"A significant contribution to the literature on screen performance studies, Reframing Screen Performance brings the study of film acting up to date. It should be of interest to those within cinema studies as well as general readers." ---Frank P. Tomasulo, Florida State University Reframing Screen Performance is a groundbreaking study of film acting that challenges the long held belief that great cinematic performances are created in the editing room. Surveying the changing attitudes and practices of film acting---from the silent films of Charlie Chaplin to the rise of Lee Strasberg's Actor's Studio in the 1950s to the eclecticism found in contemporary cinema---this volume argues that screen acting is a vital component of film and that it can be understood in the same way as theatrical performance. This richly illustrated volume shows how and why the evocative details of actors' voices, gestures, expressions, and actions are as significant as filmic narrative and audiovisual design. The book features in-depth studies of performances by Anjelica Huston, John Cusack, and Julianne Moore (among others) alongside subtle analyses of directors like Robert Altman and Akira Kurosawa, Sally Potter and Orson Welles. The book bridges the disparate fields of cinema studies and theater studies as it persuasively demonstrates the how theater theory can be illuminate the screen actor's craft. Reframing Screen Performance brings the study of film acting into the twenty-first century and is an essential text for actors, directors, cinema studies scholars, and cinephiles eager to know more about the building blocks of memorable screen performance. Cynthia Baron is Associate Professor of Film Studies at Bowling Green State University and co-editor of More Than a Method: Trends and Traditions in Contemporary Film Performance. Sharon Carnicke is Professor of Theater and Slavic Studies and Associate Dean of Theater at the University of Southern California and author of Stanislavsky in Focus.
Performance and Spanish film is the first book to provide a detailed study of screen acting in Spanish film. With fifteen original essays by leading scholars of Spanish film, the book casts light on the manifold meanings, methods and influences of Spanish screen performance, from the silent era to the present day. In doing so, the book provides bold new readings of the work of significant Spanish actors and filmmakers, from Javier Bardem, Pen�lope Cruz and Alfredo Landa, to Pedro Almod�var, Carlos Saura and Alejandro Amen�bar. The fine-grained study of acting in each chapter also provides a means of exploring broader questions surrounding Spanish film practices, culture and society. Performance and Spanish film will be essential reading for both students and scholars of Spanish film alike, as well as to those more broadly interested in the history of screen acting.
Along with Batman, Spider-Man, and Superman, the Joker stands out as one of the most recognizable comics characters in popular culture. While there has been a great deal of scholarly attention on superheroes, very little has been done to understand supervillains. This is the first academic work to provide a comprehensive study of this villain, illustrating why the Joker appears so relevant to audiences today. Batman’s foe has cropped up in thousands of comics, numerous animated series, and three major blockbuster feature films since 1966. Actually, the Joker debuted in DC comics Batman 1 (1940) as the typical gangster, but the character evolved steadily into one of the most ominous in the history of sequential art. Batman and the Joker almost seemed to define each other as opposites, hero and nemesis, in a kind of psychological duality. Scholars from a wide array of disciplines look at the Joker through the lens of feature films, video games, comics, politics, magic and mysticism, psychology, animation, television, performance studies, and philosophy. As the first volume that examines the Joker as complex cultural and cross-media phenomenon, this collection adds to our understanding of the role comic book and cinematic villains play in the world and the ways various media affect their interpretation. Connecting the Clown Prince of Crime to bodies of thought as divergent as Karl Marx and Friedrich Nietzsche, contributors demonstrate the frightening ways in which we get the monsters we need.
Sylvester Stallone has been a defining part of American film for nearly four decades. He has made an impact on world entertainment in a surprisingly diverse range of capacities – as actor, writer, producer, and director – all while maintaining a monolithic presence. With The Ultimate Stallone Reader, this icon finally receives concerted academic attention. Eleven original essays by internationally-known scholars examine Stallone's contributions to mainstream cinema, independent film, and television. This volume also offers innovative approaches to star, gender, and celebrity studies, performance analysis, genre criticism, industry and reception inquiry, and the question of what it means to be an auteur. Ultimately, The Ultimate Stallone Reader investigates the place that Sylvester Stallone occupies within an industry and a culture that have both undergone much evolution, and how his work has reflected and even driven these changes.
