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Qualities Of Better Film #13 of 31: Reality Of Actors; Non-performance, Non-judgement of characters

It’s a question of directing, and a question of non-directing, whether the actors are inhabiting their character or performing them. If an actor is desiring us to feel a certain way about their character, we don’t truly feel, but instead are being asked to judge. A lot of genre-based filmmaking seeks us to know a character immediately and thus actors are often asked to project and let us know whether the character is good or bad, noble or selfish, to be trusted or doubted. It is a whole other type of filmmaking when actors simply present the character and allow their ways and habits to be felt by an audience. It is an easy route to ask an audience to judge from the start; it is a challenge to admit how hard it is to ever know someone, even as truths emerge. A filmmaker demonstrates a respect for individuals, in all their aberrations, and a love for humanity in general, when they require the actors to never judge their characters and let their interior to emerge over time and in details.

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