FIRST EDITION OF JEAN BERNIQUE'S MOTION PICTURE ACTING, FEATURING 191 PHOTOGRAPHIC IMAGES OF SILENT FILM STARS DEMONSTRATING FACIAL EXPRESSIONS AND EMOTIONS
BERNIQUE, Jean. Motion Picture Acting for Professionals and Amateurs. A Technical Treatise on Make-up, Costumes and Expression. [Chicago]: Producers Service Company, 1916. Small octavo, original black cloth. $850.
First edition of this very early guide to acting in films, with 191 posed photographic images of silent movie stars showing 499 different expressions and emotions.
This fascinating work provides an extraordinarily valuable glimpse into the world of early film. Here, Bernique distinguishes film acting from stage acting and offers a handbook for the mastery of the emerging craft. He carefully explains in the ways in which cosmetics, costumes, and colors must all be altered for camera technology. Moreover, in 191 posed photographs, prominent silent film actors of the age such as Lillian Gish and Mary Pickford are shown in their most famous roles expressing nearly 500 carefully labeled emotions, providing insight into how film acting as a distinct style emerged. For the film buff, the most important chapter of this work may well be the concluding one, which offers the author's opinions on censorship and individual liberty.
Interior generally quite nice, only slight rubbing to extremities of cloth, mild toning to spine. A rare copy in near-fine condition.