Docudramas, films and movies-of-the-week based on true stories, offer their audiences performance as persuasion. As docudramas re-create actual people and events, these works perform their material. The premises of docudramas’ persuasive arguments operate within the basic settings that stage performances of noteworthy events, the events of war, and the lives of noteworthy individuals. In performing the past, docudramas offer us a performance of memory. Through docudramatic performance, the memories of others become ours. The performance of memory roots docudramatic representation in actuality, and indicates the responsibility to serve the past that helps make docudrama a distinctive mode of representation. The spirit of obligation to the past also frames the ethical considerations docudrama raises, as performance in docudrama shapes public memory. Docudrama Performs the Past examines the spectrum of arguments docudramas offer as their re-creations reason from the arenas of events such as the hijacking of United Airlines Flight 93, wars ranging from World War II to Iraq, and the lives of actors, athletes, and politicians. The case studies developed in each chapter show how docudrama’s re-creation of “true stories,” its performance of memory, warrants the claims it forwards about how to remember the past. The aggregate of examining works made since the late 1990s allows us to see how, as recurring contexts, the arenas of docudramatic argument ground action and identity in the settings that frame performance, structure the moral value of the contestation that ensues, and shape the public memory of the past that docudramas perform.
The term 'cult film star' has been employed in popular journalistic writing for the last 25 years, but what makes cult stars distinct from other film stars has rarely been addressed. This collection explores the processes through which film stars/actors become associated with the cult label, from Bill Murray to Ruth Gordon and Ingrid Pitt.
This book addresses the historical, social, colonial, and administrative contexts that determine today's U.S. actor training, as well as matters of identity politics, access, and marginalization as they emerge in classrooms and rehearsal halls. It considers persistent, questioning voices about our nation’s acting training as it stands, thereby contributing to the national dialogue the diverse perspectives and proposals needed to keep American actor training dynamic and germane, both within the U.S. and abroad. Prominent academics and artists view actor training through a political, cultural or ethical lens, tackling fraught topics about power as it plays out in acting curricula and classrooms. The essays in this volume offer a survey of trends in thinking on actor training and investigate the way American theatre expresses our national identity through the globalization of arts education policy and in the politics of our curriculum decisions.
Insightful, focused case studies of screen performance from diverse directors with a range of contemporary styles and approaches.
In this illuminating insight into Denzel Washington's multifaceted image and remarkable career, Cynthia Baron traces his star persona and impact on mainstream society – from his time as a skilled actor in theatre and television in the 1980s, to his leading man roles in landmark films of the 1990s, to his place in Hollywood's elite in the 2000s.
This diverse collection of essays and testimonies challenges critical orthodoxies about the twenty-first century boom in immersive theatre and performance. A culturally and institutionally eclectic range of producers and critics comprehensively reconsider the term ‘immersive’ and the practices it has been used to describe. Applying ecological, phenomenological and political ideas to both renowned and lesser-known performances, contributing scholars and artists offers fresh ideas on the ethics and practicalities of participatory performance. These ideas interrogate claims that have frequently been made by producers and by critics that participatory performance extends engagement. These claims are interrogated across nine dimensions of engagement: bodily, technological, spatial, temporal, spiritual, performative, pedagogical, textual, social. Enquiry is focussed along the following seams of analysis: the participant as co-designer; the challenges facing the facilitator of immersive/participatory performance; the challenges facing the critic of immersive/participatory performance; how and why immersion troubles boundaries between the material and the magical.
This volume offers lively and accurate translations of Chekhov's major plays and one-acts (complete contents listed below) along with a superb Introduction focused on the plays' remarkably enduring power to elicit the most widely divergent of responses, the life of the playwright in its historical and aesthetic contexts, suggestions for reading the plays under a microscope, and notes designed to bring Chekhov's world into immediate focus--everything needed to examine his drama with fresh eyes and on its own artistic terms.
