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Great Cinematic Performances Volume 2: International

Edited by Murray Pomerance, Kyle Stevens

Paperback (Forthcoming)
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Analyses what makes an acting performance excellent, through a range of examples from world cinema

This two-volume set presents detailed interpretations of singular performances by several of the most compelling actors in cinema history, asking in many different and complementary ways what makes performance meaningful, how it reflects a director’s style, as well as how it contributes to the development of national cinemas and cultures. Whether noting the precise ways actors shape film narrative, achieve emotional effect, or move toward political subversion, the essays in these books innovate new approaches to studying screen performance as an art form and cultural force.

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Introduction: Great International Performance, Kyle Stevens and Murray Pomerance
1--Victor Sjöström in Wild Strawberries, Homer Pettey
2--Emil Jannings in The Blue Angel, Jerry Mosher
3--Charles Laughton in Hobson’s Choice, Marcia Landy
4--Nikolai Cherkasov in Ivan the Terrible, Karla Oeler
5--Peter Lorre in M, Janet Bergstrom
6--Anna Magnani in The Golden Coach, Sergio Rigoletto
7--Alec Guinness in Last Holiday, R. Barton Palmer
8--Ingrid Bergman in Stromboli, Victoria Duckett
9--Toshirô Mifune in Throne of Blood, Douglas McFarland
10--Setsuko Hara in Tokyo Story, David Desser
11--Marcello Mastroianni in 8 ½, Adrienne L. McLean
12--Jeanne Moreau in The Bride Wore Black, Adrian Danks
13--Michel Serrault in La cage aux folles, Kyle Stevens
14--Madhubala in Mughal-e-Azam, Corey K. Creekmur
15--Michael Caine in Alfie, Jason Jacobs
16--Amitabh Bachchan in Deewaar, Ulka Anjaria
17--Catherine Deneuve in The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, Alexia Kannas
18--Jean-Pierre Léaud in Stolen Kisses, Aaron Taylor
19--Isabelle Huppert in The Piano Teacher, Alison Taylor
20--Emma Thompson in The Remains of the Day, Tim Vermeulen
21—Tilda Swinton in I Am Love, Murray Pomerance
22---Denis Lavant in Holy Motors, Nick Davis
23--Choi Min-sik in Oldboy, Hye Seung Chung and David S. Diffrient
24--Maggie Cheung in In the Mood for Love, Gina Marchetti
25--Omotola Jalade Ekeinde in Mortal Inheritance, Noah Tsika
26--Gael Garcia Bernal in The Motorcycle Diaries, Dolores Tierney

About the Author

Murray Pomerance is an independent scholar living in Toronto. He is the author of many books including The Man Who Knew Too Much (BFI, 2016), A King of Infinite Space (Oberon, 2017) and Moment of Action: Riddles of Cinematic Performance (Rutgers, 2016).

Kyle Stevens is Assistant Professor of Film Studies at Appalachian State University. He is the author of Mike Nichols: Sex, Language, and the Reinvention of Psychological Realism, and his essays have appeared in Cinema Journal, Critical Quarterly, Film Criticism, World Picture, as well as several edited collections. He is also editor-in-chief of New Review of Film and Television Studies.


Mustering a wide array of voices and perspectives, these game-changing volumes provide a welcome scholarly corrective to the scandalous undervaluation of actors, acting, and performance that has prevailed in cinema studies for far too long. This collection promises to shape discourse on screen acting for many years to come.

- David Sterritt, Maryland Institute College of Art


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