JeffGuer1

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About JeffGuer1

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  1. What made Keaton so great was his fearlessness. He would do anything, no matter the danger. What makes the clip in the email great is the house. Anything on the house or in the house was "gag-worthy". Even a simple chair in a room was made into a joke. Is that a railing on the front porch? Nope, it's a ladder. Keaton and Chaplin differ in this same regard. Chaplin never really did anything dangerous or that he might get injured doing. Both were still majorly effective in getting laughs and we're geniuses in their own regard. Buster Keaton's contribution to slapstick is pretty simple. He made super dangerous things look hilarious. House falling down around him? Funny. Almost hanging himself whole trying to reel in that piano? Funny. He can also maybe be attributed with creating the "stunt actor".
  2. Watching this clip and then thinking about the comedy movies I have seen in recent weeks, there really is no comparison. Keeping the camera fixed on all the players involved in the gag allows us, the audience, to see not only the joke but also the reactions of both The Tramp and the shopkeeper. This is sorely missed when looking at today's films, where there is alot of editing, but also everything moves so quickly from one shot to the next. There isn't time given to the build up of the joke. This gag wouldn't be as effective if Chaplin's timing wasn't spot on. He manages to get his hand away from the cakes at exactly the right time every time while also stopping chewing as well. I know he's a seasoned actor and a professional, but I don't think I'd be able to do either of those things separately, nevermind at the same time. To me, this gag proves timing is everything. That has been true forever, including today.
  3. It's pretty obvious Keaton changed the game when it came to stunts and physical comedy. No more was a slip on a banana peel or a bonk on the head with a piece of wood enough. Now it was about something bigger and more dangerous as we saw with him avoiding falling houses. The ante will be upped even further with Harold Lloyd dangling off high rises and such. I would assume many of the "big time stunts" performed today are an homage to the past, with Keaton in the forefront.
  4. 1. I for sure believe this was comedy's golden Era. I could watch any movie from this time and find it vastly more enjoyable and certainly funnier than movies put out today or in the recent past. For one, theres been a big shift recently into the R-Rated comedies with more sex jokes than anything else. Chaplin/Keaton/Lloyd etc. could keep me entertained with a simple chase around a tree or something like that. That says something about what level they were on. 2. Gags were definitely visual. I dont know if that's disappeared completely, but it's certainly used to a much lesser extent now, which is unfortunate, because, as I said before, a simple chase, like the one shown in the clip, is definitely entertaining. To me anyway... 3. Documentaries like these have had a large impact on people's thougs of the Era, I think, because some people may have never sat down to watch a Chaplin short had they not seen something like this first, maybe in school or something like that. It presents enough material to draw you in and make you curious as to what else the silent comedy Era has to offer.
  5. Im loving the breakdown segments. Really gives you a new perspective on the scenes and films. And side note, thus episode also reaffirms my thoughts that Chaplin was quite possibly the greatest thing that's happened to film. He had such an impact. Not just in the comedy aspect, but correct if im wrong, maybe the first (only at that time?) to write, direct, produce, star, score a film? Genius. Also goes to show how much of an impact Chaplin and Keaton and even Harold Lloyd had. Still live on to this day.
  6. JeffGuer1

    What is Slapstick? A Discussion of Definitions

    To me, all 5 elements come to mind when I think of slapstick, yes even violent. Even looking at the short film from Part 1, the gardener getting water spot in his face can be considered by some to be violent. Him chasing after the kid and dragging him back to the hose could also be considered violent as well as him then spraying the water at the kid. While subtle overall, violence, in a way, plays a very big role in slapstick comedy.
  7. Am I possibly the last one to comment on this? Sorry... Anyway, this film definitely set the standard for slapstick moving forward. Simple gag turns into someone getting angry, and the chase begins. Definitely can see the same sort of things in all films going forward.
  8. You definitely start to get a feel of what the movie will be like from the first 4 minutes. Dark. Dreary. Ominous. As soon as the first words appear on the screen, you get a sense that things are going to get bad pretty quickly. "Just you wait, it won't be long." Also, it seems to me that Lang is attempting to say that these kids are being cared for, but perhaps not enough to keep them safe? They are singing the "you're gonna get murdered next" game and get yelled at for it. But just in passing and from above their level. This also wasn't the first time they were told to stop. One mother is concerned about the song, but is told that as long as they can hear them singing then it's ok. Concerned mother agrees. Not really the proper steps one should take if there is a child killer on the loose. We kind of see this again when the girl attempts to cross the street. When she tries it on her own, she almost gets run over. She only safely makes it across the street with the help of an adult. When she goes down the street bouncing the ball, she is the only one walking in that direction. Everyone else, all adults from the looks of it, pay her no mind and continue walking in the opposite direction. Even the creepy guy in the hat on the light post has his back towards her almost signifying that she is on her own.

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