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Everything posted by BLACHEFAN

  1. 1. The previous clip with Groucho and Chico in A Night At The Opera (1935) was more of a routine using double entendres, puns, misinformation, and exaggeration, not to mention absurdity that made this deal about an opera singer in the contract more lie a business arrangement, than this clip in which Abbott plays the skeptic and Costello the childlike believer who believes that Dracula did open his coffin, similar to a parent who believes that their child lis lying about something that they made up, but the child would say that it's true. 2. Yes. I find that contemporary comedy today does lack the taste, perfect timing and polish of classic comedy routines that modern day comedians omit from their material for a larger audience to a new basis. 3. Their biggest contribution is the classic verbal comic routines that were non-offensive, clean, and family-friendly humor that some comedians today would try to incorporate in their comic routines, they also came up with a setup for their classic routines that they perfected from their days in burlesque as stage comics, their director Charles Barton was the first comedy director to incorporate the three camera setup instead of the one camera setup on film to match their timing perfectly, since he was a wonderful collaborator, another film that I highly recommend for spooks and chills is The Time of Their Lives (1946), being one of their most expensive films of that time.

    Breakdown of a Gag, Episode 5: Playing Games

    The films that he listed in the episode from Speedy (1928) starring Harold Lloyd and featuring Babe Ruth, Elmer the Great (1933) starring Joe E. Brown, and The Naked Gun (1988) starring Leslie Nielsen are astounding considering that I was not aware that sports were the target of many slapstick comedy films in a delightful and comical twist.
  3. 1. Fields' use of sophisticated wit and upper level diction that almost feels reminiscent of a dickensian novel from the 19th century and he does feel like a paternal figure of the household with a cranky and bemusing attitude to his character. Mast's description about W.C. Fields and the roles he plays in a domesticated comedy is very accurate since it differs from Charley Chase's comedies as well as the Marx Brothers who were at first anarchic then became accomplices for the main hero in their later movies. 2. The verbal gags include the use of the names for the characters in the film such as Egbert Souse, and Og Oggilby. He also used the term "boondoggling" that is not the same as bootlegging, the term is old fashioned and out of date that was originally meant to waste money or time unnecessary or questionable projects. My favorite quip from Fields is: "Give me a Shift Expender." James: "Huh?" Souse: "A monkey wrench."
  4. 1. Dale's definition of verbal slapstick fits the Marx Brothers style of humor very well like a glove, since their comedy in this clip meets the definition very well. 2. There was the use of sarcasm between Chico and Groucho in the sequence, Chico's foreign accent, the use of puns, i.e. party in the contract, getting names wrong, i.e, sanity clause mistaken for santa claus, Groucho's use of vivid slang, and the comeback that turns the first speaker's words around, i.e. Groucho asking Chico to read the next part of the contract, but in turn Chico tells him to read it, thereby tearing the next part out of the contract. 3. There was the use of exaggeration, when Groucho was trying to read the contract, but couldn't find the right angle to look at it, since the print was tiny or he wasn't putting it in the right position and Chico asking if there was the second part of the first party in the contract. Another use was the repetitive/ritualistic routine of taking out the party of the first part to the second part of the second party till they reached the end of the contract.
  5. I had a great time this weekend. I got to watch the movie Cabaret (1972) since she wanted to see the film and she thought that it was radically different from the broadway musical. She liked both versions of the classic musical but I believe she can identify which elements from the film were cut from the broadway show and which made it into the movie.

