@ASoulAFire @JaniceOCG How would we feel about @HandmaidsOnHulu if @samirawiley – a Black woman – played lead? Book by #CynthiaAnnBaron – Reframing Screen Performance – inspires questions on impact of acting. Dr. Baron joins Thurs., 8 pm ET, 1/20, “If America Fails?: The Coming Tyranny.”
One book published by Dr. Cynthia Ann Baron – Reframing Screen Performance – is described by its publisher as “a groundbreaking study of film acting” which “argues that screen acting is a vital component of film and that it can be understood in the same way as theatrical performance.” This leads me to want to question:
- What it is about the performances of lead characters in The Handmaid’s Tale Hulu TV series that contribute to our experience of Margaret Atwood’s award-winning story?
- Which characters do we identify with the most, and what is it that evokes this resonance?
- How could we mix and match the actors who perform in this show and what impact would that likely have on the popularity of the show? For example, what if Moira (Samira Wiley), a Black woman, was cast as Offred, the lead character – would the show still have such resonance? Though Moira begins as a handmaid, she is quickly transformed into a “Jezebel” – another type of sex worker seen in the series. Is Moira more believable in this role than she was as a handmaid?
See the book description below and tell me –
- What does Dr. Baron’s writing inspire in you?
WATCH Dr. Cynthia Ann Baron, Associate Professor, Theatre and Film, Bowling Green State University – LIVE – Thursday, January 20, 2022, 8 pm ET, on the TruthWorks Network YouTube channel, when she joins “If America Fails?: The Coming Tyranny,” in discussion on Cults, Cultures and Religions in The Handmaid’s Tale, modern American culture and film.
“A significant contribution to the literature on screen performance studies, Reframing Screen Performance brings the study of film acting up to date. It should be of interest to those within cinema studies as well as general readers.” —Frank P. Tomasulo, Florida State University
“Challenges conventional approaches to film by advancing the simple yet revolutionary idea that acting is one of cinema’s essential aspects…
“Reframing Screen Performance is a groundbreaking study of film acting that challenges the long held belief that great cinematic performances are created in the editing room. Surveying the changing attitudes and practices of film acting—from the silent films of Charlie Chaplin to the rise of Lee Strasberg’s Actor’s Studio in the 1950s to the eclecticism found in contemporary cinema—this volume argues that screen acting is a vital component of film and that it can be understood in the same way as theatrical performance. This richly illustrated volume shows how and why the evocative details of actors’ voices, gestures, expressions, and actions are as significant as filmic narrative and audiovisual design. The book features in-depth studies of performances by Anjelica Huston, John Cusack, and Julianne Moore (among others) alongside subtle analyses of directors like Robert Altman and Akira Kurosawa, Sally Potter and Orson Welles. The book bridges the disparate fields of cinema studies and theater studies as it persuasively demonstrates…how theater theory can be illuminate the screen actor’s craft.
“Reframing Screen Performance brings the study of film acting into the twenty-first century and is an essential text for actors, directors, cinema studies scholars, and cinephiles eager to know more about the building blocks of memorable screen performance.
“Cynthia Baron is Associate Professor of Film Studies at Bowling Green State University and co-editor of More Than a Method: Trends and Traditions in Contemporary Film Performance.
“Sharon Carnicke is Professor of Theater and Slavic Studies and Associate Dean of Theater at the University of Southern California and author of Stanislavsky in Focus.” — Publisher
Dr. Cynthia Ann Baron is an Associate Professor in Theatre and Film at Bowling Green State University, where she researches and teaches; authors scholarly books and articles on subjects related to the discipline; and provides keynote speeches and other presentations at conferences both domestically and internationally. Her research and teaching interests include American Independent Cinema; Screenwriting; Taste Formation; Censorship; Food Studies; Women’s Cinema; and Actor Training, Stardom, and Screen Performance, among other subjects. She has taught courses on intersections between the film-media industry, national security, and cultural moments such as the Cold War and the Vietnam era. Some other courses Dr. Baron teaches are American Independent Cinema; Hollywood, Censorship, and American Culture; and Performance and Theatre in the Americas.
Most recently, she published Acting Indie: Industry, Aesthetics, and Performance (with Yannis Tzioumakis), (2020), which illustrates the many ways that actors contribute to American independent cinema and analyzes industrial developments; Modern Acting: The Lost Chapter of American Film and Theatre (2016), which, in part, highlights women’s key contributions to American film and theatre; and Denzel Washington (2015) where Baron traces the star’s persona and impact on mainstream society. Current book projects include: Recasting (White) Genres: Race, Ethnicity, and Performance in Contemporary Film and Television; Intersecting Aesthetics: Literary Adaptations and Cinematic Representations of Blackness, with co-editor Charlene Regester; and Imprisonment: Representation in Global Film and Media, with co-editor Karen Ritzenhoff. She is co-chair of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies Caucus on Class and has participated in events such as the Rethinking Realist Acting Conference in New York, and the Acting in Film Conference in Potsdam. — If America Fails: The Coming Tyranny, a TruthWorks Network Production
READ | Reframing Screen Performance | by Cynthia Baron and Sharon Marie Carnicke | (University of Michigan Press, 2008)