thing I felt the most, much stronger than fear, was the desire to confront him.

I ain't afraid of all them fucking' skulls and altars and shit. We cut 'em in half with a machine gun and give 'em a Band-Aid.

Benjamin Willard: The bullshit piled up so fast in Vietnam, you needed wings to stay above it. Colonel Kurtz: I worry that my son might not understand what I've tried to be.

(Source: www.unsoundsurf.com)

Benjamin Willard: Who's the commanding officer here, soldier? In this war, things get confused out there, power, ideals, the old morality, practical military necessity.

Because there's a conflict in every human heart, between the rational and the irrational, between good and evil. Sometimes, the dark side overcomes what Lincoln called the better angels of our nature.

Benjamin Willard: The First of the Ninth was an old cavalry division that traded in their horses for helicopters and went teargassing around 'Nam looking for the shit... Benjamin Willard: The crew were mostly kids; rock & rollers with one foot in their grave.

Colonel: Your mission is to proceed up the Sung River in a Navy patrol boat. Pick up Colonel Kurtz's path at Nu Mung Ba, follow it and learn what you can along the way.

Benjamin Willard: Terminate the Colonel? General: He's out there operating without any decent restraint, totally beyond the pale of any acceptable human conduct.

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(Source: unsoundmethodology.blogspot.com)

Colonel Kurtz: Did they say why, Willard, why they want to terminate my command? Benjamin Willard: I was sent on a classified mission, sir.

Colonel Kurtz: It's no longer classified, is it? Benjamin Willard: They told me that you had gone totally insane, and that your methods were unsound.

Colonel Kurtz: We train young men to drop fire on people, but their commanders won't allow them to write “fuck” on their airplanes because it's obscene! Lt. Col. Kilgore: I love the smell of napalm in the morning.

Lt. Col. Kilgore: Any man brave enough to fight wit his guts strapped to him can drink from my canteen any day. Benjamin Willard: You'll never find out about yourself working in some fucking factory in Ohio.

You're an errand boy, sent by grocery clerks, to collect a bill. Colonel Kurtz: I watched a snail crawl along the edge of a straight razor.

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(Source: nothingiswrittenfilm.blogspot.com)

Crawling, slithering, along the edge of a straight razor... and surviving. Lt. Col. Kilgore: This war's going to end someday.

Benjamin Willard: I wanted a mission and for my sins they gave me one. You are an errand boy sent by grocery clerks to collect a bill.

Lt. Carlson: You're in the asshole of the world Captain. You're an errand boy, sent by grocery clerks, to collect a bill.

Lt. Col. Kilgore: I love the smell of napalm in the morning. Lt. Col. Kilgore: I love the smell of napalm in the morning.

Benjamin Willard: Saigon... Shit... I'm still only in Saigon... Every time I think I'm going to wake up back in the jungle.

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(Source: www.hadleighhistory.org.uk)

And every minute Charlie squats in the bush he gets stronger. Each time I look around the walls move in a little tighter...

Pig after pig, cow after cow, village after village, army after army... and they call me an assassin. Lt. Col. Kilgore: I am beyond their timed, lying morality.

Lt. Col. Kilgore: I am beyond their timid lying morality, and so I am beyond caring. Lt. Col. Kilgore: I love the smell of napalm in the morning.

Colonel Kurtz: You're an Erin Boy.... Sent By Grocery Clerks.... To Collect The Bill... You're an errand boy, sent by grocery clerks, to collect a bill.

Benjamin Willard: They said you'd gone totally insane and that your methods were... unsound. Benjamin Willard: They said you'd gone totally insane and that your methods were, unsound.

Lt. Col. Kilgore: I asked for a mission and for my sins they gave me one. Pig after pig... cow after cow... village after village... army after army...

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