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Matthew Freeman is a Brooklyn based playwright with a BFA from Emerson College. His plays include THE DEATH OF KING ARTHUR, REASONS FOR MOVING, THE GREAT ESCAPE, THE AMERICANS, THE WHITE SWALLOW, AN INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR, THE MOST WONDERFUL LOVE, WHEN IS A CLOCK, GLEE CLUB, THAT OLD SOFT SHOE and BRANDYWINE DISTILLERY FIRE. He served as Assistant Producer and Senior Writer for the live webcast from Times Square on New Year's Eve 2010-2012. As a freelance writer, he has contributed to Gamespy, Premiere, Complex Magazine, Maxim Online, and MTV Magazine. His plays have been published by Playscripts, Inc., New York Theatre Experience, and Samuel French.

Friday, March 28, 2008

It's Friday. Endless.

I'm sitting here staring at the clock in my cubicle. So here's the deal.

Ask me a question and I will answer it. For you. For you because I care about you.

Leave me this question in the comments section below. Anything you like. I am very good at answering questions about relationships, Star Wars and Professional Wrestling.

Also... the Theatre.

Let me entertain you. Let me make life just a little bit better for you.

54 comments:

Anonymous said...

Where can I get a hat like this?

http://www.nexternal.com/armynavy/images/campaign-hats.gif

Freeman said...

Perhaps and Army/Navy Store? There's one on 5th and 9th in Brooklyn and also one on 42nd between 8th and 9th in Manhattan.

That's you, isn't it Kyle.

Kyle said...

Yeah, it's me.

[sips tea]

At least we know now. Listen up, blog fans. It's called a "campaign hat".

Anonymous said...

Where are the Snowdens of yesteryear?

Freeman said...

Where are the Snowdens of yesteryear?

Defending the earth from Giant Robots from near the core of Jupiter.

Anonymous said...

What can I do to make Kyle love me?

Freeman said...

Kyle cannot love. I'm sorry.

Ian Mackenzie said...

What is your opinion of Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas?

David D. said...

Isn't the Lords Work good enough for you on a Friday? It was good enough for Jesus

Freeman said...

Sif-Dyas was killed ten years ago.

Honest opinion: Clearly they called him Sido-Dyas or "SIDIOUS" in an earlier draft and it was deemed confusing or obvious and they changed it to make the whole thing more cryptic and mysterious.

Yes, yes I do have an opinion on it.

Watch the scene in Attack of the Clones whenever they say Sifo-Dyas. Pick up shots. Clearly.

Freeman said...

Jesus died at 33. He worked very hard. I hope to last longer.

Ian Mackenzie said...

OK. Nice answer Matt. Here's another question:

In your opinion, is there a single moment in the first three films (I, II, III) during which the balance of power tips in favour of the Sith?

Let's say you had to pick one moment . . .

Freeman said...

Well there are tons of them. You could point, simply, to the creation of an army and a commitment to War as a moment that the Sith tip the balance. Or the moment that the Jedi USE the Clones to help them... which Yoda rightly calls a failing.

Or you could say the moment that Palpatine is elected. Which happens off screen but is, in essence, the uber-plot of the first film.

Or you could look at the moment in Episode III where Palpatine creates "The Galactic Empire," declaring the Jedi the enemy of the Republic and Padme says "This is how liberty dies, with thunderous applause."

Or Order 66.

Pick one?

I'd say the most significant moment, as opposed to the cinematic ally highlighted ones, is simply that Palpatine becomes Chancellor in Episode I. In that moment, unbeknownst to our heroes, the leader of the Republic becomes a Sith Lord. They're in deep shit from the start.

Which is why it's called "The Phantom Menace."

mattj said...

Ok a professional wrestling question.......

Is a WWE wrestler more marketable as a Heel, or as a fan favorite "good guy" ?

David Johnston said...

Is it true that Star Wars mythology embraces a lot of fascism?

Freeman said...

Ahem. Flip that. "A sith lord becomes leader of the Republic."

Freeman said...

To the fascism question: I'd say so, but no more so than most mythology. Look at King Arthur. There is a sense of manifest destiny and fate and family blood lines that is, if not fascist, a bit authoritarian. And the final scenes in the first film are clearly influenced by Triumph of the Will, visually.

If anything though, the prequels are fundamentally about how Democracy falls apart. It's far from pro-fascist. It's a commentary on how fascism overtakes a democracy.

David Johnston said...

I really need to sit down and watch them sometime.

Freeman said...

To the "heel" very Good Guy question -

The term for "good guy" in "insider wrestling" speak is "baby face."

The fact is, the answer to this question changes. Both Steve Austin and the Rock, who became huge fan favorites and made more money than Hulk Hogan ever did, were booked as heels and became so "cool" that the fans just started cheering them and turned them "babyface."

that's not how things worked in the 80s. In the 80s you had Hogan, booked as a Reagan-era pro-American, Russian Fighting, Rocky-Type. He was "good" and won all the time.

