Sunday, November 24, 2019
Acting Through a Mask
As a kid watching this bit of performance by David Prowse in "Return of the Jedi", I was absolutely convinced that Vader's mask was--somehow--changing and emoting. I could see the conflict going on inside of Vader.
Breaking it down today, we realize it's not solely Prowse's performance (his posture, his timing, the angle of his head tilts, the slow head turn to his Emperor then back to his son in pain) that sells the emotion; there are several contextual aspects of the scene that add to it.
🎞️ music: Williams' original trilogy score is at a literal crescendo, achieving its emotional zenith
🎞️ costume: we have never seen Vader's costume this dirty (weakened & vulnerable)
🎞️ camera move: there are very few dolly-in moves in the original trilogy, especially in closeup
In summary movies are cool because it's never just one thing that makes a scene work.
It's every craft working together to achieve a common goal.