Patti Zee

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About Patti Zee

  • Rank
    Advanced Member
  • Birthday 11/24/1955

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Female
  • Location
    New Mexico, USA
  • Interests
    Classic movies, knitting, train restoration.
  1. I have so enjoyed every aspect of this course! Dr Edwards, thank you for bringing together such an enriching experience. And to all of my classmates, thank you so much for all of your ideas, knowledge and enthusiasm. It has been an honor to be among you. I would number myself among those who would like to see more online classes. The history of science fiction in film would be a very interesting subject. But I will be watching for ANY online film course taught by Dr.Edwards. Ciao for now everyone!
  2. Patti Zee

    Breakdown of a Gag, Episode 8: Spoofs since 1970

    Sorry, Dr Gehring, my spell check decided to change your name.
  3. Patti Zee

    Breakdown of a Gag, Episode 8: Spoofs since 1970

    In many ways it seems as though spoofs and parodies are the thinking person's comedy. Wait, wait...don't throw anything! To me, as much as I have grown to love the slapstick forms of the silent and talkie eras, and even the super slapstick era by having the opportunity to see them and analyze their wonderful properties, the comedy almost seemed to be handed to me on a plate. But in order to get the most out of a really good parody or spoof you need to dig in and look for references that can be as immediate as today or go back decades. Yes, the comedy of something like Naked Gun is coming at you like an avalanche, but looking for all the various connections is lovely brain candy, like a treasure hunt. Young Frankenstein is a another great example of a movie you can really enjoy for all the comedy and complexity. This class has really opened up my thinking by giving a great taste of where it all came from and how it developed. A million thanks to you Dr. Edwards, Vince Cellini, Dr. Behring and Ball State University!
  4. Whew! Let me catch my breath for a moment. ZAZ style is a complete and total mile-a-second slapstick festival with anything and everything fair game. Brooks/Wilder presented a slower paced but well crafted slapstick style homage to Hollywood's past in the form of the great Universal horror movies of the 1930's. ZAZ is making a very fast paced modern comic satire where nothing is spared the slings and arrows of nonstop gags, both verbal and physical. Inspector Clouseau is usually his own victim as the physical slapstick is most often aimed at himself with him struggling to reassert his dignity. Lt Frank Drebin usually sails serenely through the chaos he sets in motion around himself though he will break the 4th wall with a quick look of oh-oh before moving on as though nothing has happened. The body double used for the most physical of his actions is shown to be a body double with what appears to be poor editing, but is actually part of the gag.
  5. Yep, my bad about the kazoo. I had gotten inspired and was listening to a CD of Woody playing great jazz while reading the board.
  6. It isn't as though we didn't know what we were in for, the movie title, the advertisements telling us it was filmed in Startling Black and White...The entire experience of this movie is a parody of and homage to the great Universal horror movies of the 30's. The combination of parody (Medical school lecture), broad physical slapstick (knee to the groin for checking reflex reaction) and verbal slapstick (My grandfather's work was Doo-doo!") along with a wonderful use of lighting (the more modern, less sinister use of grey tones), all work to move the plotline along. Filming in black and white was brilliant. As the plot moves along and we are back in the "old country" the contrast deepens, carrying us all visually back to the, foggy, spooky 1930s sets.This proves a perfect foil for the craziness that makes Young Frankenstein such a delight, even 40 years later.
  7. Mellish is a blue collar worker from New York. He went to San Marcos to try to impress his former girlfriend, a social activist who dumped him. So the parody/satire extends to include not only war/revolution but also the popular social activism of the sixties and so much more as the movie continues in unexpected ways.The slapstick is combined verbal and physical and very easy to see in the deli scene. First we think he is going into battle where death is a possibility... and then they all creep along the village street until he walks into the deli and orders lunch for the rebel army. The man behind the counter doesn't bat an eye, which makes me think this ain't his first rodeo. The exaggeration of both the order and the avalanche of workers, the wheel barrels of slaw, with all of them wearing white cafe gear as they parade out to the hidden guerrilla camp...this is definitely slapstick. I think I will have to see the whole movie a few times to see where the spirit of it truly lies. Woody's movies are brilliant, where there are many layers to the comedy, they will make you think. Oh, and the thing that someone guessed was a kazoo playing was a clarinet and mostly likely played by Woody. He loves music and prefers playing jazz to doing just about anything else. The music in his movies is amazing.
  8. Patti Zee

    Are the "ROAD MOVIES SLAPSTICK"?