I think it matches the era. In the 90s, the anti-hero was in. And so it was "in" in pro-wrestling.

My guess is that right now... you need to be booked as a winner. The traditional "face" vs "heel" stuff is really dying out. Especially in the face of the popularity of UFC.

Freeman said...

Johnston! You have not seen STAR WARS?!

David Johnston said...

I saw the first one. It was cute.

Christine said...

**Ahem**

Laura Desmond has never seen a Star Wars movie either...

Freeman said...

We are having a Star Wars day at my house. You are all (meaning the entire internet) invited. Because you need some FRIGGIN' CULTURAL LITERACY!

(SOBS)

Ian Mackenzie said...

Awesome!

Here's another Star Wars question, this one a little less plot-oriented:

How do you feel about the idea that the Sith represent evil, and the Jedi represent good? Why the absolutes when so much of the Star Wars story centres around the choices made along the path? Why don't we have more jedi-sith who are somewhere in between?

Freeman said...

I think the eventual conclusion of the story is that the diametrically opposed forces are a problem. Yoda's advice to Anakin in the prequels and the overall Jedi dogma becomes inhuman (don't worry about someone dying) and ultimately fails. If you look at the Jedi in the prequels, they ultimately fail to persuade Anakin, and wind up getting fooled and killed and sent into exile. Their absolutely certainty in their own goodness is a blind spot.

Anakin Skywalker's ultimate destiny is not to destroy the Sith anyhow. It's to bring "balance to the force" (as is said in Episode I). What does he do? Lives a good life, makes really human idiotic mistakes with too much power, embraces the dark side, does a lot of harm, and ultimately is redeemed by his son, who is far from a pure, dogmatic Jedi Code kinda kid.

Sure you have to be brave, and stand up for your principles and battle the bad guys who are doing wrong. In the end, though, it's not Good Guys versus Bad Guys that wins the day. It's transcending the fight and working through ambiguity.

That's my view anyway.

Ian Mackenzie said...

Nicely done! And informative. Thank you.

Freeman said...

I feel vaguely humiliated, but that's ok. I deserve it.

Matthew said...

I have one I have one.

Ok. Is George Lucas an artist who produces his best work under restriction and adversity, rather than unlimited resources and total freedom? Episode IV was instantly hailed as a sci-fi masterpiece, despite Lucas's chagrin toward his rather limited budget and technological capabilites. Once Lucas and his film company became mega-successful, Lucas went back to "fix" Ep. IV, V, and VI, and few of the fixes lent much to the movies, and many were openly scorned. Likewise, Ep. I, II, and III, made with limitless budgets and seemingly limitless technological capabilities, were cooly received by many critics and average movie-goers. Do some artists excel most when they are restrained, whether by choice or no?

Freeman said...

Matthew -

Depends on how you measure "success." To listen to Lucas, the movies are his, the first ones weren't what he actually wanted, and these are more like the movies he saw in his head. So, maybe he FEELS more successful. And not all the changes were terrible.

Some, though, were. And some ideas should be put through a filter. If you look at the original designs of Chewbacca and Han Solo and Luke Skywalker, they were more complex and imaginative, but less straightforward and iconic than the actual items wound up being. I think it's not possible to argue that having some editor helps the creative process, and the prequels have some ill-conceived notions in them that were allowed to see the light of day because of the technology.

But I also think the kvetching about the new movies was built into the project. I think it's more complex than the limitations... I think the story Lucas was trying to tell with later films was different and didn't necessarily play to his strengths as a director in places. I also think he was more directly aping the "Saturday Morning Serial Style" in the later ones, and that's not actually a very pretty style for a modern audience if you watch those movies (and I sure have.)

I think that he was purposefully testing the limits of new technology, and that he wanted to make strides in digital film-making in the same way that the originals led the way for special effects. So he did find, in some ways, the limits of what those could do.

Froggeh said...

What was the deal with midichlorines? Do you really test positive for jedi?

David Johnston said...

He made "Howard the Duck" too, right?

Freeman said...

The Midichlorians thing was actually an attempt for Lucas to tie one of the major, and often missed, themes of The Phantom Menace into the Jedi Mythology.

Throughout The Phantom Menace, the Jedi are trying to reconcile an issue between the surface dwellers of Naboo, and the Gungans. The Jedi argue that the Naboo and Gungans and a Symbiotic relationship, and that "What happens to one will affect the other." It's his message to the kids... "You can't just take care of yourself first, you have to think of those who affect you. We're in a complex ecosystem." Or whatever.

When Anakin asks Qui-Gon Jinn what Midichlorians are, he uses the same language. He says "We are symbiotes with them. Life forms living together for mutual advantage."

Midichlorians live inside your cells and speak to you about the will of the force. If you have a lot of the, I guess, they're either attracted to you because they're force sensitive and the force is flowing through you in a big way; or the force is easier for you to feel because you have a lot of them in your cells. It's not made clear in the movies which.

