Distinguishing bad acting from bad directing - Page 2 at DVinfo.net

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Old August 24th, 2006, 07:05 PM   #16
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Kubrick is probably not the best example to use anyway as in the vast majority of his work he tends to handle people in a very cold manner - 2001, A Clockwork Orange, Eyes Wide Shut (however much that was HIS film) are all far more about the issues and concepts than the characters.

McDowell in Orange and Jack in the Shining are triumphs of personality over direction and Spartacus is probably the only 'proper' exception as it has genuine emotional moments.

But for the most part his characters are very 2-dimensional and many actors cannot thrive in that environment, hence Stanley's reputation as such a hard taskmaster. I get the impression that for all his obvious talent, and I am a big big fan, his social and communication skills left much to be desired.

My 'who's to blame' breakdown

If the dialogue doesn't ring true it's the writer
If the performance doesn't compel it's the actor
If the boom casts a shadow over the lead it's the DP
If the pacing is off it's the editor
If everything is perfect it's because of the director..lol


PS. As for the argument that acting has changed over the years... Well it's certainly true - hasn't everything? - but there are some absolutely steller performances in older movies, from the Public Enemy, most Laurel and Hardy, even the bleedin' Wizard of Oz etc...

In fact Cagney in The Public Enemy is an incredibly naturalistic peformance, just acted out within the confines of what could and couldn't be shown or depicted at the time.
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