Les Blancs on NT Live

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I neglected this until today, but I’m halfway through and this play is spellbinding. I hope I get to write something about it, but whether I do or don’t there’s about a day left to see it. Watch it if you haven’t.

 

~ by Servetus on July 8, 2020.

24 Responses to “Les Blancs on NT Live”

  1. I’ve watched it twice. It is spellbinding. Even my husband and daughter watched it. Need to again as it’s just a few hours left.

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    • I hope you got it in again. But I suspect it will be easier to see in future (maybe I’m wrong of course) — the NT essentially destroyed a lot of its market for repeat cinema transmissions of these pieces.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I did get to see it. Thanks. I’m ignorant to that fact, why would they do that?
        How did you find it?
        I found it so hard to explain all of the whys to my daughter as we viewed this piece. She is still so innocent and in her eyes and world, no one is cruel.

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        • I’ll write a review shortly (I hope. Currently grading discussion on the “social contract”).

          re: why make all this stuff available? I’m not sure but I suspect they were hoping for donations. Also they are partially subsidized with public money so there was probably some expectation that they contribute to the “lockdown effort.” But it’s hard to see how people will now want to pay $25 a ticket in a regular cinema to see this stuff. I suspect it will show up on a streaming service in the near future (or some of it will).

          re: “whys” — I was thinking it was interesting/upsetting to watch this in the context of the current BLM furor in the US. She was originally writing this in response to Genet’s Les Negres (which i haven’t seen) and that must have been an interesting context, too — it was a popular play and several of the American actors who’d been in the Genet version on Broadway were also in either Raisin or the original production of Les Blancs in NYC. But it seems to me like what was timely 50-70 years ago is still timely today. If I say I’m relieved that your daughter isn’t yet sensitized to all this it sounds like a copout on my part as I’d hoped we’d have made the world better by now. On some level it is a very cruel play but also a very pointblank one. Farber intensifies that. I read yesterday that Farber doesn’t make subtle theater, but rather powerful theater.

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  2. Ooh! Thanks for sharing!

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    • Unfortunately I waited until the day before it disappears to tell you, but if you saw it I hope you found it worthwhile!

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  3. Wish I could… the internet is the one thing here that just sucks. Can’t watch YouTube or Netflix, unfortunately.

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    • I honestly think these will get easier to see via streaming now (although I looked in many places for a torrent of this and the only one I found did not have any seeders). Also, after spending an insane amount of time at the screen this spring I think reading is better for the brain — and relaxation. I managed to read a book again last week!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I read a book this week, too! First one in a long while. I didn’t realize your reading had slowed down, too. I’ve been watching more TV, as I just can’t seem to focus on a book. That screen time for work, though, is really draining. Some days I have meetings on Zoom or Teams from 9 until 2 and feel just exhausted. It’s just not the same as seeing people in person.

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        • there was no time during the semester, then I was just burnt out for a while — played a lot of Candy Crush Soda Saga — and then discovered a channel that plays ST reruns from 7 to midnight every night. So I was playing Soda Saga while watching ST. Now I am teaching again and my intellectual / cultural life seems to be returning to normal.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. I saw this in London when it was on stage and again yesterday. It really packs a punch. It is a real loss to the art world that Lorraine Hansberry died so young.

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    • Indeed — I was only familiar with Raisin in the Sun (via the movie with Sidney Poitier) and To Be Young, Gifted, and Black. I am not sure why I never read this. A lot of Armitage fans saw this in London iirc. There was one in particular who was really moved by it — became a kind of Farber fan girl.

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    • oh: and i saw the PBS documentary on her in the American Masters series.

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  5. Thank you very much for the link! Have downloaded the play and will definitely watch it as soon as I have time.

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    • Thanks for getting me off my rear end to find a new YT downloader. I honestly never thought they would make it downloadable.

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  6. It was exceptional. I need to get the script to savor Hansberry’s text. Was sad not to see it live so I was excited when I saw it was online for a week. Have now seen two original Farber plays in person and two plays (including Crucible online) where she directed other’s work. She’s clearly superior doing the latter.

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