Great Actors/Actresses & their Impact on Genre Jul 7, 2019 21:02:59 GMT via mobile
Post by TerryMontana on Jul 7, 2019 21:02:59 GMT
Film Genre : Americana
@raygittes07 because well, you know ........
The most lauded/awarded American film actor - ever - in a genre which some wouldn't think of as genre at all?
The film term Americana usually is used to apply to distinctly American-isms - ie films on the Civil War or Westerns say etc. - but I'd argue Jack Nicholson is so great a film icon he not only defines this (too) broad genre he transcends it . Even films you wouldn't think at first fit, actually do often seemingly because of him - he is an original American-ism in and of himself..
No other actor - not John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, Robert Duvall others that seem like they apply - ever said more in as many ways or represented more about his country and its paradoxes.
One of the best and the single most important film actor of his generation in several ways - and he comes from a generation of very great and important actors - he himself conveys America at its most restless and curious. He in effect was like Robert Altman as an actor - appearing across material that revealed the beauty, horror, humor and sadness of late 20th century American culture.
Tragedies of family and capitalistic commerce (Five Easy Pieces, Chinatown, King of Marvin Gardens), comedies that then soured into drama about our bureaucracies and power structures in American culture - sexual, military, authoritarian (Carnal Knowledge, The Last Detail, One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest), our pop-Art (Batman), our high Art too (Eugene O'Neill in Reds). What's more this was reflected in his characters own mixed feelings about where he was and what it meant then and how it may end up - his great Easy Rider speech about America specifically for example, the disconnect of family and purpose in About Schmidt, the unkept promise implicit in The Pledge.
To Nicholson these characters well that was America, the past and the present at odds, promises made that couldn't completely be honored, families held together and separated by time - by the most tenuous strings in a land too big to fail and too noble in principle to fail even.
His solution was to portray it as honestly as possible and I'd say many Americans would say that their life - their real life, not some Hollywood version of it could be represented in his characters and by extension in this actor himself.
The man himself, lost in the supermarket, from About Schmidt:
I know my post doesn't really belong to this thread but, as I'm not American, I was wondering if Jack has ever done theatre. And if he has, why didn't he continue? Is there any post in the best actors across all media thread? I'd really like to know.