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Old 23rd March 2017, 08:27 PM   #201
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
FFS, its not my perception that counts, WHAT DICKENS WROTE DOES!!!

Having black or Asian characters in a Regency/Victorian novel would have been something highly remarkable. If any of the children or characters in his ORIGINAL story had been black or Asian, Dickens would have made that clear.. He didn't, so there weren't any.... its that simple!
And so.... NOW it appears to be "fealty to the original" and not "historical accuracy". Yet, below, you said that historical accuracy was the most important thing.




Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
Its nothing to do with whether they are fictional characters/drama or that Dickensian London is some kind of "holy of holies". Its a historical drama, in a historical setting and above all I want historical accuracy; I value this in a drama above all else...it means Oliver Twist cannot be played by a black/Asian child actor because there were no black/Asian children in London orphanages in the early 19th century.
<snip>
Because, you realize, Dickens was not historically accurate at all times. There were anywhere between ten and thirty thousand blacks living in London during the period of Oliver Twist. They were largely poor and they would have most certainly been in and of the areas frequented by Dodger, Bill, Nancy, Fagin and other cohorts.

Further, I'm not discussing changing their characters or the words written by Dickens, merely changing their skin color. I think the actors should be noticeably English, preferably with recognizable London working/poor accents.
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Old Yesterday, 12:41 AM   #202
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
Yes. I am 100% certain I meant it.

I expect the setting and the details of that setting to be accurate from a historical perspective. This is necessary to maintain credibility of the story. You are as likely to find a black or Asian child in an orphanage in 1820 as you are to find an electric range in its kitchen.

You might accept the stretching of artistic license to encompass the impossible... I don't!
But the work was fiction when it was written and published, it was not even meant to be an accurate historical tale, it was meant to be frothy entertainment. The equivalent of a TV soap today.
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Old Yesterday, 12:44 AM   #203
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
FFS, its not my perception that counts, WHAT DICKENS WROTE DOES!!!

Having black or Asian characters in a Regency/Victorian novel would have been something highly remarkable. If any of the children or characters in his ORIGINAL story had been black or Asian, Dickens would have made that clear.. He didn't, so there weren't any.... its that simple!
Quite serious question is there anything in the text that states Twist was white?
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Old Yesterday, 12:48 AM   #204
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Quite serious question is there anything in the text that states Twist was white?
In a time/place where the default was very much "white" - and with an author like Dickens who delighted in thumbnails of his characters, should one assume that a character is white unless noted otherwise ?
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Old Yesterday, 01:15 AM   #205
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
In a time/place where the default was very much "white" - and with an author like Dickens who delighted in thumbnails of his characters, should one assume that a character is white unless noted otherwise ?
Well surely you should assume it doesn't actually matter unless it does for some reason.

Or ask why you are doing Dickens yet again instead of something new?
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Old Yesterday, 01:25 AM   #206
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Originally Posted by Archie Gemmill Goal View Post
Well surely you should assume it doesn't actually matter unless it does for some reason.
I suppose it comes down to how "true" to the book do you want the adaptation to be.

There's no obligation to have characters the same gender, age, race, species as the original book but every change moves you further from the original. IMO if the whole story is being re-imagined and re-staged then such changes are less jarring but in principle there's nothing to prevent Oliver Twist being played by a non-white actor, a female actor or even an adult actor.

Originally Posted by Archie Gemmill Goal View Post
Or ask why you are doing Dickens yet again instead of something new?
You could ask the same quation about many things. Why are they doing Hamlet again instead of a new piece, why are we getting the Ring Cycle again instead of a new opera, why are we getting yet another Mozart concert and nothing new.

IMO the answer is that there is a demand for it because it's high quality material.
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Old Yesterday, 01:48 AM   #207
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The Ring Cycle is an interesting one.
Would anyone be overly concerned by a black Siegfried or Brunhilde? I've no idea if that's been done as a casting.

It's been done with Lear.
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Old Yesterday, 02:32 AM   #208
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Quite serious question is there anything in the text that states Twist was white?
I haven't read it for a long time, but it is available on Project Gutenberg. A quick scan doesn't show up anything definitive. There are a couple of mentions of Oliver or his mother having 'pale' face, but that's more a situational thing about stress or worry.

(also in passing...the concern about the poor blacks not being allowed into institutions is somewhat moot. Oliver was born there after his mother was rescued from the street, he was never admitted as an outside case.)

"the pale face of a young woman was raised feebly from the pillow"
"Oliver Twist's ninth birthday found him a pale thin child"
"his gaze encountered the pale and terrified face of Oliver"
"his tongue failed him. He was deadly pale"

and so on.

