Sunday, October 13, 2019

Left Coast Sherlockian Symposium: Still MORE Sunday morning!

Kris Pepper Hambrick is next, a fellow alum from the Wigmore Street Post Office days of early internet Sherlocking (when she was very young, and I was not as old as now). As I said, tough spot following Tim, but she's made it in before noon, I don't think any early leavers have bailed out yet.

"Play-acting Busybody: Essential Elements of Performing Holmes" is her theme and . . . oh, she performed in Ken Ludwig's Baskerville . . . I'm impressed! That play doesn't look easy. And she's distilling an eight-hour class she did on film Canon down to today's twenty minutes.

What does make a Sherlock Holmes portrayal? Projecting intelligence: How does one portray that? "Five mile eyeballs," Lyndsay suggests from the audience, talking about Hugh Laurie's eye-acting, as Kris has started asking for audience input. People agree with eyes. Crow throws in evoking the stories. And we all probably agree with that. Cumberbatch's "alien presence," as someone playing human "who hasn't quite got it yet," Kris adds. Physical presence, height, comes up. Chuck Kovacic, who has also played Holmes, brings in his own experience playing an acerbic Holmes. A whole lot of aspects of Holmes coming out.

"We can agree on all those things being Holmes, and disagree on who's pulling it off," Kris points out, very accurately. Some slides of various Holmeses unpopular with some people come up and there's a few hisses, but certainly not about Will Ferrell's corner of the screen. Certainly.

Holmes has so much to him, so many descriptive words that we use to define him, that the intentions of a specific production make a difference in how he is played -- good point there, that most of us never consider. (Yes, Will Ferrell's intentions, ego, infallibility, etc. are part of why I love him. As does his Watson.) But on to Jeremy Brett, because, well, he has a ton of GIFs.

Kris is having us analyze Brett GIFs, seeing how we interpret a look. The first brings up both "kindness" and "patronizing," as well as "intimacy."  The appearance of eye contact and widening eyes, as he nods his head. The next GIF brings up "playfulness," "smug," and "love of another man" from different folk, all in the same simple movement. A lot going on with the eyes. A very interesting study.

We're getting Kris's own observations of what a good Holmes takes, and eleven qualities that a good Holmes has to bring out. "How does he laugh?" was a big question she had to deal with when playing Holmes.

We're getting down to questions, so I'm going to wrap this up, as I'm next. Really good analysis, and I hope I caught some of the spirit of it here!

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