David Mamet
Three Uses of the Knife
Book Review by Author/Illustrator Ross Anthony

Mamet, in his exact-wording way, scribes his interesting perspective on life, art and politics. Hidden in this mostly rhetorical piece, some nice description of the basic 3-act dramatic play/film script formula can be found. But mostly, Mamet attends to philosophy on the nature and purpose of drama (as the title warns).

He bases drama in human nature. We are creatures that need, want, find, create drama to process our lives. Politics is all about drama. Were it about substance, the politicians would not be elected. (I paraphrase.) And when it comes to art, well, here Mamet gets a little muddy, or perhaps, I misunderstood. He seemed to be saying, we must take care not to be too clever as artists. The art is from the heart, or it is not art. Which is odd, because I've always found his screenplays romping in cleverness. But neither should good art be use to teach or change or, dare it, "reach the audience." No, says Mamet, "the purpose of art is not to change but to delight. I don't think its purpose is to enlighten us. I don't think it's to change us. I donít think it's to teach us."

An enjoyable thought-provoking read, despite the fact that I often disagreed with his bleak assessment of reality. I also found his definition of audience wants and needs rather limiting.

Read more Book Reviews by Author/Illustrator Ross Anthony.

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Copyright © 1998-2023 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at HollywoodReportCard.com, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: www.RossAnthony.com or call 1-800-767-7186. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.

Last Modified: Wednesday, 29-Feb-2012 13:53:49 PST