In the Moment: Myth and Method in Contemporary Hollywood Film Acting

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ProQuest, 2006 - 187 pages
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In this dissertation I address ways in which film performers and the discourse of film acting have consistently established practices, rhetorics and histories that foreground ontological autonomy and artistic control over the non-linear, economically determined structures inherent to filmmaking and the film industry. To a film performer, the concept of an "organic" performance as whole, natural, and pure, unsullied by outside contaminants, becomes much more vital than for a theatrical actor. The many ways in which film challenges that conception of performance makes the preservation and perpetuation of such a myth all the more vital. We can also see this strategy in the actorly mythology that privileges a sense of presentness or immediacy of performance: the "illusion of the first time," "being the part" or "inhabiting the role," or the feeling of being "in the moment." Thus, the phrase "in the moment"---popularized in the 1950s by Method acting and the Actors Studio, and derived from Konstantin Stanislavsky's belief in "experiencing" or "living through" the role---epitomizes this collision between film acting mythology and the material circumstances of acting on film.
  

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Contents

CHAPTER
1
THE PROBLEM
40
Taming the Method or Brandos Weight Problem
52
Television Panandscan and the Isolated Actor
66
THREE WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE WORD? MYTH AND METHOD
83
The Actors Studio and Inside the Actors Studio
92
James Lipton and the Importance of Being Earnest
99
FILM ACTING
112
Extra Text and the Archival Impulse
121
Insight and Indigence
130
DIGITAL ACTORS AND PERFORMATIVE
142
Performative Realism and the Future of Control
154
Gollum and Performance Capture
163
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