  6. 1. This clip has two conditions that make it a slapstick gag, and it is subtle, the repetitive/ritualistic approach of the perfume machine to clean up his breath and the squirting of the eye and mouth to cleanse it from the garlic smell and taste. The exaggeration is the use of the shaving kit when he tries to make himself look dashing and handsome for his date Thelma Todd, when he tries to ask a customer to read the portion of the newspaper since he had to fake his nearsightedness. 2. Yes. Mast's description of Chase as having an emotion of exasperation is present in the clip when he sees his blind date the pip from pittsburgh clearly from his face, and Chases' characterization that Mast has described is quite accurate since he does have a cantankerous attitude with an irritating quality for his emotional aspect. 3. The scene works wonderfully to provide the nightlife with piano music, and the orchestra in the background playing popular tunes of the decade, the sound effects which are albeit natural and not artificial provide some authenticity to the gags such as the squirting sounds and the rustling of the newspaper. It is a wonderful talking picture and I hope to see it on TCM.
  7. 1. Lloyd creates a fun and playful atmosphere for his gags, when he and his girlfriend Ann Christy ride the spinning wheel in the beginning of the clip there is a crab that was in his pocket that pinches the other customers in the rear end causing them to leave the wheel early, the next attraction they went to was the tumbler which made it so vibrant and carefree, then the slide and finally an old carnival game where Lloyd has to throw a ball at the row of milk bottles to win a prize. When he extended his aim too far, there was a man behind him that has ice cream in his face as a gag. The rides in the park no matter how silly they look are purely original for this film. 2. Yes, Schickel makes a great point, I see no use of exaggeration or stylization in this clip, Lloyd was portraying a real live character that was representing the all american boy that is used to these ordinary situations and he plays himself as the middle man by being the middleman of the trio, he is the epitome of the all american nerd in my opinion that differed from Chaplin's dancing techniques in his films or Keaton's athletic stunts in his movies, Lloyd was the average man, the true american icon of slapstick comedy as the oddball of the 20th century. 3. Lloyd was the first screen comic to portray his onscreen persona very naturally in emotions and physicality, his movies dealt with realism instead of surrealism or danger, they were both simplistic and complex, his films faced ordinary and extraordinary situations that no film viewer has ever witnessed in screen comedy. Lloyd's contribution is bringing realism and social situations of his period to the movies that makes people wonder if the average man could become popular by being themselves instead of pretending to be someone that they are not. His films freed themselves from exaggerated situations and ridiculous characters that can be seen as one dimensional, by bringing depth into his plots and characters.
  8. I thought that was a well thought out and explanatory video about the use of the same gag but with a different payoff. The first clip was simplistic and straightforward in Coney Island (1917), Roscoe gets hit by a mallet by Buster Keaton in a supporting role and ends up knocking him out cold, the payoff was that he won a cigar as a prize. In Number Please? (1920) the gag was similar in which Harold Lloyd would be hit on the head with a mallet but, as Richard had stated in the video, he becomes disoriented and he gets up and sees himself in front of the house of mirrors in which he looks at himself in the mirror and believes that his head and body has become swollen. What makes me feel fascinated about Lloyd is that he is representing the average man with those bespectacled circular glasses that are see through and I also like his charm and charisma as well.
  9. 1. This one is more complex than Chaplin's film A Dog's Life (1918), as we see a prop i.e. the piano, the setting, the main character's house that is out of place in every frame from top to bottom, the camera uses shot composition, close-ups, and placed in an unmoving position to give the audience much more depth into the sequence. It is these techniques that makes this timeless gag more effective in the finished process. 2. Chaplin's comedies focused on his character causing misfortune for those around him and he is the odd person of the group, Keaton's comedy was the complete opposite in which his character receives misfortune from everyone around him and he is the only normal person in his movies whereas the other people are different and abnormal. Plus the fact that Keaton relied heavily on the use of stonework in his movies instead of simple routines that Chaplin uses in his movies. 3. He gave that added push of the daredevil quality of physical danger that comedians would later want to use as a model for their work and gave animation an idea of how far the sense and level of danger can go against the laws of physics. Keaton's contribution is a lasting impact on extending the stunt work in the movies as well as being a mentor to future comedians that would learn about using gags and the physicality of that extended push.
  10. 1. I agree with Canby on his analysis since today's comedies rely heavily on the use of cutaways and closeups that the magic of screen comedy starts to lose its touch after this film premiered in 1918 and many other silent films of the period that were comedies. 2. The use of the coat when the tramp sneaks a piece of cake away from the owner of the cake stand, the plate prop with the food inside the plate to make the gag work so effectively, the design of the cake stand also works as a set piece to give us an idea of where this scene takes place, and finally the use of acting as if he was not involved in the theft of the stealing of his cakes. 3. Its use of timing and the reaction from the other character in the scene played by Syd Chaplin is what makes the scene so memorable and timeless, many later comedians as well as writers would use this scene as a device for their films in the future to consist on the idea of timing and also the reaction of the audience and characters to make the gag work both visually and consistently.
  11. Don't you mean Tuesday morning?
  12. 1. I would have to disagree with that statement in my opinion, I believe that it was more of the innovative era from 1912 to 1930 when screen comedians as well as producers and directors of screen comedy by expanding their craft from the vaudeville circuit that they usually practice on stage for their routines and play it out on film. I would believe that the sound era was the golden age of comedy, the silent era was the stepping stones and the blueprints for the coming eras of slapstick comedy to come in the future. 2. That I believe is not true, the visual gags might have disappeared from the silent film era, but they have simply evolved when the sound era was coming since screen comedians still had to come up with great verbal routines to accompany their visual gags along with it to provide a winning combination. 3. The impact that these forms of documentation have is to remind us about our history of screen comedy and how it first started out, we must also thank the people who provided information in documentaries, essays, and compilation films to reintroduce film fans about the films and gags that have inspired comedians and filmmakers in their lives, that no matter what silent comedy you watch it still feels fresh and new again.
  13. I thought this was a great episode about the discussion of Buster Keaton and the amazing stunts and gags that he had to practice and time for his films. After I saw the clip for One Week (1920), this is a dangerous stunt that had to be timed and Keaton had to be at a specific location on the ground when that one frame of the facade was falling on top of him where the window frame would meet him head on. In Steamboat Bill Jr. (1928), just as Richard and Vince just discussed he had to up the ante by using a similar stunt but this time, using the front of a house that weighed two tons and stand on a mark that would match where the window frame would fall on top of him. You have to remember that Keaton wouldn't risk his life for providing his own stunts, he was a very athletic man in his time and he knew the level of handling his own material since he would take it very seriously no matter what the danger level is. In my opinion, he was more than an innovator of slapstick comedy, he could be thought of as the earliest movie daredevil.

    Club Slapstick: Looking for Presenters!

    I would be happy to contribute my hosting duties as I can to the fan panel on Google Hangouts.
  15. Chaplin was one of the innovators of providing gags into his plots. From 1918 to 1957 he provided some of the best gags that are incorporated to the plot such as: The Kid (1921), The Gold Rush (1925), The Circus (1928), City Lights (1931), Modern Times (1936), The Great Dictator (1940), Monsieur Verdoux (1947), Limelight (1952), and A King in New York (1957).
  16. The analysis of the lecture really helped me understand what Chaplin's gags and slapstick routines he was doing at the time. The first clip from By The Sea (1915) was a very obvious gag that now has become a cliche in slapstick comedy, followed by Tillies Punctured Romance (1915) involving Chaplin slipping on the wet floor as a gag that stalls the plot, and ending with A Dog's Life (1918) that was injected with social commentary in a short period of three years as he took control over his pictures. It also helped me understand the simplest of gags very carefully with the touchscreen that carefully looked at each gag and situation in the scene to illustrate what Chaplin was trying to say in his pictures. His timing and blocking of the gags were near perfection on screen, but I imagined that he had to practice these routines over and over again to have the timing and blocking right otherwise it would look as if he made a mistake on film.

    What is Slapstick? A Discussion of Definitions

    I actually found out that slapstick doesn't just have to be in comedy, sometimes it could wound up in other genres with comedic elements. Such as Horror: ex. Evil Dead 2 (1987) and Army of Darkness (1992) with Bruce Campbell since they evoke the early days of slapstick in movies from the 1930s though the 1950s. Or Action: Shanghai Noon (2002) or Rush Hour (1998) with Jackie Chan since his stunts were inspired by Charlie Chaplin and he provides humor in his own films. The one director that I think of when it comes to absurdity and you can argue about this is Paul Verhoeven, because in his movies from Robocop (1987), Total Recall (1990) or Starship Troopers (1997) since they display a lot of violence, they can also be seen as absurd comedies, if you were to look and listen very carefully.

    What is Slapstick? A Discussion of Definitions

    I have seen a number of different comedy films that involve the use of slapstick. So, they do incorporate the five conditions that you discuss. As for an alternate definition of the term slapstick, I don't think I have one. Let me give you an example of some films that utilizes slapstick to the nth degree. Home Alone (1990) involves a ton of slapstick gags that is complex and very violent even to make audiences cringe when they see Kevin McCalister devise such dangerous traps for the burglars to catch them even though the pain looks too real. In Tommy Boy (1995) the comedy is not dangerous but more lighthearted than Home Alone. Most of the slapstick involved in the film is not violent since the quality is 4/5. It's not dangerous, but it does involve exaggeration, it is make-believe, somewhat ritualistic, and is physical since Chris Farley did some of his own stunts in the picture. I have to agree with you on the definitions that you have mentioned since I can see the idea of how slapstick evolved from a simple weapon in commedia dell' arte to today's definition of the term slapstick in vaudeville, movies and television.

    School's in!

    Dr. Rich Edwards, What time will the next chapter of the weekly module be online? Thanks for reading my email. BLACHEFAN
  20. I am new to the TCM message board, but I hope to get to know each and every one of you when I am online with the Canvas network discussing Physical Comedy in the Movies.

  21. I agree with Kim_J_Lamb on this one, this film has good quality and even though the film does have multiple interpretations, it started out as just a simple premise that the filmmaker was hoping to accomplish and he did successfully.
  22. The gardner just wants to water his plants in the grass so that his plants can grow and flourish. Let's say that the antagonist in the film was his neighbor and that he just wants a reaction from the gardener just for fun. The legacy has involved usually an innocent bystander and a mischievous prankster just for comic fare nowadays the idea would be simple and tame. As the evolution of comedy has evolved over the years. So the film set a precedent for other comic films to follow as an example as well as television. This film I found out was referenced in an episode of The Simpsons Season 14 episode 5 titled "Helter Shelter" where Bart suggested that they go outside and see Homer drinking from a hose just to enjoy their merriment since there is nothing exciting on television anymore as an example.

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