The Decline of the American Actor (The Atlantic, Jul-Aug 2015)

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Excerpt: “Actors can’t do what they do in isolation, as writers and painters and composers can. The theatrical arts are collaborative, both in the microcosm of an individual production and in the macrocosm of the culture that does, or does not, sustain them. It’s fair to say that American culture isn’t providing a high level of sustenance right now, and actors—like so many others in the every-man-for-himself climate of 2015—have to figure out, on their own, ways to get what they need. The question is whether they can muster the imagination, and the stamina, to maintain their technique (and their spirits) while dealing with the sort of material available to them in this movie culture: cop dramas, superhero adventures, rom-coms and bro comedies, the occasional earnest, glacially paced indie. It’s not impossible, but it can be a heavy lift.”

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11 Responses to “The Decline of the American Actor (The Atlantic, Jul-Aug 2015)”

  1. An interesting article — I haven’t seen many of the films discussed here, but the write-up on Nightcrawler towards the end was excellent: that was a disturbing, creepy film, and Jake Gyllenhall’s performance was for me one of the most memorable ones by a Hollywood actor in a while (in a completely different vein, the immense world-weariness Philip Seymour-Hoffman managed to convey in A Most Wanted Man, without “doing” anything showy, deeply impressed me; in this season of Yakub Memon/Raman-articles, I have been reminded of that film more than once)…

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