I suspect it really is the case that Dickens never thought it worthy of mention. Whether that is because of an assumption of white characters, or just because it genuinely didn't interest him I have no idea.
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Old Yesterday, 02:38 AM   #209
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While all the above is taken from text, Oliver is certainly depicted as white in the illustrations by George Cruikshank, which were part of the original publication in a monthly magazine.
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Old Yesterday, 03:31 AM   #210
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Originally Posted by Archie Gemmill Goal View Post
Well surely you should assume it doesn't actually matter unless it does for some reason.
It always matters for the producers, for reasons that I've already explained. These shows are sold to other countries on the basis of them communicating a British - or, more accurately, English - experience. Foreign viewers expect to see lily-white ladies and tall, pale gentlemen sipping tea under a parasol, just like when I watch a Samurai movie I want to see swarthy Japanese men dressed in armour chopping each other up under a maple tree. Anything markedly deviating from expectation does not sell.

That's not to say it's never done, of course, but introducing perceived anomalies into a theme causes it to appeal to other markets. Forest Whitaker played a modern day Samurai in the brilliant 'Ghost Dog', but the unusual combination of African-American ethnicity and Japanese culture was the key motif of the film, not simply a correlation.
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Old Yesterday, 12:33 PM   #211
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
Forest Whitaker played a modern day Samurai in the brilliant 'Ghost Dog', but the unusual combination of African-American ethnicity and Japanese culture was the key motif of the film, not simply a correlation.
Whitaker also played Idi Amin in critically acclaimed "The Last King of Scotland" I wonder how well it would have done with a white actor, e.g. Charles Durning, Tim Curry or Clancy Brown in the role of the black dictator.

Flop comes to mind.

Originally Posted by 332nd View Post
Your translation skills are as poor as your knowledge of production values. Your argument is lying on the ground, bleeding profusely, pretending that it fainted, because a black guy playing Iago (or Brutus, or MacDuff, or Robin Goodfellow, DaVinci, etc... etc...) is too much for it to believe.
No, a black actor playing those parts would be just ridiculous, in exactly the same way that a white actor playing Idi Amin would be.

In both cases, it stretches credibility beyond my ability to suspend disbelief; as a first point, I expect that actors will at least LOOK something like the character they are portraying. If the film-maker can't get past this first hurdle, they've lost me, and I would say they will have lost most of their audience.

Originally Posted by 332nd View Post
I've pointed out my evidence being that I've mentioned it multiple times on this & the old JREF forum, but since you're going to cling to this to pretend that you actually have an argument, pick a moderator, I'll send them a copy of my transcripts for my MFA, they can confirm it for you without revealing my identity to anyone else. Deal?
You choose, I don't care. I'm never going to agree with you even of you do prove you're an actor. That you have played "Iago" to rave reviews and adoring fans tells me all I need to know about your reviewers and fans. I would find it more believable if you played Othello himself, since he was possibly of Moorish origin and was described as such by Shakespeare.
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Old Yesterday, 01:28 PM   #212
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
No, a black actor playing those parts would be just ridiculous, in exactly the same way that a white actor playing Idi Amin would be.

In both cases, it stretches credibility beyond my ability to suspend disbelief; as a first point, I expect that actors will at least LOOK something like the character they are portraying. If the film-maker can't get past this first hurdle, they've lost me, and I would say they will have lost most of their audience.
Do you think a white man can credibly play the role of Jesus?
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Old Yesterday, 01:45 PM   #213
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Possibly? Wasn't he called "the Moor" like fifteen times in the play?
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Old Yesterday, 01:47 PM   #214
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Originally Posted by isissxn View Post
Possibly? Wasn't he called "the Moor" like fifteen times in the play?
Perhaps they meant Yorkshire's moors.
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Old Yesterday, 02:12 PM   #215
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Do you think a white man can credibly play the role of Jesus?
Do you think a woman can?
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Old Yesterday, 02:53 PM   #216
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
No, a black actor playing those parts would be just ridiculous, in exactly the same way that a white actor playing Idi Amin would be.
& yet I've played them all.

Quote:
In both cases, it stretches credibility beyond my ability to suspend disbelief; as a first point, I expect that actors will at least LOOK something like the character they are portraying. If the film-maker can't get past this first hurdle, they've lost me, and I would say they will have lost most of their audience.
Well that's your problem.



