Leo Kuleshov's early 1920" experiment: "The Kuleshov Effect", whereby editing was used to imply a changing expression on an emotionless actor's face has had implications on the importance of actors to film studies until the 1980's. The results of this experiment, that spectators claimed to have seen emotional changes in the actor's face, has lead many writers on film to disregard the actors importance to the film medium as art. In the 1920's and 30's, film critics directed their studies towards analysis of the various elements of film that caused effect upon its viewers. Further to this, motivated by an urge to confirm film as an art form, scholars focused on that which made elements on screen different from reality. French Impressionism, and its filmmakers" concept of "Photogenie" likely influenced this. Photogenie, is the way in which, once filmed an item takes on a new separate identity from its source. As Impressionism was the most avant-garde form of film to emerge this period, critics would be keen to see it as the most "artistic". As such, in film form and style, acting and actors are the least likely element to be transformed and would always be a link to reality and therefore not art, but entertainment as in the theatre. .
By the 1940's to 60's, with the advent of sound cinema and dominance of the "Classical Hollywood Style" film had a definite method of storytelling. As such, scholars frequently came to film studies with a background in literary criticism. Actors were now seen as simply the "body that held the characters place on screen"(OGFS), and that the actual performance mattered little to what was important: the narrative. An emphasis on romanticism in film criticism leads to an overweening dependence on "auteur theory". Again to confirm film's position as art as opposed to mass entertainment the critic focuses on the notion of the individual as artist, in this case the director.