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Why Acting Matters

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John Gielgud and Dolly Haas in a Broadway production of "Crime and Punishment"

Film critic David Thomson has written a book that tackles this question: Does acting matter? Put another way, when economies struggle, wars explode, and climate change looms, what’s the value of the performing arts? Thomson thinks acting is important, but not because it tries to be realistic. Acting matters, he says, because it empowers us to escape reality, and to exalt and despair over it. Thomson joins us to examine the methods and genius of the great actors and to explore how we all perform every day. (Rebroadcast)

David Thomson is the author of more than 20 books, including The Biographical Dictionary of Film and biographies of Warren Beatty, Orson Welles, and David O. Selznick. His latest book is called Why Acting Matters [Amazon|Indiebound].