Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Episode #104 - Dan Callahan (The Heiress)

"When I'm writing about acting, I'm trying to be in the moment with them."

Perhaps in danger of becoming a new cliché for the show, Peter remains fascinated by actors: what is this business they do and how do they do it, especially those stars that littered the studios in Hollywood's Golden Age? Answering that question is film and theatre critic Dan Callahan, who has gone in depth on many of those actors. His new book, The Art of American Screen Acting, explores the Classical Hollywood style of performance through twenty essays on Hollywood's best and brightest. Peter asks about the genesis of the book as well as various technical aspects remarked upon, as well as on Dan's other two totems on Barbara Stanwyck and Vanessa Redgrave. Finally, the two look at the site of a true clash in William Wyler's The Heiress, where four titans of Hollywood—all with different styles—produce one of the most confounding and wondrous mixtures of screen performance one could possibly imagine.

0:00-2:48  Opening
4:27-12:56 Establishing Shots — Old Masters, Digital Tricks
13:42-1:05:00 Deep Focus — Dan Callahan
1:05:41-1:10:01  Sponsorship Section
1:11:23-1:31:48 Double Exposure — The Heiress (William Wyler)
1:31:53-1:34:27 Close / Outtake

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Notes and Links to the Conversation
—Read The Art of American Screen Acting, 1912-1960
—Read Dan's film reviews and essays at The Wrap (via Rotten Tomatoes), Senses of Cinema, Slant Magazine, and Roger Ebert.
—Read Vanessa: The Life of Vanessa Redgrave and Barbara Stanwyck: The Miracle Woman
—Story of The Hitchcock Five
—Patrick Humphries's The Films of Alfred Hitchcock
—Some info on the final stage productions of Ingmar Bergman
Dance of Death is no longer available through streaming platforms but can be purchased on DVD.
—Dan on Mitchell Leisen
—Watch Leisen's Song of Surrender (1949)
—Watch Second Serve (1986) and Playing for Time (1980) with Vanessa Redgrave
—"Terror from the East," an episode of Checkmate featuring Charles Laughton
Martin Short as Montgomery Clift

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