Acting Intelligent

Katharine Hepburn's famous dictum: "Acting is the perfect idiot's profession," sheds a humorous but robative illumination on the aesthetics of stage and screen, and perhaps allows us to put into perspective the widely circulated commercials featuring Alec Baldwin, who one longs to hear read dramatically, "Don't panic, I'm an intellectual -- I play one on TV." Hollywood is all about patchwork facades, flattering camera angles, and the uncanny ability to render the odious as noble or have the virtuous appear tainted. It is an illustration of Plato's view that the arts are thrice removed from reality: having the propensity to steer the mind from reason and logic and filter life through the warped mirror of passionate emotion. Poets, cinematographers, screenwriters, and actors have within their fingertips the ability to sway the moral imagination into opaque corners of the human conscience. One need only to reflect briefly on Leni Riefenstahl's Triumph of the Will and its...(Read Full Article)

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