Cinema Journal Special Issue on Film Acting, 20, 1, Fall, 1980

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Front Matter
Editor's Introduction, 3
Virginia Wright Wexman
Performance and Popular Culture, 4-13
John G. Cawelti
Abstract: Performance has always held a prominent place in popular art forms, and now, in the Twentieth Century, we have the means to study it. We still, however, lack appropriate critical approaches.
Actors as Conventions in the Films of Robert Altman, 14-28
Maurice Yacowar
Abstract: Altman's use of an actor may be prompted by the director's personal response to the performer's image or nature or by his awareness of the performer's associations from other films or from real life. His purpose is continually to upset or to challenge his viewer's habitual responses.
The Rhetoric of Cinematic Improvisation, 29-41
Virginia Wright Wexman
Abstract: One of the experimental acting techniques currently popular in contemporary cinema, improvisation achieves its greatest potential when it is brought into a dynamic relationship with more conventional modes of aesthetic discourse. "Celine and Julie Go Boating" and "Nashville" present contrasting examples of films that use improvisation in a self-conscious way with varying success.
Performing Performing: Irony and Affect, 42-52
Charles Affron
Abstract: The oscillation between the reality-effect and the fiction-effect in film becomes a source of affect when we see "how" performers express their feelings in the service of their performance and as a reflection of their lives. Lana Turner in "Ziegfeld Girl" and in Douglas Sirk's "Imitation Of Life" is a model for these ambiguities of performance.
The Showgirl and the Wolf, 53-67
Jane Gaines
Abstract: The spectacle of the showgirl and the active spectator seems to have been a central convention in pictures made during the Second World War. An itemization of the conventionalized culture units of this image and an examination of the way they are cinematically arranged in the spectacle shows the way in which it resolved the opposite expectations that the soldier be both continent and virile.
An Interview with Liv Ullmann, 68-78
Virginia Wright Wexman, Liv Ullmann
Abstract: The well-known actress discusses her approach to the craft of acting and her working relationship with Ingmar Bergman.
On Acting: A Selected Bibliography, 79-85
Gretchen Bisplinghoff
Back Matter

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