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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.
"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
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