Recommended by Keith
Recommended by Keith...
After a performance lacking in substance, devoid of refence to current events, or having no point of view, Keith Johnstone would often say, “Read a newspaper, read a book. It will improve your work on stage.”
He encouraged us to watch a good movie or TV series that peeled back human nature. And in any class he taught, he always had an opinion about what might be worth reading, watching, exploring.
Here are some of his favourites from Improvisers around the world.
*Comments in “quotation” are Keith’s. Other comments will be attributed to the person making the comment. Enjoy.
|TITLE||TYPE||Keith recommended to...||COMMENTS|
|THE NAKED APE, BY DESMOND MORRIS||Book||Rebecca Northan|
|AUDITION - Michael Shurtleff||Book||(Various)|
|BARN BURNING – William Faulkner||Books||Steve Jarand|
|BUSTER KEATON FILMS||Movies||Steve Jarand|
|Spanish newspapers and magazines. Maybe that was just for me. To encourage me to keep my second language.||Derek Flores|
|THE CIRCUS (1st half) - Charlie Chaplin||Movies||Steve Jarand|
|CITY LIGHTS - Charlie Chaplin||Movies||Steve Jarand|
|CROWDS AND POWER – Elias Canetti||Books||Steve Jarand|
|DAS SCHRECKLICHE MÄDCHEN||Movies||Steve Jarand|
|DON’T SHOOT THE DOG - Karen Pryor.||Book||Patti Stiles||This is where the dolphin game came from.|
|THE EARTHQUAKE IN CHILE – Von Kleist||Books||Steve Jarand|
|HIDDEN FORTRESS - Kirosawa||Movies||Steve Jarand|
|I often heard Keith say, "I read everything!" It made me read anything, and I always find something I can use in a scene or my everyday life.||Steen Haakon Hansen|
|IN THE REALM OF HUNGRY GHOSTS – Gabor Maté||Books||Steve Jarand|
|THE KILLING FIELDS||Movie||Yuri Kinugawa||Keith used to tell me his favorite film is The Killing Fields|
|THE PRINCE AND THE SHOWGIRL –||Movies||Steve Jarand||To see Monroe out act Olivier|
|LIFE ON THE MISSISSIPPI - Mark Twain||Book||Neal Leaheey||Said to me in reference to how improv companies and the iTi should relate to one another.|
|MONSTER’S BALL – Marc Forster||Movies||Steve Jarand|
|THE PASSION OF JEAN D’ARC||Movies||Steve Jarand|
|WALLACE & GROMMIT||Movies||Jeff Gladstone||he said the penguin was such a good actor|
|TAXI CAB CONFESSIONS.||Series||Rebecca Northan||Amazing series. Saw Keith cry during more than one episode, and showed one as an example of, "the best seduction scene of all time".|
|TRUTH OR DARE – Madona Documentary||Movies||Steve Jarand|
|WUTHERING HEIGHTS –||Movies||Steve Jarand||To see an “I hate you.” mantra during a love scene.|
|ZEN AND THE ART OF ARCHERY||Book||Shawn||Great state of mind for being present.|
|SEVEN SAMURAI||Movie||Rebecca Northan|
|THE ARTIST||Movie||Doug Wong||We would go out to see films occasionally and he loved "The Artist". He shared a deep dive analysis of it with me the next day including his observation regarding the frame rates that were used in the film.|
|MAXIMUM PERFORMANCE||Book||Steen Haakon Hansen|
|THE STRAIGHT STORY – David Lynch||Movies||Steve Jarand|
|MY WICKED WICKED WAYS- Errol Flynns Autobiography||Book||Jeff Gladstone||Keith said "true stories are always so much more unbelievable than any fiction"|
|SURELY YOU'RE JOKING MR FEYNMAN! - Richard P. Richard Feynman.||Book||Various|
|Did Keith mention a book, movie, play or poem that he thought was worth reading watching or pondering?||Send it in and we'll try to include it on our little list here.||Email Us"|
|IKIRU - Kirosawa||MOVIE||Various||I believe I have seen Ikiru 6 or 7 times with Keith, after the end, he was sitting there on the couch, with a bit of tear in his eyes, saying: "That´s what it is all about!" - Steen Haakon Hansen|
|INNER GAME OF TENNIS.||Book||Shawn Kinley||(great for teachers)|
|SWIMMING TO CAMBODIA||Movie||Shawn Kinley|
|THE KID - Charlie Chaplin||Movies||Steve Jarand|
|NINA PALEY – Animations||Movies||Steve Jarand|
|Tao Te Ching||Book||Various|
|The Body Has Its Reasons: Self-Awareness Through Conscious Movement" by Therese Bertherat||Book||Theresa Robbins Dudeck|
|Kaputt, by Curzio Malaparte||Book||Steen Haakon Hansen|
|The Skin, by Curzio Malaparte||Book||Steen Haakon Hansen|
|Battle For the Mind by William Sargant||Book||Anton Van Helden||-A book that looks at the effect of brain-washing from a scientific perspective, with insights into a range of brainwashing techniques e.g. voodoo, religion, effects of war, etc.
Keith gave it to me while we sat and had a drink in a cafe in Wellington, New Zealand, as I doodled a caricature of him, which led to a discussion about 5000 faces. Very memorable.