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Melodrama 
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Post Melodrama
In movies and books, melodrama is something I have a bit of difficulty defining and noticing. I have read both Robert Mckee's book "Story" and Laos Egri's "The Art of Dramatic Writing" both say something about melodrama. From my understanding melodrama is when a character does something over the top and out of character.

I read a review of the NBC show "Kings" and the author calls the cinematography melodramatic, is that possible?

Hopefully someone can explain this to me, I feel kinda dumb.


Sun Mar 22, 2009 9:10 pm
Post Re: Melodrama
As I write this passage the camera, positioned over my right shoulder, slowly lifts to reveal my hunched form-- all of my being is consumed in this writing as the image softens, making it seem as if I know what the definition of melodramatic cinematography means when all is dream...


Wed Mar 25, 2009 2:16 am
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Post Re: Melodrama
Last year, I took an intro to film class where the instructor define Melodrama as story dealing with polarity, contrast and relativity (e.g good vs evil). For example, Luke Skywalker vs Darth Vader is a melodrama.

Of course, the term has long been claimed by soap operas.

As for the term being used to describe cinematography, I don't know what that means really. Could it be because the colors and lighting are so over the top it creates a melodramatic feeling? or could it be the focus is so soft that it reminds the reviewer of daytime soap opera? Only the reviewer knows. He/she only uses that description as a shortcut, so don't feel dumb.


Wed Mar 25, 2009 11:07 am
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Post Re: Melodrama
here is what Lajos Egri in his book The Art of Dramatic Writing says about melodrama

Quote:
Now for a word about the difference between drama and melodrama. In a melodrama the transition is faulty or entirely lacking. Conflict is overemphasized. The characters move with lightning speed from one emotional peak to another the result of their one-dimensionality. Transition must be present to make even a three-dimensional character believable. The lack of transition produces melodrama


That is about as clear an explanation as I can find.


Wed Mar 25, 2009 1:14 pm
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