Dan CallahanDec 22, 2020
The Camera Lies
Acting for Hitchcock
Oxford University Press 2020
In The Camera Lies, published in 2020 by Oxford University Press, author Dan Callahan spotlights the many nuances of Hitchcock's direction throughout his career, from Cary Grant in Notorious (1946) to Janet Leigh in Psycho (1960). Delving further, he examines the ways that sex and sexuality are presented through Hitchcock's characters, reflecting the director's own complex relationship with sexuality.
Dan Callahan is the author of Barbara Stanwyck: The Miracle Woman, Vanessa: The Life of Vanessa Redgrave, The Art of American Screen Acting, 1912-1960, and The Art of American Screen Acting, 1960 to Today. He has written about film for Sight & Sound, Film Comment, Nylon, The Village Voice, RogerEbert.com and many other publications.
Detailing the fluidity of acting -- both what it means to act on film and how the process varies in each actor's career -- Callahan examines the spectrum of treatment and direction Hitchcock provided well- and lesser-known actors alike, including Ingrid Bergman, Henry Kendall, Joan Barry, Robert Walker, Jessica Tandy, Kim Novak, and Tippi Hedren. As Hitchcock believed, the best actor was one who could "do nothing well" - but behind an outward indifference to his players was a sophisticated acting theorist who often drew out great performances. The Camera Lies unpacks Hitchcock's legacy both as a director who continuously taught audiences to distrust appearance, and as a man with an uncanny insight into the human capacity for deceit and misinterpretation.