Film scholars are coming to the view that presentational and representational acting styles are options that exist along a continuum, rather than opposite and mutually exclusive approaches, and they recognize that actors draw on a range of methods to prepare for and execute film performances. Acknowledging that film and theater portrayals require the same depth of preparation, and that each context requires unique adjustments, film scholars have set aside definitions of film acting that involve a strict opposition between stage and screen acting. Instead, gaining insights from video and performance art, television and performance studies, they now see connections between performance in film and other forms of mediated performance. Anthologies such as More Than a Method (Baron, Carson, and Tomasulo, 2004) feature scholarship that considers ways that performance elements contribute to films' meaning and emotional effects—even though audiences encounter performances in relationship to other aspects of the film's visual, aural, and narrative design.
Scholars have also developed more nuanced ways of considering authorship and film performance. They acknowledge that film performances are made up of physical and vocal expressions produced by actors—even in cases when directors such as Stanley Kubrick (1928–1999) maintain a high degree of control by tricking actors, misinforming actors, or giving actors predetermined line readings and body positions. They recognize that screen performances depend on actors' voices and actors' bodies as the source of characters' movements—even in animated and computer-generated films. Like performances in disparate forms of theater, video, television, and new media, acting in film depends, at least in part, on actors who use their bodies and voices to create impressions, moods, and characterizations.
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