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
Scholars applying numerous priceless techniques discover how those motion picture stars' motion pictures communicate to an elevated viewers information of advances in feminism, new rules approximately masculinity, and the advanced political surroundings within the Age of Reagan. The essays display the variety of those stars' contributions to such conversations in numerous movies, together with blockbusters and significant genres.
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Extra resources for Acting for America: Movie Stars of the 1980s
Mamet (who has described himself as “a devotee to Sergei Eisenstein and his theory of montage”) and De Palma allude to the Soviet ﬁlmmaker’s Odessa steps sequence from Battleship Potemkin (1925) in the scene in which Ness and his deputy, George Stone (Andy Garcia), apprehend the bookkeeper who will be the central witness in the tax evasion trial that would put Capone in prison (Kane 146). Mamet and De Palma thus cast the gangster story within a materialist context whereby Capone is not just the embodiment of the “pure evil” that De Niro criticized, but rather representative of a problematic criminal response to larger patterns of discrimination and social control.
Jake’s unexpected redirection of the conversation and insistence that his brother hit him exempliﬁes the deliberate discontinuity of De Niro’s performance style, as well as its function to express latent subjectivity. More because of the spectacle of his weight gain than these acting techniques, De Niro’s performance in Raging Bull set a new standard. Kevin Hayes commented that “since Raging Bull, the willingness to gain weight for a part has become a mark of an actor’s dedication to the role” (7).
All of this drama is delivered with the utmost seriousness, presenting a ﬁgure that viewers are intended to see as a sacriﬁcial rather than a triumphant hero. The spectacle of the exposed and humiliated physique, what Rita Kempley calls the “sadomasochistic thing,” is an integral part of Stallone’s star image (Washington Post, 22 December 1989, 13). He offers the erotic display of the suffering male body, perhaps as an antidote to abuse or perhaps—for some viewers—as a booster to the visual thrill of witnessing such torture.
Acting for America: Movie Stars of the 1980s 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