Download Acting for America: Movie Stars of the 1980s by Robert Eberwein, Aaron Baker, Rebecca Bell-Metereau, PDF

By Robert Eberwein, Aaron Baker, Rebecca Bell-Metereau, Professor William Brown, Michael DeAngelis, Krin Gabbard, Professor Chris Holmlund, Professor Adam Knee, Professor Christina Lane, Professor Linda Mizejewski, James Morrison, Jerry Mosher

A appealing solid of Nineteen Eighties energy and talent--John sweet, Tom Cruise, Robert DeNiro, Clint Eastwood, Sally box, Harrison Ford, Michael J. Fox, Mel Gibson, Goldie Hawn, Jessica Lange, Steve Martin, Eddie Murphy, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sissy Spacek, Sylvester Stallone, Meryl Streep, Sigourney Weaver, Bruce Willis, and the "Brat Pack"—stars within the drama of this decade. Acting for America makes a speciality of the way in which those movie icons have engaged in and outlined a few significant problems with cultural and social hindrance to the US throughout the 1980s.

Scholars applying various necessary ways discover how those motion picture stars' movies converse to an elevated viewers expertise of advances in feminism, new principles approximately masculinity, and the complicated political surroundings within the Age of Reagan. The essays reveal the variety of those stars' contributions to such conversations in a number of movies, together with blockbusters and significant genres.

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Additional resources for Acting for America: Movie Stars of the 1980s

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As he rehearses his nightclub act in the last scene of Raging Bull, Jake LaMotta bungles the Terry Malloy “I 26 AARON BAKER coulda been a contender” lines from On the Waterfront (1954) that he invokes to blame his brother Joey for his failure and rage. Likewise, De Niro’s gangster characters in Sergio Leone’s Once Upon a Time in America and Brian De Palma’s The Untouchables fail in their attempt to use language to explain away selfish, violent behavior. De Niro’s roles as David “Noodles” Aaronson and as Al Capone in these films therefore exemplify Sarah Kozloff’s observation that movie gangsters are frequently as profligate with words as they are with violence, using both to intimidate and control others (207).

Why go crazy thinking about it? JAKE: Hit me in the face. Joey begins punching his brother in the face, growing ever angrier as Jake questions his manhood to spur him on. To increase Pesci’s indignation, De Niro would insult him between takes. ” (Baxter 201). Along with his emphasis on preparation, physical transformation, and improvisation, De Niro’s acting style in Raging Bull and his other 1980s films employed performance techniques demonstrated in the scene with Joey and Emma: a colloquial, urban style of speech and physical self-assertion, as well as deliberate discontinuity created by elliptical or overlapping dialogue or acts of seemingly random, spontaneous violence—what might be called “moments of expressive incoherence” that suggest cracks in the character’s outer façade, allowing for the expression of inner repression or deep motivations (Naremore 278).

Star turns, in King’s words, place “emphasis on what is unique to the actor, displacing emphasis from what an actor can do qua actor onto what actor qua person or biographical entity is” (168, 178). The Method style of acting that asks for expression of the actor’s own experience and emotions King describes as an adaptation of film performance to the need for stars, allowing bankable performers to present their personalities rather than having to become the character (179). Richard Maltby agrees that the profit motive of Hollywood stars limits narrative complexity by how “the commercial imperatives of the star system require that stars are always visible through their characters” (384).

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