The art of sound pictures (1930)

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FEELINGS AND EMOTIONS 137 trol the primitively strong ones, the gross expression of these strong emotions becomes restrained and partially suppressed. Furthermore, the more intellectual a charac- ter is, the more his emotions will be checked and brought under voluntary control. Intellectual development always tends to inhibit emotion or to control its bodily expres- sion. When emotions are thus controlled, they express themselves in finer or more subtle bodily changes. The writer should bear in mind, therefore, that he has at his literary command a tremendous range of expression for every emotion, with excessive or gross bodily action at one extreme, and subtle, or almost imperceptible, ex- pression at the other. These extremes have been used effectively on both screen and stage. Eva Tanguay and A1 Jolson express love emotions, comic dominance, and many other appealing emotional states by extreme and violent bodily action. In singing his ‘‘mammy” songs, as well as in putting over slapstick comedy bits, Jolson moves every muscle of his body so violently and so tensely that the effect on his audiences is irresistible. They feel that the man is projecting tre- mendous emotional energy directly into the eyes and heart of every individual in the audience. This is close to the extreme of gross bodily emotional expression. On the other hand, screen actors such as Rudolph Valentino and Greta Garbo express their emotions with extreme self-restraint and great subtlety. Valentino, in his role of sheik or Latin lover, would sit nonchalantly slouched in a chair while girls threw themselves and their passion at his feet in wild, exotic dance movements. The great lover scarcely flicked an eyelash in response. Then, with a slight sideways nod of his head, or perhaps a tiny