Taking account of the major developments in the field of star studies, this book explores the political economy of stardom, questions of performance, the effect on stardom of convergence between the film industry and other leisure industries, and the role of audiences. The book combines a review of current trends with case studies of individual stars enabling students and researchers to widen their knowledge of the field and explore new ways of approaching the star phenomenon.
Everyone has heard of Method acting . . . but what about Modern acting? This book makes the simple but radical proposal that we acknowledge the Modern acting principles that continue to guide actors’ work in the twenty-first century. Developments in modern drama and new stagecraft led Modern acting strategies to coalesce by the 1930s – and Hollywood’s new role as America’s primary performing arts provider ensured these techniques circulated widely as the migration of Broadway talent and the demands of sound cinema created a rich exchange of ideas among actors. Decades after Strasberg’s death in 1982, he and his Method are still famous, while accounts of American acting tend to overlook the contributions of Modern acting teachers such as Josephine Dillon, Charles Jehlinger, and Sophie Rosenstein. Baron’s examination of acting manuals, workshop notes, and oral histories illustrates the shared vision of Modern acting that connects these little-known teachers to the landmark work of Stanislavsky. It reveals that Stella Adler, long associated with the Method, is best understood as a Modern acting teacher and that Modern acting, not Method, might be seen as central to American performing arts if the Actors’ Lab in Hollywood (1941-1950) had survived the Cold War.
Cinema is a mosaic of memorable food scenes. Detectives drink alone. Gangsters talk with their mouths full. Families around the world argue at dinner. Food documentaries challenge popular consumption-centered visions. In Appetites and Anxieties: Food, Film, and the Politics of Representation, authors Cynthia Baron, Diane Carson, and Mark Bernard use a foodways paradigm, drawn from the fields of folklore and cultural anthropology, to illuminate film's cultural and material politics. In looking at how films do and do not represent food procurement, preparation, presentation, consumption, clean-up, and disposal, the authors bring the pleasures, dangers, and implications of consumption to center stage. In nine chapters, Baron, Carson, and Bernard consider food in fiction films and documentaries-from both American and international cinema. The first chapter examines film practice from the foodways perspective, supplying a foundation for the collection of case studies that follow. Chapter 2 takes a political economy approach as it examines the food industry and the film industry's policies that determine representations of food in film. In chapter 3, the authors explore food and food interactions as a means for creating community in Bagdad Café, while in chapter 4 they take a close look at 301/302, in which food is used to mount social critique. Chapter 5 focuses on cannibal films, showing how the foodways paradigm unlocks the implications of films that dramatize one of society's greatest food taboos. In chapter 6, the authors demonstrate ways that insights generated by the foodways lens can enrich genre and auteur studies. Chapter 7 considers documentaries about food and water resources, while chapter 8 examines food documentaries that slip through the cracks of film censorship by going into exhibition without an MPAA rating. Finally, in chapter 9, the authors study films from several national cinemas to explore the intersection of food, gender, and ethnicity. Four appendices provide insights from a food stylist, a selected filmography of fiction films and a filmography of documentaries that feature foodways components, and a list of selected works in food and cultural studies.
Demystifies Chekhov's plays combining biographical and cultural information with case studies to reveal the playwright's comic sensibility, deep compassion, use of dramatic style and genre, and literary innovations.
Biographies are so much more than lists of teachers, roles, and awards. The Actor's Art conveys stories about numerous productions, insight about becoming and being an actor, and opinions about issues such as color-blind casting and the future of theatre. Together, these conversations form lively, thought-provoking sketches of such stars as Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy, Ruby Dee, Julie Harris, Cherry Jones, James Earl Jones, Stacy Keach, Nathan Lane, and Jason Robards. The Actor's Art demonstrates the value of listening, and the pleasures of reading.
Drawing on an archive of notebooks, transcriptions, and audiotapes, the lessons and insights Stella Adler brought to the craft of acting are presented.