Friday, July 31, 2009

Today's rant about what people call "bad acting" in genre movies...

Maybe I'm naive, but I never fully understood why people (even fans) always talking about "bad acting" in genre/exploitation-movies. Almost as it's something to expect. These "fans" can love the movie, adore, worship it... but always throw in a "sure, the acting isn't that good" or "but except the crappy acting" and so on.

I just don't understand it.

I watch a lot of slasher movies from the eighties, and those are extra attached because of this alleged "bad acting". I watch them, I'm not into nostalgia, so I don't think automatically that everything is great and fantastic, but I'd never any problems with the acting. The same thing with italian exploitation movies, even the dubbed ones, american b-movies from the fifties or direct-to-dvd creature features. Of course there's different acting styles all over the world. A chinese actor dosen't act the same way as an italian, at least if you look back in time to some older movies. American actors had a special way of delivering lines and moving their body, it's all in the tradition. It has nothing to do with realism, and never will.

But that there's a common thing with bad actors in exploitation movies? Bullshit. Of course. I see now different way in the quality of acting in Antropophagus as in... Taxi Driver. Just one example. There's good actors in both of them, but the tradition in italian cinema is to dub the movies - and often fast and a bit sloppy. But that's the way it is. Antropophagus dosen't have the same well written script as Taxi Driver, and a good script with good dialogue makes actors seems better. For be Robert De Niro and George Eastman are the same quality-wise. They just act in movies so far from each other that people just think they other one is a worse actor.

When it comes to professional movies, not amatour-productions, there's often "real" actors involved. Even if it's a cheesy lowbudget slasher from 1984. They get the paycheck (which is probably quite small), do the job and go home and look for the next job to survive. It's not all the time you can put your heart in a production.

Of course there's a lot of bad actors around, but many of them are either so big that people hire them because they're famous or they're so unknown so sooner or later they won't get any acting jobs anymore. The main important thing is charisma, and an actor - good or bad - can survive a long time on that. If they show love for their job, have fun, gives the audience a blast and just do the best they can with the script, that's a good actor. A bad one is one who just dosen't care anymore. Who just do it for big money or being famous.

Acting is where your heart is, and it dosen't have anything to do with if your movie is big... or small.


Jared said...

I agree with you 100% on this. If you want real bad acting just go to your local cineplex and plop your monies down for just about any Hollywood movie that's showing. You'll also get bad directing, bad cinematography, bad editing, bad writing, and good lord really, really bad music. It isn't nostalgia for me either. It's aesthetics.

Ninja Dixon said...

Jared: It's all about love for the art, I think many so called "good" actor has lost it. They just don't wanna inject that energy anymore. Just some more money to buy a new house.