Analyses what makes an acting performance excellent, through a range of examples from American filmWhat actors do on-screen is a fascination for audiences all over the world.
Indeed, the cultural visibility of movie stars is so pronounced that stardom has often been regarded as intrinsic to the medium's specificity.
Yet not all great cinematic performances are star turns, and so, what really makes a cinematic performance good, interesting, or important has been a neglected topic in film criticism.
This two-volume set presents detailed interpretations of singular performances by several of the most compelling actors in cinema history, asking in many different and complementary ways what makes performance meaningful, how it reflects a director's style, as well as how it contributes to the development of national cinemas and cultures.
Whether noting the precise ways actors shape film narrative, achieve emotional effect, or move toward political subversion, the essays in these books innovate new approaches to studying screen performance as an art form and cultural force.This volume focuses on American cinema, including case studies of key performances from actors like Bette Davis, Irene Dunne, Whoopi Goldberg, Cary Grant, Oscar Isaac, Jack Nicholson, Al Pacino, Sidney Poitier, Gena Rowlands, Peter Sellers, Kristen Stewart, and Ethel Waters, amongst many others.ContributorsBrenda Austin-Smith, University of ManitobaRebecca Bell-Metereau, Texas State UniversityCharles Ramirez Berg, University of Texas at AustinJanet Bergstrom, UCLAJohn Bruns College of CharlestonAlex Clayton, University of BristolShonni Enelow, Fordham UniversityAnna Everett, University of California, Santa BarbaraLucy Fischer, University of PittsburghLester D.
Friedman, Hobart and William Smith CollegesFrances Gateward, California State University NorthridgeDavid Greven, University of South CarolinaJason Jacobs, University of QueenslandElliott Logan, University of Queensland, BrisbaneDouglas McFarland, Flagler College, Saint AugustineAdrienne L.
McLean, University of Texas at DallasR. Barton Palmer, Clemson UniversityHomer B. Pettey, University of ArizonaMurray Pomerance, Ryerson University William Rothman, University of MiamiSteven Rybin, Minnesota State University, MankatoKyle Stevens, Appalachian State UniversityGeorge Toles, University of ManitobaDaniel Varndell, University of WinchesterTimotheus Vermeulen, University of OsloRick Warner, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill