Vocal Control In Paul Thomas Anderson’s ‘There Will Be Blood’

The Playlist | 5/26/2018 | Julia Teti
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From the Classic Hollywood period, celebrated actors like John Wayne and Humphrey Bogart had one trait that was undeniable and lead to impersonations and parodies alike: their voices. Since the passing of the classical period in film, the rise of chameleon actors has gained huge momentum with actors becoming a character to the point of vocal alteration. Actors and directors are now using voice as a means to tell their story, creating dimensional characters, and providing memorable performances. One such actor who does this time and time again is Daniel Day-Lewis.

In a video essay by Now You See It, the vocal control Day-Lewis provides as Daniel Plainview in “There Will Be Blood” is given careful examination. This could be said for any of Day-Lewis’s performances, but the dynamic nature of Plainview’s character, his dominating tone, and cool demeanor allows for an exploration in the art of fine-tuning voice and molding a character grappling with control and competition. The video essay first looks back at the performances of John Wayne. A manifestation from the Old West, Wayne commands the screen through movement and a controlled voice that rarely loses its deep, masculine, Southern tone. This mode of...
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