Home » Eloquent Gestures: The Transformation of Performance Style in the Griffith Biograph Films by Roberta E. Pearson
Eloquent Gestures: The Transformation of Performance Style in the Griffith Biograph Films Roberta E. Pearson

Eloquent Gestures: The Transformation of Performance Style in the Griffith Biograph Films

Roberta E. Pearson

Published
ISBN : 9780520073654
Hardcover
196 pages
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 About the Book 

Between 1908 and 1913, D. W. Griffith played a key role in the reformulating of films narrative techniques, thus contributing to the creation of what we now think of as the classical Hollywood cinema. This book is the only extensive treatment of aMoreBetween 1908 and 1913, D. W. Griffith played a key role in the reformulating of films narrative techniques, thus contributing to the creation of what we now think of as the classical Hollywood cinema. This book is the only extensive treatment of a critical period in the history of film acting: the emergence of the realistic verisimilar style in Griffiths biograph films. Roberta Pearson shows how Griffith gradually abandoned the deliberately affected histrionic acting style derived from the nineteenth-century stage. No longer did actors mime distress by raising their arms to heaven or clutching their heads—a subtle facial expression, a slight change in posture would convey a characters extreme emotions instead.Pearson makes detailed comparisons of certain Biograph films and brings a freshness to her analysis by closely examining contemporary journalistic writing, acting manuals, and the recollections of actors of the time. Her work is important for anyone interested in early cinema and performance, and it will enliven the study of American cultural history and mass communications.