    I agree with you. The gags, both physical and verbal, abound in the Road movies...I love them all! There are even running gags that continue through the whole series of movies, and beyond with Crosby making unexpected cameos in many of Hope's movies.They definitely should have had at least one representative movie in this class.
  9. Hello Start spreading, Ummm, exaggerated, over-the-top...remember some of the early defining qualities of slapstick? Well, the exaggerated hero and villain personas kind of fall under that, right? I don't know if you have had an opportunity to participate in a staged melodrama, and believe me the audience is an active participant, but we cheer the very stereotypical hero and boo and throw peanut shells at the very stereotypical villain. The title sequence sets that very tone for this delightfully funny movie.
  10. Since my classmates have done a beautiful job in discussing this delightful movie, a true favorite of mine, I'm not going to try and re-invent the wheel here. To me a huge factor in this movie is the music. I could keep my eyes shut and follow much of this movie by the musical choices alone. The hero music is a mix of many heroic phrases: presidential, martial and vigorous. And don't forget the triumphant ta-dah as The Great Leslie lands safely. The villain music is much slower and fairly clownish with darker tones. It plays each time we see Professor Fate in villainous pursuits. And though it was cut off in this clip, I believe there is another triumphant ta-dah when the balloon basket lands on the Professor and Max. And don't forget the "love theme" that plays for the lovely Natalie Wood as she pushes on for women everywhere. All three of these forces have their own musical themes that announce them as the movie progresses...much like the musical accompaniment of the great WB cartoon characters.
  11. The Good Humor Man is a sweet movie.It definitely had the feeling of a cartoon, like when Jack's character gets frozen in his ice cream truck and goes floating off in the flood caused by the broken hydrant only to be saved from going down the storm drain by the cops. The totally crazy chase sequence at the end again felt like a classic cartoon, and the music was perfect. The gags were done in the classic physical slapstick style. For example, our hero and his sweetie hiding behind a small couch in the bad guys' room, and giant springs come out the back and smack Jack into the wall and hold him in place while a lit match lands on his head starting a small fire. Physical and painful, but since the whole movie has a cartoonish flavor the idea of make believe keeps us from thinking anyone is actually hurt and let's us know that everything will eventually work out alright. A movie that was definitely made for the whole family to enjoy.
  12. Patti Zee

    School's in!

    Hey Hoosierwood, I love animated slapstick! Looking at some of the live action movies you can see a lot of influence between the two. And then that delightful hybrid: Who Killed Roger Rabbit? If you get a chance to watch The Good Humor Man you will see that a lot of the gags are fast moving and very cartoon-like. These techniques continue in many of the best LA comedies.
  13. Well, Mon Oncle didn't grab me either, but I guess everyone is different. Just watched Scared Stiff, the Martin and Lewis vehicle. Normally I really enjoy this team but this was a remake of a movie with Bob Hope and Paulette Goddard titled Ghost Breakers. The Hope version was much more to my liking with his great one liners. This one was stretched in a lot of non-plot line ways to fit Dean's singing in and Lewis whinning "Larry" every other word and the ending wasn't really very satisfying. This version did recall the "variety show" film format of earlier decades, especially with Carmen Miranda being just kind of thrown in without any point in the plot at all. The set on the island looked like the same one used on Ghost Breakers, nice and eerie and very well suited to Black &White filming. You're Never Too Young or The Caddy might have been better choices for this dynamic duo.
  14. Robinlee and Bluboo, I didn't even make it an hour though I did try. I had hopes that eventually there would be something to truly identify it as slapstick, but as others observed, there was only the ritualism of a mildly OCD Frenchman. The behavior of his relatives in their oh-so-modern block house was mildly amusing but not enough to make me want to watch any further.
  15. The character of Clouseau is a perfect set of contradictions. If he were standing stii, not saying a word we would probably think of him as a dignified, well dressed, totally in control upper level police officer...then he speaks and as he becomes more excited spoonerisms erupt (that he does not appear to notice and George Sanders' character is too well bred to mention. My favorite gag in this scene is Clouseau's attempt to put the pool cue away. His approach is a bit tentative and evolves into a wrestling match with all the cues on the floor as Sanders looks on bemused and slightly concerned. Sellers succeeds in pulling the butler into the battle as he extracts himself and attempts to regain his dignity and authority by blaming the designer of the cue rack. Clouseau never wants to appear at a disadvantage in front of his social superiors or inferiors which makes his quick recovery from his bumbling actions all the more hilarious. The door gag is the perfect way to end this clip. Seller's Clouseau is a much more fully constructed character than say, the Keystone Kops or the cops in Chaplin's films. They were simply means to an end and we never really cared about them. We care about him, we see him in all phases of his crazy life and wish him well in solving the crime and anxiously await his next move with laughter and a few cringes.

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