25.4.05

Italian Futurists and the Sintesi

Recently, in my regional identities in Italian drama class we've been examining the Futurist movement that originated in Italy around the early part of the 20th century. It was a new "art" form that cast off all previous notions of what was "art". You can only imagine then, what these so-called "artists" proceeded to create. The movement created several manifestoes to lay out all that Futurism entailed. So, let them tell you what the movement was all about: Futurism emphasized...
the power, force and motion of machinery combined with the contemporary
fascination with speed while at the same tim denouncing 'static' art of the past
and the passeist (or old-fashioned) establishment.
Now, this wasn't all that it entailed, for the Futurists also
promoted the glorification of war, the denigration (raping) of women and the
favoring of Fascism while also using the vilification of artistic tradition 'to
destroy the museums, libraries and academies of every kind'.
Well, I guess you could say that Futurists were the antithesis of the hippie movement from the 60's. Oh, and they also produced some pretty crazy plays and poems. Basically, gibberish and nonsense were viewed as "higher art". No joke...there were some real nutjobs in the genre.

Anyway, our teacher asked us to make a Futurist play. After hearing some examples of Futurist sintesi (that's the word for plays in Futurist lingo), I did not worry too much about my task. To let you know just how easy it could be, some plays could literally take 30 seconds long. Futurists were all about condensing and cutting to the chase. I guess I could enjoy them from that aspect, but they took it to the extreme. One play is just a dog crossing the street - that's it - curtain closes, go home.

Well, I proceeded to write a play roughly 10 minutes before class. Simple enough, right? Gibberish isn't that hard to spit out. That being said, here is my Futurist piece:

"Demonstratives"

Setting: A small park with benches strewn down a stretch of trail. Two old people are sitting on a bench watching those who pass by.

Old Man: It might rain tomorrow.
Old Woman: If the sky is red it might, but only in the morning.
Old Man: The people who walk past us are slowly dying in a pool of mixed passions. They live for all that is wrong.

Old Woman: What are we then, but mere pawns in a disillusioned game of life?
Old Man: Rather, we are what wills us…(a long pause)…it might rain tomorrow.

CURTAIN

Teacher's Notes: "About 20 years after Futurism, the Absurdists were the next big theatrical avant-garde; this piece seems to be a good mix of the two! (Absurdists were basically existentialists). Smudges are a nice touch!!"

I should add that I smudged the ink after I printed the document to give it a "Futurist" look. They were known for their odd artwork as well...So, pretty decent for someone with no previous Futurist experience eh? And I even mixed art forms in there! Funny, I didn't know I had any absurdist in me...

If you want more info on the Italian Futurist movement, you can always find stuff about them online.



1 comment:

Michael Schmid said...

Very thought-provoking stuff that play of yours... A+ from me, but a little bit more action in the next one please!