Murray Pomerance is an independent scholar living in Toronto, Canada. He is the editor of the Techniques of the Moving Image series and the Horizons of Cinema series, and co-editor, with Lester D. Friedman and Adrienne L. McLean respectively, of the Screen Decades and Star Decades series. Pomerance has written, edited and co-edited several books, including Cinema, If You Please (2018), Moment of Action (2016), Alfred Hitchcock's America (2013), The Horse who Drank the Sky: Film Experience beyond Narrative and Theory (2008), and two BFI Classics on Marnie (2014) and The Man Who Knew Too Much (2016).
In this extraordinary volume, Murray Pomerance acts as something like a spirit guide to the mysteries of cinematic performance. The text conjures a pageant of gestures, voices, faces and moments that exemplify virtuosity, accompanied by critical reflection that is never less than compelling. Pomerance's prose is itself virtuosic: lucid, penetrating, brilliant. It asks questions we didn't know could be asked, and never resorts to easy answers. This makes the book essential reading, not just for scholars and students of film performance, but for anyone interested in the art and magic of the cinema. * Dr. Alex Clayton, Senior Lecturer in Film and Television, University of Bristol, UK * From detailed examinations of such singular talents like James Dean and Cary Grant, to the subtler, fleeting, performative moments by virtuosos as varied as John Barrymore and Kristen Stewart, Murray Pomerance offers a new way of approaching, as well as a language for addressing, the riddling qualities of great film acting. What magic the actors explored in this book do with gesture, expression and inflexion, Pomerance does here with incisive description, analysis, and an often delightful turn of phrase. * Dr. Daniel Varndell, Senior Lecturer in English Literature, University of Winchester, UK *