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Why Acting Matters

Why Acting Matters

A provocative, highly engaging essay on the art of pretending on the stage, on screen, and in daily life

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ISBN 9780300195781
Barcode 9780300195781
Published 15 February 2015 by Yale University Press
Format Hardback
Alternate Format(s) View All (1 other possible title(s) available)
Author(s) By Thomson, David
Series Why X Matters
Availability Internationally sourced on backorder; allow 4-8 weeks

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Full details for this title

ISBN-13 9780300195781
ISBN-10 0300195788
Stock Available
Status Internationally sourced on backorder; allow 4-8 weeks
Publisher Yale University Press
Imprint Yale University Press
Publication Date 15 February 2015
International Publication Date 17 February 2015
Publication Country United States United States
Format Hardback
Author(s) By Thomson, David
Series Why X Matters
Category Performing Arts
Theatre, Drama
Number of Pages 192
Dimensions Width: 133mm
Height: 197mm
Spine: 19mm
Weight 340g
Interest Age General Audience
Reading Age General Audience
Library of Congress Acting
NBS Text Other Performing Arts
ONIX Text General/trade
Dewey Code 792.028
Catalogue Code 539865

Description of this Book

Does acting matter? David Thomson, one of our most respected and insightful writers on movies and theater, answers this question with intelligence and wit. In this fresh and thought-provoking essay, Thomson tackles this most elusive of subjects, examining the allure of the performing arts for both the artist and the audience member while addressing the paradoxes inherent in acting itself. He reflects on the casting process, on stage versus film acting, and on the cult of celebrity. The art and considerable craft of such gifted artists as Meryl Streep, Laurence Olivier, Vivien Leigh, Marlon Brando, Daniel Day-Lewis, and others are scrupulously appraised here, as are notions of good and bad acting. Thomson's exploration is at once a meditation on and a celebration of a unique and much beloved, often misunderstood, and occasionally derided art form. He argues that acting not only matters but is essential and inescapable, as well as dangerous, chronic, transformative, and exhilarating, be it on the theatrical stage, on the movie screen, or as part of our everyday lives.

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Awards, Reviews & Star Ratings

NZ Review Gossip and insight go hand in hand in this witty, exuberant essay on the acting greats by one of our most imaginative writers on film. Backstage, off-stage and what might have been infuse Thomson's compelling examination of the storied performances of our time. He brings a fresh eye to Olivier, Kazan, the evolution and demise of Method acting. But he also speculates. After all, what are actual memories but an invitation to new, hypothetical ones? Brando as Archie Rice? Olivier as Stanley Kowalski? Read it and wonder (or argue) with Thomson. -MOLLY HASKELL -- Molly Haskell
UK Review Bertrams Star Rating: 1 stars (out of 5)

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Author's Bio

David Thomson is the author of more than twenty books, including biographies of David O. Selznick and Orson Welles, and The New Biographical Dictionary of Film. He lives in San Francisco, CA.

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