Anyway, it does sort of undercut the magic a bit and I was never a huge fan of the concept. But it was actually intended to speak to the "symbiote" theme, and speak to why family members have similar force-sensitivity, I assume. It was supposed to compare these little creatures in cells and the Naboo/Gungan "mutual advantage" relationship.

Freeman said...

Yes, David Johnston. Yes he did.

At least, he produced it.

And it sucks. I've seen it twice.

Michael said...

Dude, you are hilarious. Why are you so damn funny?

Freeman said...

Because I am willing to show you that I have really, really wasted a lot of time that I will never get back.

The last visual montage I have before death will include Luke Skywalker saying "I was never a real person, you dope."

David Johnston said...

You haven't wasted the time. Clearly, it's fed your soul and your creativity in a very specific way. It's not like you were - I don't know - running guns or exploiting children or working for the Bush administration. As time-wasters go, it sounds wonderfully benign. I just don't understand half the words, but hey I love lots of weird shit.

Freeman said...

Jesus Christ Johnston. Thank you for saying that.

*Sobs*

I feel just like that Ewok must've when he tried to wake up his little friend Ewok in Return of the Jedi after they got shot up by an AT-ST.

That's low, you know? Shooting teddy bears.

*SOBS HARDER*

Troubador said...

Why has no one asked any questions about theatre?

Freeman said...

Because the Theatre doesn't have answers...only more questions.

Troubador said...

Yes...that response was entertaining and my life is better for it. Many thanks.

Freeman said...

Troubador - I know you ask only that I live up to my own standards.

Alison Croggon said...

Is Indiana Jones going to be worth the popcorn? Am I right to be excited or will it all be a horrible let down?

Freeman said...

Alison -

I'd say, Check out the other ones first. Good plan always. I've watched them. They're great. But are they Oscar movies? No. They're super fun

This will be too, I hope. My thought is: Spielberg is directing it. If there's one thing that guy knows how to do, it's entertain.

Russ Marcel said...

I've loved this discussion, by the way.

I have a theatre question for you. I need to direct a drama this fall at the high school where I teach. I want to do something that excites me...my last 2 plays have not. I can't do Shakespeare because we're doing R&J in 2009 (long story). I need a biggish cast because my last one was so small (around 15 is ideal, but by no means required). SO, I'm leaning toward Pirandello's Six Characters in Search of an Author. Thoughts?

I know Matt will try to sell me on The Death of King Arthur, which I WILL do someday...we just don't have the right actors for it right now. But do you have any other suggestions?

Our past few dramas: Spring Awakening, Inherit the Wind, A Few Good Men, Dead Man Walking, Translations, etc.

This may lead to a discussion about the favorite plays you did in high school, which would be great. Plays, not musicals, please.

Freeman said...

I think everyone should take a crack at Russ's question. I may even make it it's own post.

Laura said...

Which did you prefer back in the day: WWF (WWE) or WCW? And why did you prefer it?

Ian G. said...

Wow, I'm kinda loving this "school play" question...

Let's see, judging from the past few plays they seem like a pretty sophisticated bunch. Think they could handle "Arcadia"?

My high school's drama program was really ambitious; favorite experiences included "Amadeus" and "Nicholas Nickleby".

David D. said...

Re: Russ' high-school play question.

The Crucible is an oldie, but it has a lot of parts. Same is true of Amadeus, which Ian mentioned. I forget how mature the content gets (maybe Trumbull can remind us) but Saroyan's The Time of Your Life has a lot of great characters and a big, ensemble feel.

David Johnston said...

Re Russ' question on plays for the kids - you can't go wrong with Time of Your Life, Our Town or Dark of the Moon.

Troubador said...

A couple of English plays that have flexible casting options and are great for teenagers.

After Liverpool by James Saunders.

The Arbor by Andrea Dunbar.

Christine said...

Noises Off!

Freeman said...

Laura -

I was, like a lot of people, raised on WWE. But when I was just getting into it there was also NWA, which eventually became WCW. NWA was great. WCW, in its heyday, was actually like a WWE Clone with the NWA history in its wake. WCW was popular, but dumb as a post.

WWE, for all its faults, is really all that's left these days. It can be good, and it can be bad. But mostly, it's been my favorite for years.

Laura said...

I know it's not a question, but I need to tell you that I miss the Dusty Rhodes years, when he was the booker. I miss the hokey cliff-hangers when the guy gets beaten up and then the program ends before you know what happened.

I totally miss Missy Hyatt. I think it sucks that Woman was murdered.

I tried TNA but I didn't like the wierd shape of the ring.

So here's my question. Why do you think so many pro-wrestlers have died tragically? Chris Benoit, etc. Any thoughts about it other than steroid abuse?

russmarcel said...

Thanks, all, for your suggestions. I'd LOVE to do Amadeus, but we just don't have a Salieri right now...some day. I will do Arcadia soon. Noises Off was one of my favorites too, and we did a 4-hour version of the RSC Nickelby about 8 years ago. I'll look into the others...THANKS!!!!