“The lesser of the attractions”:
and theatrical nostalgia


Kevin Esch

Kevin Esch received his Ph.D. in Film Studies from the University of Iowa, and has taught previously at Tulane University and Hofstra University. He currently teaches in the film programs of Roger Williams University and the University of Rhode Island, and works for the Rhode Island International Film Festival. During college and grad school, he spent many hours as a film projectionist, learning the arcane art of doing reel switchovers with a foot pedal—though he never got his union card.

His articles have been published in Film Quarterly, Journal of Film and Video, the anthology Pornification: Sex and Sexuality in Media Culture, anda forthcoming edited collection on screen acting from Routledge. He is at work on a book, provisionally entitled In the Moment: Mythologies of Performance in the Contemporary Hollywood Industry. The book project investigates the connections between performative and meta-performative events such as “the DeNiro effect” (extreme weight gain or loss for a role), actors’ DVD commentary tracks, Inside the Actors Studio, and the 2008-2009 Screen Actors Guild labor dispute.