This title explores one of the most central but often overlooked aspects of cinema: film acting. Combining classic and recent essays, it examines key issues. What constitutes film acting? How is film acting different from stage acting? How has film acting changed over the years?
Part one: Ontology of the film actor: -- Introduction -- Remarks on the actor / Siegfried Kracauer -- Reflections on the ontology of film / Stanley Cavell -- Screen acting and the commutation test / John O. Thompson -- -- Part two: the creation of the film actor: -- Introduction -- The changing status of the actor / Charles Musser -- The histrionic and verisimilar codes in the Biograph films / Roberta Pearson -- Pictorial styles and film acting / Ben Brewster and Lea Jacobs -- Crafting film performances: acting in the Hollywood studio era / Cynthia Baron -- -- Part three: style and technique: -- Introduction -- Lillian Gish in True Heart Susie (1919) / James Naremore -- "A high-class job of carpentry": toward a typography of early sound comedy / Henry Jenkins -- Masculinity in crisis: method acting in Hollywood / Virginia Wright Wexman -- Film acting and independent cinema / Andrew Higson -- -- Part four: character and type: -- Introduction -- Typecasting / Pamela Robertson Wojcik -- The 1950s: black stars / Donald Bogle -- In praise of character actors / Rudolf Arnheim -- The lives of supporting players / David Thomson -- Supporting character: the queer career of Agnes Moorehead / Patricia White.