Monday, September 21, 2009

Which portrayal of characterization is better?

Watch the following two interpretations of the opening of Ibsen's A Doll's House & respond to the prompt below:

Directed by George Schaefer; Julie Harris as Nora and Christopher Plummer as Torvald (1959)

Directed by Patrick Garland; Claire Bloom as Nora and Anthony Hopkins as Torvald (1973)

Objective: Watch the following two versions (posted above) from the opening of Ibsen's A Doll's House and argue which of the two videos is the best interpretation of either Nora or Torvald's character.
  • Offering your opinion on this subject with specific reasons on why will help you craft a sophisticated thesis.
  • The rest of your essay will go into detail explaining your thesis.
Your critique of the video must be based on your knowledge and understanding of the passage, so you must provide textual evidence from A Doll's House as well as provide descriptions of the video. (I can't watch the video and read your post at the same time, so you need to make me see what you see with your words. It will also help you to take notes on the video while you watch it. Pay attention to what you captures your attention. Notice what you notice!)

Pay attention to:
  • delivery of the lines
  • imagery the setting / scenery
  • the portrayal of the actor
  • lighting & camera effects
  • sound effects or music

You have the names of the actors and the directors. Make it clear whether you are commenting on Ibsen, the director, the characters, or the actors.

It should be about 1,000 words. Edit and put spaces between paragraphs before you post please!

These should take more than one sitting to complete and show some depth and organizational structure.

I am well aware that neither video follows that play exactly. Your objective is not to point out the differences from the text. Your objective is listed above.

You have until Wednesday 9.30.09 @ noon to complete this assignment.
It is worth 100 points and will be graded by the following rubric.

Post your comments here:


johnny b 6 said...

Johnny Birindiba Period 6 9/24/09

Of the two opening of Ibsen's A Doll's House i think the second one had the best interpretation of Nora. The reason why i think this is that in the clip it shows Nora trying to get attenchion from Torvald. Another reason why i think the second video clip is better is because it shows Nora with some expensive cloths on. One last reason why i think the second vedio clip is better is because shes lies to Torvald.

One reason why i think the second video clips of Ibsen's A Doll House is the fact that Nora does the squirrel impression just to get money off of Torvald. In the video clip Nora starts to do an impression of a squirrel and Torvald gets up from his chair and goes behind Nora. Once Torvald got behind Nora he took out some money from his pocket. When Nora saw the money in Torvald's hand she jumped all over him and gave him a hug and was super super happy. This part of the video clip shows that Nora loves money and would do anything to get money. Claire Bloom played Nora very well in this secne because she made Nora look like a girl that loves money and is super super happy when she gets money and thats how the book portrays Nora as a character.

Another reason why i think the second video clip of Ibsen's A Dolls House is that Nora comes in her house dressed up with all these expensvie looking cloths. In the video clip Nora comes from outside then into her house with this furry jacket, furry hat, lots of chrismis presents. From the looks of this it shows us thats Nora loves to spend her money on expensive cloths but also thinks about the children to. Claire Bloom also did and great job of Nors in this clip because she walks in the house with all these fancy cloths and all these chrismis presents. This shows us that Nora wastes all her money on expensive clothing and can never really save her money because shes to busy spending it and thats what the book also portrays Nora as a character.

One last reason why I think the second clip of Ibsen's A Dolls House is that Nora is lying to Torvald. In the beginning of the clip nora eats a makaron behind Torvalds back and hides the bag of makarons from Torvald. Later on in the clip it shows that Torvald asks Nora if she hade a makaron today and of course Nora said no to Torvald and lied right into Torvalds face. Right when Nora said no Torvald put his finger on Nora's lips and licked his finger tasting the makaron crums and knowing that Nora still lied to Torvald, he still forgives Nora and gives her a hug. Once again Claire Bloom played a great job of Nora in this clip because she did a great job of lying in Torvalds face. This shows us that Nora would lie just to get out of a sticky situation she got herslef into.

Those are my three main reason why the second video clip of Ibsen's A Dolls House had the best interpretation of Nora

Kayla said...

Based on my observations between the two film representations of Ibsen's play A Doll's House, I believe that Patrick Garland's film featured a better representation of Nora. There were various aspects of Nora's character that I thought matched the way she was depicted in the play; escepicially in the portrayal of the actor.

