The Thirty-Six Dramatic Situations (Paperback)
Faber & Faber, 9780571305049, 208pp.
Publication Date: June 1, 2017
The original 36 Dramatic Situations was written in in French by Georges Polti in the 1850s. Polti synthesized all drama as belonging to combinations of 36 situations. In the book he illustrates each 'situation' with examples from classical and French theater. When Mike Figgis used the book as an aid in putting together a treatment for a film, he found that his landscape of creativity had altered quite radically and ideas came forth with relative ease. He realized that Polti's book was system of reference which could be a powerful tool for writers. So he began updating all of the references, moving the focus away from theater and focusing primarily on cinema. Broken into two halves -- the first part of the book looks at 36 different 'Dramatic Situations'. The specific 'Situation' is then explained more fully, followed by an example from a film, accompanied by an explanation of how the device is used in the film. In the second half there are a series of charts which analyze 150 great films (of all genres) based on the 36 situations.
About the Author
Mike Figgis is the renowned film-maker and musician whose career began with the People Show in the 1970s. His film credits include Stormy Monday, Internal Affairs, Miss Julie, Timecode and Hotel. He received Oscar nominations for Best Director and Best Screenplay for Leaving Las Vegas. His photographs have been displayed at galleries throughout the world, and he has created installations for gallery spaces.