Close-Up: Great Cinematic Performances Volume 1: America
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|International Film Stars
Series edited by R. Barton Palmer and Homer B. Pettey
Close Up: Great Cinematic Performances Volume 1: America
Edited by Murray Pomerance and Kyle Stevens
'Mustering a wide array of voices and perspectives, these gamechanging volumes provide a welcome scholarly corrective to the scandalous undervaluation of actors, acting and performance that has prevailed in cinema studies for far too long. This collection promises to shape discourse on screen acting for many years to come.' David Sterritt, Maryland Institute College of Art
What 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, among many others.
Murray Pomerance is a Professor in the Department of Sociology at Ryerson University.
Kyle Stevens is Assistant Professor of Film Studies at Appalachian State University.
Cover image: Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine, Woody Allen, 2013 © Sony Pictures Classics/ Photofest
Cover design: Workhaus