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Breaking the Fourth Wall


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3 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

Wikipedia makes mention of Olivier's importation of the stage technique to film being noteworthy (keep in mind that even the term "fourth wall" originated with the theater, as the fourth wall was the invisible barrier between the play's action and the audience):

"Olivier made the unusual decision to deliver his soliloquies by directly addressing the film audience, something not often done before in film."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_III_(1955_film)#Filming

Here's an entire article on "the fourth wall":

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourth_wall

If I were in the audience and saw Lawrence Olivier in his portrayal of King Richard III speaking directly to me about his desires to marry the Queen Anne, I might readily and instinctively understand that it is a transfer from stage to movie with the result that I may not be much surprised by it. If I were in the audience and someone portraying King Henry XVI kisses the Vestal Virgin and then turns to me and says, "It's good to be King,"  I might in fact be more surprised by this type of fourth wall breakage and maybe even appreciate it more because it came from an original screenplay. (It's funnier too.)

Actually I thought all that info was overkill because I felt the meager scope of my post did not entail all that nor was meant to. I know you meant well but I felt preached at. I think I'm being too sensitive. Actually I have read the Wiki article and remember the origin story regarding the stage. It's certainly no surprise. But I'm surprised that the Olivier instance be considered such a breakthrough. They did that in the play, after all, lol. Of more interest to me are the earliest examples that occur in "regular" films.

While watching Marriage, Italian Style, I kept waiting for Sophia to talk me through the Fourth Wall, but she never did.

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3 minutes ago, laffite said:

Actually I thought all that info was overkill because I felt the meager scope of my post did not entail all that nor was meant to. I know you meant well but I felt preached at.

Okay, thanks. I'm finished.

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  • 1 year later...

While watching THE DEVIL AND DANIEL WEBSTER last week, I thought of this thread from a few years back.

*Fast forward to the 1:40 marker.

 

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