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Extra info for Schirmer Encyclopedia of Film: Volume 1 - Academy Awards - Crime Films
Working with Adler also instilled in Brando the belief that actors were not isolated artists, but instead citizens Russian actor-director-theorist Konstantin Sergeyevich Stanislavsky (1863–1938) is not surprising. In 1906 the Moscow Art Theatre’s first European tour prompted theater critics to discuss the marvelous details of the actors’ stage business. Their reviews called attention to the actors’ 22 who should have a point of view about society. Brando’s decision to protest Hollywood’s representations of Native Americans by declining the Academy AwardÒ for his performance in The Godfather (1972) is seen by many critics as a flamboyant gesture of a short-lived political stance.
What makes performances so compelling in Cassavetes’s films, for example, is the fact that they not only create memorable characters, but also contain moments when actors seem to comment on the narrative and on their participation in the film. The Brechtian potential of Stanislavskian performances is also disclosed by many of Orson Welles’s performances. His portrayals in Jane Eyre (1944), The Third Man (1949), The Long Hot Summer (1958), Touch of Evil (1958), and Campanadas a medianoche (Chimes at Midnight, 1965) do not simply present audiences with a character, or even the star performance of a character.
Two early 1990s studies of American action films have been particularly influential, Susan Jeffords’s Hard Bodies: Hollywood Masculinity in the Reagan Era (1993) and Yvonne Tasker’s 34 Spectacular Bodies: Gender, Genre and the Action Cinema (1993). Both Jeffords and Tasker foreground questions of gender and politics, drawing attention to the genre’s importance as a space for the elaboration of new formations of masculinity. Jeffords’s analysis situates the muscular action stars of the 1980s against the contemporary neo-conservative context, suggesting a rhetorical association between the white, male ‘‘hard body’’ and the nation itself.
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