by Adam Hirsch
They came out about a week ago, but if you haven’t already watched them — you should. In an absolute stroke of brilliance, The New York Times Magazine decided to get fourteen A-list actors in front of a camera for short, silent single-take scenes. It’s called “Fourteen Actors Acting“. (Click the link to follow to it.)
For all of you that went through film school — especially working with a Bolex and 16mm B&W Reversal — a lot of these will feel familiar in the best way. They’re just like those exercises and assignments you had to suffer through while trying to get a grasp on the medium, the ones you overexposed or had your actor-friend drop out at the last minute only to be replaced with your roommate’s drunk friend — only these are perfect little exercises, perfect little displays, and fourteen actors — including Matt Damon, James Franco, Chloe Moretz, Natalie Portman, Javier Bardem and Tilda Swinton — who all seem to understand how less translates to more.
They can remind you why you like this crazy stuff in the first place.