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[Commlist] CfP One-day symposium The Transatlantic Careers of Gary Oldman and Tim Roth
Wed Jun 26 10:55:33 GMT 2019
*The Transatlantic Careers of Gary Oldman and Tim Roth*
*One-day symposium organized by Jean-François Baillon (CLIMAS), Claire
Cornillon (RiRRa21), Nathalie Rivère de Carles (CAS) and David Roche
March 6-7 2020, Nîmes, Festival Ecrans Britanniques
As a part of the 23th edition of the film festival Écrans britanniques
this one-day conference will focus on two British actors, Gary Oldman
and Tim Roth, as State of Britain actors. Both are emblematic of an
aesthetic and a dramatic education profoundly modified by the
evolution of education and cultural funding in the UK. This conference
would like to ask whether the likes of Gary Oldman and Tim Roth are
still possible on the British stage and screen? As such this
conference will participate in the pluri-disciplinary discussions of
CAS 1 and 3 on the politics of the stage and the screen.
Born and bred in South London in working-class and middle-class
families, Oldman and Roth emerged in the early 1980s. They starred in
some of the major productions of the decade—Made in Britain(Alan
Clarke, 1982), The Hit(Stephen Frears, 1984), Sid and Nancy(Alex Cox,
1986), Prick Up Your Ears(Frears, 1987), The Cook, His Wife, Her Lover
and the Thief(Peter Greenaway, 1989)— and expanded their careers by
appearing in American major, independent and off- Hollywood
productions —JFK(Oliver Stone, 1991), Reservoir Dogs(Quentin
Tarantino, 1992), Bram Stoker’s Dracula(Francis Ford Coppola,
1992),True Romance(Tony Scott, 1993), Romeo Is Bleeding(Peter Medak,
1993). Gradually they became cult international stars, Oldman recently
winning an Academy Award for his rendering of Churchill in Darkest
Hour(Joe Wright, 2017). Their acting careers intertwine as in
Meantime(Mike Leigh, 1983) and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are
Dead(Tom Stoppard, 1990), and so do their directing debuts: Nil by
Mouth(Oldman, 1997) and The War Zone(Roth, 1999). The latter films
identify Oldman and Roth as social actors as they feature personal
biographical and social views of their childhood and of the
environment they grew up in.
Oldman and Roth belong to a long tradition of London-born
working-class British actors such as Charlie Chaplin, Cary Grant,
Michael Caine or Roger Moore. However, they came to acting at a time
of deep ontological crisis, soul-searching or soul-searching avoidance
during the pre- and Thatcher years. Their training, recognition and
career evolution accompany, represent and testify to a State of
Britain aesthetic that has seldom been explored through the prism of
actors and acting. Pairing sociological, literary and cinematic
approaches, this one-day symposium will pay attention to Oldman’s and
Roth’s careers, acting technique and star images, the symposium will
question whether they are exceptions or representative of certain
trends in British and international cinema. It will also assess the
relevance of treating actors and acting as social actors as well as
the carriers and the fashioners of an aesthetics. The latter will be
also questioned in terms of the existence of a shift from directors to
actors as aesthetic trend-setters in British and American cinema.
Presentations based on performance studies, star studies, sociological
approaches to art and popular culture, and cultural studies from both
a British and transatlantic perspective are welcome. They may raise
the following questions (the list is non-exhaustive):
- To what extent did both actors embody their generation’s version of
the angry young men?
- How long did their South of the River persona remain relevant to
their star image or has it evolved with their transnational career?
- How do their careers compare with those of other British actors of
their generation (Phil Daniels, Ray Winstone, Brian Cox), or of
British actors of previous (Michael Caine, Albert Finney, Malcolm
MacDowell) or subsequent (Ewan McGregor, Jude Law, Tom Hardy, Benedict
Cumberbatch, Eddie Redmaine) generations?
- How do they fit in the American and British acting traditions?
Attention can also be paid to:
- acting style, techniques, training (notably accents, social
background of actors, access to training…)
- star images or star persona, typecasting; evolution in terms of
casting; ageing; appearances in music videos (in connection with
typecasting or the opposite).
- historical approaches to their careers (notably their mentors):
project choices, stage and television work, their own position in film
- the cognitive actor & the social actor: anthropology and
performance, actor-network theory, career choices and social and
- the films they directed: film as testimony; how do actors direct?
and how are their works received?
300-word proposals, along with a short biography, should be sent by
*15th* *September 2019 *to
(oldmanandroth.nimes2020 /at/ gmail.com)
<mailto:(oldmanandroth.nimes2020 /at/ gmail.com)>
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