Quote:
You choose, I don't care. I'm never going to agree with you even of you do prove you're an actor. That you have played "Iago" to rave reviews and adoring fans tells me all I need to know about your reviewers and fans. I would find it more believable if you played Othello himself, since he was possibly of Moorish origin and was described as such by Shakespeare.
I've played Othello too. At any rate, that is why you fail.
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Old Yesterday, 03:30 PM   #217
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Originally Posted by Fudbucker View Post
Do you think a woman can?
Sure. But I'm not one declaring that particular physical characteristics of actors would necessarily "lose me" by "stretching my credulity beyond my ability to suspend disbelief".
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Old Yesterday, 08:01 PM   #218
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Sure. But I'm not one declaring that particular physical characteristics of actors would necessarily "lose me" by "stretching my credulity beyond my ability to suspend disbelief".
They'll keep coming up with ridiculous juxtapositions in hyperbolic form.... As I mentioned above, "Oh, yeah??!! How about a goldfish playing Winston Churchill??" Mickey Rooney playing Kareem Abdul Jabhar? Anita Bryant playing Harvey Milk? Mike Pence playing in the biography of Sam Delaney?

I'll get you to give in sooner or later. Honey Boo Boo in The Life of Dame Judy Densch? That's the object lesson. Each of us probably has some sort of credibility problem with casting one character or another at one time or another. If you concede that, you lose the argument according to some folks' thinking. Charro as Margaret Thatcher? (I'd pay good money to see that!)
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Old Yesterday, 08:11 PM   #219
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Originally Posted by Foolmewunz View Post
They'll keep coming up with ridiculous juxtapositions in hyperbolic form.... As I mentioned above, "Oh, yeah??!! How about a goldfish playing Winston Churchill??" Mickey Rooney playing Kareem Abdul Jabhar? Anita Bryant playing Harvey Milk? Mike Pence playing in the biography of Sam Delaney?

I'll get you to give in sooner or later. Honey Boo Boo in The Life of Dame Judy Densch? That's the object lesson. Each of us probably has some sort of credibility problem with casting one character or another at one time or another. If you concede that, you lose the argument according to some folks' thinking. Charro as Margaret Thatcher? (I'd pay good money to see that!)
But none of those things would be ridiculous because of the skin color of the actor, but for other reasons. Is the argument that one must accept absolute fidelity in skin color to the (common perception of) skin color of the historical or "real" fictional source, or else must accept absolutely anything no matter what?

My argument, as it has been since the beginning, is that we already accept so many modernisms in the appearance of actors it is ridiculous to quibble over one alone. Straight teeth, contact lenses (and yes, you can see them in HD), dyed hair, gym-built physiques, appendectomy scars, dental filings, modern haircuts, modern body hair grooming...all of those are "oh, it's suspension of disbelief" but the minute there's melanin involved then suddenly "damn you politically correct pinkos for ruining the REAL Santa Claus!!!"
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Old Yesterday, 08:35 PM   #220
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
But none of those things would be ridiculous because of the skin color of the actor, but for other reasons. Is the argument that one must accept absolute fidelity in skin color to the (common perception of) skin color of the historical or "real" fictional source, or else must accept absolutely anything no matter what?

My argument, as it has been since the beginning, is that we already accept so many modernisms in the appearance of actors it is ridiculous to quibble over one alone. Straight teeth, contact lenses (and yes, you can see them in HD), dyed hair, gym-built physiques, appendectomy scars, dental filings, modern haircuts, modern body hair grooming...all of those are "oh, it's suspension of disbelief" but the minute there's melanin involved then suddenly "damn you politically correct pinkos for ruining the REAL Santa Claus!!!"
Yep. Absolutely agree. It's almost like there's something other than fealty to the original artist or historical accuracy at work, here.
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Old Yesterday, 08:46 PM   #221
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Do you think a white man can credibly play the role of Jesus?
No
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Old Yesterday, 10:00 PM   #222
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post


Scenario 1: I write a historically and technically accurate fiction novel about a US Navy Destroyer patrolling the waters of the Persian Gulf during the second gulf war. I cast the Captain as a white Caucasian. A movie producer likes my novel and wants to adapt it for a movie. When the screenplay is released, the writer has cast Denzel Washington as the Captain. I have no problem with that.

Scenario 2: I write a historically and technically accurate novel about a US Navy Destroyer patrolling the waters of the Persian Gulf during the Second World War. I cast the Captain as a white Caucasian. A movie producer likes my novel and wants to adapt it for a movie. When the screenplay is released, the writer has cast Denzel Washington as the Captain. I have a really big problem with that, because it compromises the historical accuracy of my story. There were no black captains of US Navy fighting ships during WW2. The first Black US Navy officer to command a US Navy ship was Samuel L Gravely who commanded the USS Theodore E. Chandler... that was not until 1961!!
When I saw that last name I couldn't help but wonder if he was related to a lady-friend of mine, coincidentally also a Gravely. I googled Samuel Gravely and there was a hell of a resemblance. So I called her, and yep, she's related, though she doesn't remember ever meeting him, and he died in 2004. But she does recall her uncle telling her about him at a reunion.

He was also the US Navy's first black admiral.
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