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Johannes Riis

Abstract

In order to understand the functions of performer expressiveness in film narratives, we need to draw on multiple conceptualizations of emotions. By viewing emotions in terms of their objects, rather than of their distinct expressions, we may understand how, for example, a pause during line delivery can suggest rich character emotions. In an analysis of an Ingmar Bergman scene from Smiles of a Summer Night (1955), I show how acting styles serve different purposes, such as invoking emotional implications of what has been put in place in the narrative. I discuss how artistic constraints and aesthetic considerations, such as acting norms and the need for balance among parts, provides a supplementary explanation of performer expressiveness.