Beth Ann Gallagher

Members
  • Content count

    8
  • Joined

  • Last visited

3 Followers

About Beth Ann Gallagher

  • Rank
    Newbie
  • Birthday July 7

Contact Methods

  • Website URL
    http://www.spellboundbymovies.com

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Female
  • Location
    Rio Vista, California
  1. TCM Backlot Sacramento Chapter Needs One More Member!

    Great news! The Sacramento-area chapter will be submitting our member list to TCM Backlot. We have enough members to be officially recognized now! If anyone in my area is interested in joining, the group would love to have you! Contact me, and I'll be in touch ASAP. Regards, Beth Ann Gallagher --- bgallagher@spellboundbymovies.com http://www.spellboundbymovies.com https://twitter.com/missbethg
  2. Great news! Kristen Lopez and I almost have enough people for a Sacramento-area TCM Backlot chapter! We are one Backlot member shy. Is there anyone in this forum who can help us become a chapter? Regards, Beth Ann Gallagher --- bgallagher@spellboundbymovies.com http://www.spellboundbymovies.com https://twitter.com/missbethg
  3. TCM BACKLOT LOCAL CHAPTERS - LIST YOUR CITY HERE!

    Hi Michelle! Are you interested in starting a Sacramento chapter still? I'm pretty close to Sacramento AND I'm a Backlot member. I know of one other person besides you in Sacramento who's also a Backlot member.
  4. Breakdown of a Gag, Episode 1: Chaplin's Physical Comedy

    I never thought I'd see slapstick silent film moments being broken down like they were sports moments, but the technique to study Chaplin's evolving talent and method worked for me! The first gag, Chaplin slipping on the banana peel in By the Sea, is like L'Arroseur Arrosé. The set-up is very simple, using an every day object, and there's an audience expected outcome. By the time we get to Chaplin evading the police officers in A Dog's Life, the slapstick gag is longer, more elaborate, what he's going to do is uncertain, but we hope he's successful. The plucky Little Tramp has an anti-authoritarian message. He's the underdog we're rooting for to be clever and scrappier.
  5. Breakdown of a Gag, Episode 1: Chaplin's Physical Comedy

    I'd agree that Chaplin enjoyed his craft and pictures that weren't even his. I wish I could remember my source, but I read somewhere that Chaplin could find the good in any picture. Take someone else's picture that had failed critically or commercially, Chaplin would find something to enjoy and compliment in the film. It didn't matter to him if the whole film was successful. He was looking at what had been done and finding what he could enjoy and likely being inspired to keep trying new things in his films.
  6. What is Slapstick? A Discussion of Definitions

    I'm going to jump from film to TV for a moment. I'm a woman, and I laughed so much at the antics of the characters in the BritCom Bottom (1991-1995). They're nasty, mean, and violent characters, but Adrian Edmondson and Rik Mayall played them for all their oddities and made them watchable. I don't think inherent likability has to be a factor in enjoying slapstick. The characters have to be entertaining, and their performers skilled.
  7. What is Slapstick? A Discussion of Definitions

    At this point in the class, I can agree with the five common factors found in slapstick, but with some stretches in meaning. Take Buster Keaton for example. He was loved by the Surrealists because his gags were often surreal. That made the audience aware they were watching a fantastical take on the real world even if all the other elements were commonplace. For example, every newly married couple sets up home, but none ever face all the problems he does in One Week (1920), like the bizarre image of a train driving through a house. That last word commonplace leads me into expanding the definition of ritualistic. Yes, repetition is key to any comedy, verbal or physical. Slapstick gags can become very elaborate. Look at Laurel and Hardy's The Battle of the Century (1927). The same physical act is repeated over and over again by the same and an increasing army of characters, but there are variations in how and why people are throwing pies and what the end result is. Aside from the repetition aspect of the word ritualistic, a lot of slapstick involves every day life for its characters. In the Bargain of the Century (1933), Zasu Pitts and Thelma Todd's comedy starter is the bargain sale, a part of many people's lives, only the ladies' experiences and actions are more extreme at theirs. So ritualistic covers repetition and common life experiences from the mundane to rites of passage for me. Perhaps a sixth factor should be that no matter how make believe slapstick is it offers something relatable to the audience? They get to enjoy watching the situation and action spiral out of control in ways they wouldn't want to happen to them in real life. They can laugh at slapstick antics not only because they're funny, but also the laughter releases them from the anxiety of the more mundane issues or anxiety they would or do face in that situation. I'll have to think further if there are comedies that don't fulfill the five conditions!
  8. L'Arroseur Arrosé may be less than a minute long, but it does set a comedy template for film. We've the straight man protagonist going about his business watering the garden. The smart-alecky boy antagonist decides to play a trick on the gardener, and the audience is made complicit. We know the boy will pull a prank, and we want him to, yet all the protagonist has done is perform his job diligently and obliviously. One fake hose clog later, and we watch the gardener get slapped in the face by water. We get to laugh, but then we get to laugh again when order is restored and the boy is punished in the manner he deserves for his stunt. There's a gentle roughness to this early version of reality-based slapstick. The scenario with variations of action happened countless times later. It would not always involve hoses. The hose prank feels familiar. Comedians like Buster Keaton, Mabel Normand, and Laurel and Hardy did have comedic hose sequences in later films. The hose became a classic slapstick prop.

New Members:

Register Here

Learn more about the new message boards:

FAQ

Having problems?

Contact Us