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Watch a Video Essay Arguing Filmmaking Is the Best Actor

Written by on February 23, 2016 

The Revenant 2

“Great cinema is a manipulator—it forces its audience to feel some sort of way,” Jacob Swinney argues at Fandor, introducing a new video essay. “This is accomplished through a variety of tactics. How does a film make us feel sorry for a character? Yes, the actor could do this with an emotion-fueled gaze, but doesn’t that weepy violin slowly rising into the soundtrack seem to help a bit? An actor can create intensity with piercing eyes and lowered brows, but doesn’t that slow dolly make us feel the intense moment a bit more?”

Featuring the rapid editing of The Big Short, the flashbacks of Steve Jobs, the dreamlike cinematography of Carol, the physical nature of The Revenant, the make-up of The Hateful Eight, the sound editing/mixing of The Martian and Room, and more, Swinney makes a case that filmmaking is in fact the best actor. While I wouldn’t necessarily go that far, it’s worth noting just how much the collaborative aspect of cinema can greatly affect a performance. Check it out below and let us know what you think.

What do you think of Swinney’s idea of acting as it relates to filmmaking?

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