Acting in Theatre and Film

Course Code :2015FLWTHF
Study domain:Film and theatre
Academic year:2020-2021
Semester:2nd semester
Contact hours:45
Study load (hours):168
Contract restrictions: No contract restriction
Language of instruction:Dutch
Exam period:exam in the 2nd semester
Lecturer(s)Timmy De Laet
Tom Paulus

3. Course contents *

This course does not offer a practical actor's training, but would like to offer some critical attention in a field where this is often lacking: that of acting and actors. It is not easy to view "acting in film" separately from the plot or narrative, or of other elements in the production process for that matter, such as editing, camera direction, etc. Neither is it simple to accurately describe the, often very subtle, gradations in movement and voice inflection, let alone evaluate or quantify these (the most valued performance is often one that "stands out"). Nevertheless, this course attempts to do just that, and tries to closely analyze and historicize, starting from a number of non-filmic traditions, from Stanislavsky (the realist idea that a good actor is "lifelike" and truly expresses his organic "self") to Brecht "the antirealist idea which coaxes the actor to be less lifelike, and more critical). In the broad phenomenological description of the actor in his acoustical and physical expression - his place in filmic space, his way of communicating with the audience - the dialectic between the traditions embodied by Brecht and Stanislavsky will keep playing a central role. We will discuss the actor in different genres and different artistic and film historical traditions, and will also point our attention to expressive "assistance" through costumes and make-up. Aside from that, we will also quite elaborately discuss a special type of actor, the star, whose name and persona were created by the studio and then coded through repetition, not just in film, but also in publicity and day-to-day communication. Finally, we will introduce a theoretical reflection on the "reality effect" of acting in film and theatre in relation to theatrical concepts of "presence" and "liveness."