Marcel Marceau

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Mime makes the invisible, visible and the visible, invisible

Marcel Mangel (1923-03-22 - 2007-09-22 ) was a French entertainer, the world's most famous mime, better known by his stage name Marcel Marceau.

Sourced

  • Do not the most moving moments of our lives find us all without words?
    • The Reader’s Digest (June 1958)
  • I have designed my style pantomimes as white ink drawings on black backgrounds, so that man’s destiny appears as a thread lost in an endless labyrinth... I have tried to shed some gleams of light on the shadow of man startled by his anguish.
    • Wall Street Journal (19 November 1965)
  • Mime makes the invisible, visible and the visible, invisible.
    • As quoted in Core Media Collection for Elementary Schools (1978) by Lucy Gregor Brown; unsourced variant or misquotation: "A magician makes the visible invisible. A mime makes the invisible visible."
  • Music conveys moods and images. Even in opera, where plots deal with the structure of destiny, it’s music, not words, that provides power.
    • US News & World Report (23 February 1987)
  • Music and silence... combine strongly because music is done with silence, and silence is full of music.
    • US News & World Report (23 February 1987)
  • In silence and movement you can show the reflection of people.
    • US News & World Report (23 February 1987)
  • Never get a mime talking. He won’t stop.
    • US News & World Report (23 February 1987)
  • To communicate through silence is a link between the thoughts of man.
    • US News & World Report (23 February 1987)
  • I have spent more than half a lifetime trying to express the tragic moment.
    • The Guardian (London, 11 August 1988)
  • Chaplin made me laugh and cry without saying a word. I had an instinct. I was touched by the soul of Chaplin — Mime is not an imitator but a creator.
  • Fathers, I do not practice. I’m not religious in life, but when I perform "The Creation of the World" and when my soul is touched by the confrontation of "Good and Evil", then God enters in me.
    • Interview The Lantern (5 April 2001) Replying to two priests who, after a performance of his routines of "The Creation of The World" and "The Hands of Good and Evil", asked if he was religious.
  • No art is superior to another one, but every art looks for expertise and perfection. This is life, which continues; this is why there is no death. There is continuation. There is no silence. There is a continuation of thought.
    • Interview The Lantern (5 April 2001)

Unsourced

  • It's good to shut up sometimes.
  • What sculptors do is represent the essence of gesture. What is important in mime is attitude.

Quotes about Marceau

  • He's garnered honorary degrees from prestigious universities across America. He's had three wives, four children, survived the Holocaust, joined the Resistance and marched in Patton's army. All this, and he has a wickedly weird and original sense of humor. "Do not meddle in the affairs of wizards," Marceau once said, "for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup."
    Even when you don't quite get it, Marceau makes you think twice.
  • Perhaps true appreciation of Marceau requires a step back in time. Before Marceau broke out of an invisible box and stepped into millions of American's living rooms on Max Liebman's "Show of Shows" nearly 40 years ago, you could fit the number of people who knew or much less cared anything about the art of pantomime in a Citroen. What we know of mime -- the mute theatrics, the exaggerated body language, the requisite black-and-white get-up — was essentially minted by Marceau. ... When Marceau is gone, we won't say, "There goes one of the world's greatest mimes," but "There goes 'the' world's great mime."
    • Leslie Crawford in "Brilliant Careers - Marcel Marceau" at Salon.com (27 July 1999)

External links

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