Greatest performance ever?

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Greatest performance ever?

Postby Don Lope de Aguirre » Thu Apr 27, 2006 12:30 am

Klaus Kinski in Aguirre, Wrath of God.
Don Lope de Aguirre

Re: Greatest performance ever?

Postby wpqx » Thu Apr 27, 2006 12:59 pm

Marlon Brando in Last Tango in Paris

Re: Greatest performance ever?

Postby A » Thu Apr 27, 2006 4:04 pm

David Thewlis in "Naked" ?

This is a suggestion, not a statement. Haven't seen the two mentioned above.

Re: Greatest performance ever?

Postby Anasazie » Fri Apr 28, 2006 12:02 am

I couldn't ever make such a bold statement as there are so many different styles and so many different approaches to performance. Nowadays a lot of film-makers are trying to get rid of the word "performance" from the mind of their players.

Kinski's "performance" in Aguirre is just that, a performance. The power he created as an actor was extraordinary, but he's always just being Kinski.

Anyway, a few spring to mind that i admire are even though i'm wary of using the word performance are:

Lynn Carlin - Faces

Gina Rowlands - A Woman Under the Influence &/or Opening Night.

Ben Gazzara - The Killing of a Chinese Bookie

Michel Piccoli - La Belle Noiseuse

Monica Vitti - L'Avventura

Nina Pens Rode - Gertrud

Olivier Goumet - Le Fils

Marlene Dietrich - Dishonored

Juliette Binoche - Bleu

Elliott Gould - The Long Goodbye

Jim Caviezel - The Thin Red Line

Nick Nolte - Affliction

Alain Delon - Le Samourai

Crissy Rock - Ladybird, Ladybird

Isabelle Huppet - La Pianiste

etc etc... loads more, i'll stop now. It's all too subjective, it's hard to remember big responses which are only related to the actor. It's kind of like asking the question what film contains the best cinematography, it's too hard to make that call.

Lots of women which is interesting! Also lots of A-mericans which is probably due to my general feeling that the "performances" are designed to stand out from the film, not blend in, as is the case with a lot non-american cinema.

Re: Greatest performance ever?

Postby A » Fri Apr 28, 2006 12:24 am

Some great choices.
Of course it is nearly impossible to find one best. I guess the question is a bit ironic, and the purpose is to get a list of some greats - as you did.
I also tend to like subtler actor's who don't really "perform" in any traditional sense. But my suggestion is in fact a performance.
Great there are so many different techniques and ways of acting. If i recal Doillon's "Les doigts dans la tte", the actors were all unprofessionals but were stunning. Everything seemed real and unforced to me, and that is the greatest magic. If you forget the performer, his name, his reputation or personality, and start experiencing the character - of course that can also come from professionals, though i tend to think this only happens when they "depart" from themselves more than usually - or, imo in the case of Binoche and Bleu - identify themselves so much with the character that they don't have to play anymore (I think Bleu is as much "her" film as Kieslowski's).
But it can also be nice observing a person on screen, regardless if he or she is acting effectively. For example I always enjoy watching Kevin Costner on screen, and usually he's just that - Kevin Costner.

Re: Greatest performance ever?

Postby Don Lope de Aguirre » Fri Apr 28, 2006 1:40 am

Anasazie, I don't think Kinski's portrayal was necessarily "just a performance." If anything, I'd consider it more of a non-performance. The beauty of his portrayal is that he slowly ascends into the foreground after a fairly secondary role in the earlier scenes. His monologues towards the end of the film are what ultimately give his performance, and the film, power.

I do think that the better the film is, the more a director can get from an actor, mainly because most great films have characters that are deep, ambiguous, and easily related to real life people. That's why I hate that Robert DeNiro never really worked with genius directors, he followed Scorsese his whole career. He's amazing in Once Upon a Time in America though.

With that said, good call on Alain Delon in Le Samourai. He almost never breaks his driven intensity, aside the scene in the car towards the end, which just shows how skilled he is. That'd probably be my second choice next to Kinski, along with Michael Pitt in Last Days.

Thanks for the insight.
Don Lope de Aguirre

Re: Greatest performance ever?

Postby wpqx » Fri Apr 28, 2006 1:48 am

Coppola, Scorsese, and De Palma are all geniuses to me.

Re: Greatest performance ever?

Postby Don Lope de Aguirre » Fri Apr 28, 2006 1:51 am

DE PALMA A GENIUS?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!?
Don Lope de Aguirre

Re: Greatest performance ever?

Postby wpqx » Fri Apr 28, 2006 2:00 am

Yes he is. Few directors could utilize all aspects of the medium as well as he could. Sure most of his films have some major flaws, but his craft is amazing, but you might not like Hitchcock either. Watch Carlito's Way, I found it a near perfect film, or Casualties of War.

Re: Greatest performance ever?

Postby Don Lope de Aguirre » Fri Apr 28, 2006 2:03 am

I've seen Carlito's Way, and actually liked it. But The Untouchables and Scarface are some of the worst films ever made.
Don Lope de Aguirre


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