The way that Clair Bloom embodied Nora's character was the first thing that stood out to me. As the scene opens with Nora's entrance, with her arms full of boxes and the excited expression on her face shows how she feels about her wealth. Money seems to be a very important factor in Nora's life. Also, the portrayal of happiness depicts how Nora is always happy on the outside, she always wants to create the effect that she is satisfied with her life, no matter what the circumstances. And even though her relationship with Torvald was bad, she always seemed over-affectionate to Torvald, more so than in the other film, and I think that really helped the understanding of Nora's motives. I also picked up on the little affectionate games in the film that Torvald would play with Nora with money. Hanging money over her head is almost symbolic, it shows what their relationship is actually like.

The tone of Nora's voice and the delivery of the lines also played a large part in introducing Nora's character. The way Claire Bloom used changed from speaking affectionately to Torvald to seemingly helpless and needy was excellent. It shows the audience Nora's true colors and how she outwardly expresses her deceptive personality. Rather than in Schaefer's film, Julie Harris sort of had that clipped tone throughout the whole clip.

I also thought that some of the imagery in this particular film matched some of the textual description in the play as well. On the top of page 3 it mentions that the room was furnished "comfortably" and "tastefully", and in Patrick Garland's film there seemed like there was much more furniture, it looked more like a real home and taking the advantage of using colors in this film made the room seem a lot warmer and comfortable.

The lighting and camera effects worked really well in setting the scene, as compared to George Schaefer's film. In Garland's film I noticed that the use of rich tones and winter colors represented the lavish lifestyle in which Nora liked to live. Money is a very significant part to Nora's life and the rich colors show that she has no boundaries to her spend limits and she loves it. In terms of camera effects, Garland's film was more focused on Nora and Torvald, rather than Schaefer's film, which sort of focused on Nora and her relationship with the children. However, both films were pretty straightforward with panning at Nora's entrance, as to make it clear that she is the main focus.

Although both films had very different takes on the same character, Garland's film represented Nora more affectively to the audience. Overall, Garland's film better portrayed Nora as compared to Nora character in the text.

tenzin2 said...

From the two vedios of A Dolls house,I think that the video with the color one which claire bloom plays as Nora represent the best.
The reason i think is beacuse Nora is very passionate about the money as well as she is very energetic at her every act.And one
more thing she is very smart and she tries to trick Torvald in everyway that includes money.
As I said that Nora is really energetic as well as more lively character because she got so energy at what ever she does When she
was telling Torvald about how she dicorate the christmas tree(pg.8)Even showing tolvald the gifts she bought it for everybody."yes yes it will.
but come here and let me show you what I bought. (pg.7).In this part she shows that how energetic she is.Even at the first when she
enters the house her body language makes me sure that she got lots n lots of energy.In the play where claire bloom plays as Nora, her squirrel way of act that
makes her more energetic and more cheerful .
The second reason why i found her represent the best is the way she is passionate about the money.The way she always talk about the money.Even
when Torvald asked her what she wanted she said she wants money .That shows her how desperate she is about the money and she shows different kind of
traits to get money from the Torvald.The way her smooth voice towards Torvald particularly shows that she wanted money desperately.She also jumps up
when he shows the money around her and she just goes through him just to grap the money.(pg.7).This all also shows that she loves money so much
that she can do anything for the money and even trick her husband.
The another reason I think that represent her best is that the way she tricks Torvald.The way she shows torvald with various deeds like with smooth talk and
moving her hand around his neck, hugging him and so.Even acting as she was angry with him and Torvald fall into her tricks (pg.7).At the same time she is also
really smart as she tricks Torvalds all the time.One things stood upon me that their relation seems so weird as Torvald treats her like a children like playing
her with the money on her head and calling her with nicknames like skylark and squirral.Even with that kind of relation Nora tricks her husband so easily.
Her oversmart comes out with her benefit.I also strongly agree that she even lies to her husband as she hide the chocolate macaroon from her husband because
Torvald disapprove her eating the macaroon(pg.9)
As in the color one the background of the house and the way the things are placed in the house look like they are rich compare to the other video because hte other
one with the of george schafer's video looks so dull and also the things look like they are from the middle class.And that makes so differece between the both videos.
In the george schafer movie he also shows the children and the way she treats her children but in then patrick garland movie it only focused on the Nora and Torvald.
The both movie shows different prtraits starting from color ,the backround,the people and so .And as i choose the patrick garland movie I strongly think that this one
shows the better characterization than the other with the george schafer one.

marthyk2 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
marthyk2 said...

