In the Moment: Myth and Method in Contemporary Hollywood Film Acting
ProQuest, 2006 - 187 pages
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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