by Alan LovellWhile not everyone would agree with Alfred Hitchcock's notorious remark that actors are cattle, there is little understanding of the work that film actors do. Yet audience enthusiasm for, or dislike of, actors and their style of performance is a crucial part of the filmgoing experience. From the mannered stylisms of the silent era to Lee Strasbourg's method acting and the improvisation techniques of directors such as Mike Leigh, the text evaluates the styles and techniques of cinema acting. Using the history of screen acting as a means of evaluating the style and approach of performers, the contributors critically examine the work of individual studio stars such as Buster Keaton, Bette Davis and Susan Sarandon, exploring the ways in which different actors have approached their art, and looking at the relationship between performance in the theatre, on film and television through interviews with contemporary actors such as Ian Richardson and Helen Shaver.
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