The art of mime - a minimal presence in today's films

Corporeal mime and pantomime were very popular once. Performed in the streets and theatres, they were appreciated by popular classes and families. Mime was then adopted by the film industry which diffused it around the world and to different social classes. It was recognised as art. A whole school of actors like Jean-Louis Barrault ( Children of Paradise, which is a sound film) or Marcel Marceau developed mime techniques and became film stars. Slapstick comedians like Chaplin or Buster Keaton were inspired by mime art, and even musical actors like Gene Kelly.

Today, mime is slowly disappearing and is almost completely absent from the film world. What has changed? Can you think of any contemporary films that include mime? How is it different from before?

  • A question which could be asked in this article is can mime have the ability to be placed in contemporary films? – Ryan Errington 7 years ago
  • You could discuss several instances of its paying off (the mime/frozen person sequence at the beginning of X Men 2) in relation to the conflict between CGI and practical effects. – Thomas Munday 7 years ago

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