The video directed by Patrick Garland and acted by Claire Bloom as Nora and Anthony Hopkins as Torvaldo at 1973 has a better interpretation than the other video. There are lot of reasons that does not have to do only with the words of the character that we read on the book. I can call those others reasons “directing” conditions or selecting actors . Some of the reasons are the time of the movie (1973) and the using of colors. It makes more interesting to the viewers to watch the movie. And another fact is the age between Claire and Anthony it seems like he is around 10 or more years older than her and it really makes me interested to watch the relationship between this couple.

During reading the book we see Nora as a character that loves the money and the only thing that she thinks is how to spend them. This is showed on the movie since on the beginning when she enters on her house with all those big boxes with presents for her childrens, husband and others things for the house. The other way is her clothes and her beautiful hair that seemed like just came from the permanent. I think that those are some of the facts that the very first seconds can make us or lets say better me to think what Claire’s represent on the movie. If we compare with the book on the first half of page 7, when Torvaldo asked “Nora, what do you think I have got here? (pg.7)”, is acted in a great way by Claire. Claire’s act makes everyone to think that she never had seen in her life money . She acts like a little baby, very happy and kind of jumping and hugging Anthony. Than in the movie we watched she takes Anthony hands and heads to the living room to show all the presents that she had bought and during this time she was explaining to him the presents.

During explaining the presents Anthony asks Claire what she wants for Christmas presents. And kind of surprising she tells that she wants nothing. I mean surprising because how come someone like her to want nothing for presents. Of course Claire is much smarter than everyone else that would say a present. She tells Anthony that she wants money. It is true that this is not a big surprise since we know what’s her reaction towards the money. On the movie she answers the same as does Nora does on the book “ You might give me money, Torvaldo. Only as much as you can afford; and then one of these days I will buy something with it” (pg 6-7)”. Exactly during watching this part on the movie we see Claire acting so lovely to him, she goes and hugs him and talk to him so smoothly and nice trying to make him to give her again money. But on the movie we see clear Anthony’s face that is an unhappy one.


marthyk2 said...


On the beginning of the play we understood that she lied Torvaldo. One of the reasons that I personally thought was because she ate the macaroons and than hide it. Than during the play on the page 6 that Torvaldo says to her that they still should not spend money recklessly she answer that they can borrow money. But as we know from the play Torvaldo does not want to borrow money. Than during reading Nora’s conversation with Krogstad we learned that the man that she borrowed money was him. So that means that Nora was not only lying for the fact that she ate macaroons but she was lying her husband for something more important borrowing money. It is true that I did not watch the movie that far but I mention the fact of the money that she borrowed because Claire acts very nice when she tells Anthony to borrow the money. I mean nice because when Anthony says exactly what Torvaldo says on the play, that what would happen if he would borrow money and a slate fell on is head and killed him, she react kind of hide but lovely on the same time. The way she acts, even if I had not read the part that Nora had borrow money, would make me think that she was hiding something else to Anthony. The time that she was hugging or smiling to him seemed like it was something fake. Than on the play Torvaldo asked Nora “Hasn’t Miss Sweet-Tooth been breaking rules in the town to-day” (pg.9)”. On the movie Anthony with a little bit of difference in the words asks the same thing and of course Claire lies to him that no she did not broke the rules. This makes much more strong the fact that she lies her husband. But from Anthony’s reaction, when she tells him that she did not ate any macaroons or any other candy at all, it seems that he wants to show to the viewers that he know that she lies her for the macaroons but she wants to make her to believe that she can lie him.

As a closing paragraph I think that those are some of the reasons why I like this movie better. Because it doesn’t show only the fact that she loves money and wants to spend them but in the same time it shows that she hides something to Anthony. Something that only by reading the book can not be understandable. And the way of her acting like a playful makes me to think that for her its kind of easy to lie poor Anthony because she knows how to make him to go towards her but sometimes she seems kind of open and thinks before speaking to him or some moments on the movie she looks like she is talking to him but in real her mind in some where else. So I think that the all idea of the play written by Henrik Ibsen or the movie directed by Patrick Garland is to show us the way that Nora (on the book) or Claire (on the movie) lies to her husband and not only the fact that she loves moneys.