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David Thomson on "Why Acting Matters"

Michael Lionstar

Awards season is behind us, with top honors for acting handed out at the Golden Globes and Oscars. But after all the pomp and circumstance is over and the red carpet is rolled backed up, have you ever wondered -- what does it all mean? That’s the subject of Why Acting Matters, a new book by acclaimed film critic -- and San Francisco local -- David Thomson. The British born Thomson is the author of over 20 books, and in his latest one, he argues that actors on stage and screen are really just like the rest of us - trying on one role after another as we make our way through our own carefully crafted plots. KALW’s Sandhya Dirks sat down with him to find out more about why we love to lose ourselves at the movies.

DAVID THOMSON: I've talked to a lot of people over the years about the films they most love, not the films they think are the best, but if you were on a desert island what would you want, and almost invariably it comes out to be films they saw between the ages of 12 and 20.

Click the audio player above to listen to the interview.

Thomson will be continuing the conversation about acting tomorrow night -- Wednesday, March 11th -- at the Roxie Theater.  He’ll be taking questions from the crowd and introducing a screening of the 1976 film The Missouri Breaks, starring Marlon Brando and Jack Nicholson.

Sandhya got her start as a reporting fellow at KALW, working on award winning radio documentaries about crime and justice and education in Oakland. She reported on the 2012 presidential election in Iowa, for Iowa Public Radio, where she also covered diversity and mental health issues.