Movie Acting: The Film Reader explores one of the most central but often overlooked aspects of cinema: film acting.
Combining classic and recent essays, it examines key issues such as:
- What constitutes film acting?
- How is film acting different from stage acting?
- How has film acting changed over time?
- What signifies realism in film acting?
- How is acting different in different genres?
- What is the role of the character actor?
In addition to theoretical essays, contributors provide detailed analyses of specific actors such as Lillian Gish, Marlon Brando and Sidney Poitier. Styles of acting discussed include silent film pantomime, 1930s comedic acting, the Method and acting in avant-garde films. Articles are grouped into thematic sections, each with an introduction by the editor.
Any student of film studies and acting will find this an essential part of their research and reading.
Table of Contents
Part 1: Ontology of the Film Actor 1. Remarks on the Actor 2. Audience Actor and Star and Types: Cycles as Genres 3. Screen Acting and the Communication Test Part 2: The Creation of the Film Actor 4. The Changing Status of the Actor 5. The Histrionic and Verisimilar Codes in the Biograph Films 6. Pictorial Styles and Film Acting 7. Crafting Film Performances: Acting in the Hollywood Studio Era Part 3: Style and Technique 8. Lillian Gish in True Heart Susie (1919) 9. A High Class Job of Carpentry: Toward a Typography of Early Sound Comedy 10. Masculinity in Crisis: Method Acting in Hollywood 11. Film Acting and Independent Cinema Part 4: Character and Type 12. Typcasting 13. The 1950s: Black Stars 14. In Praise of Character Actors 15. The Lives of Supporting Players 16. Supporting Character: The Queer Career of Agnes Moorehead