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Performing performers: embodiment and intertextuality in the contemporary biopic

Donaldson, L. F. (2013) Performing performers: embodiment and intertextuality in the contemporary biopic. In: Brown, T. and Vidal, B. (eds.) The Biopic in Contemporary Film Culture. AFI Film Readers. Routledge, London, pp. 103-117. ISBN 9780415899413

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The actor’s body is of critical importance to the biopic’s representation of ‘real’ lives, to issues of physical and gestural resemblance, and in its role as the dramatic vehicle; acting out significant moments, embodying transformations. Through detailed examination of Beyond the Sea (2004), De-Lovely (2004), Molière (2007), films which foreground the construction, and constructedness, of life through performance and spectacle, this chapter explores the self-reflexive and intertexual embodiment of life stories. It focuses on the material details of performance in relation to distinctly contemporary strategies of film style and tone, and how these connect to questions of expectation and agency.

Item Type:Book or Report Section
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Arts and Communication Design > Film, Theatre & Television
ID Code:36208
Uncontrolled Keywords:biopic, contemporary film, American film, French film, Moliere, De-Lovely, Beyond the Sea, Bobby Darin, Cole Porter, Kevin Spacey, Kevin Kline, Romain Duris, film performance, embodiment, impersonation

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