ScottZepher

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About ScottZepher

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  • Birthday 08/12/1965

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    Harrisburg, PA
  1. I had planned to open this thread to address any possible delays in the arrival of certificates, but as I was doing so, I received my certificate PDF.
  2. 1. Applying Jeffery Miller's distinctions, Ferrell most closely resembles Woody Allen, in that the deception in Anchorman is that Male Chauvinism did exist in the local news outlets during that time period. The character's attitudes accurately reflected this . . .until we get to know the characters better, or worse as the case may be. Both Ferrell and Allen have very creative ways of exposition without breaking the fourth wall, either by thinking out loud (Allen) or by interacting with animals or inanimate objects (Ferrell's classic-but still funny-discussion with his dog). 2. The cameos do not add nearly as much, in my opinion, as the numerous homages. I would be repetitive if I listed them all here, though I would like to add how the net and rete combination brought to mind Jack Parlance's character in Barabbas 3. Who are Ferrell's Slapstick influences. His exaggeration calls to mind the silent era, though I can't nail it down to a specific character. His violent tendencies call to mind the Three Stooges, He also tends to straddle the limits of make-believe, which is another silent film trait. I had said more, but unfortunately it is lost to cyberspace. I really have enjoyed this exchange of ideas immensely, and I hope to do it again.
  3. ScottZepher

    Breakdown of a Gag, Episode 8: Spoofs since 1970

    Thank you, Dr. Edwards, using the ESPN telestrator concept, and inviting Vince Cellini. Together with Dr. Gehring's illuminating lectures, you gave the course a valuable and entertaining learning source. Poor Lou, wouldn't be the last time he'd have problems with hands. Hand gags were almost always part of the repertoire, as seen at 29:37 on this episode of the :
  4. A little late to the board, so excuse if my reply is repetitive (also watching the full movie as I write this, so apologies if an extra gag falls in) 1. Gags, gags and more gags: Visual (car "chases," "The Police Station), Lines ("You've got something on your face . . ." ) 2. Ain't nothing subtle about ZAZ's approach. Every frame of every scene was fair game. I remember the original "Police Squad," (one of the few shows I actually watched during that period, (though they might have been post-season reruns), where a couple wanted to be alone, so they went out into a "Japanese Garden." On hindsight, it might have been one of the reasons why the show only lasted one season. 3. They are both so intensely sure of themselves, but while Clouseau will put his foot through the floor, Drebin will put his foot in his mouth. That being said: Drebin is rather like Hulot in that he digs the hole other people fall into.
  5. 1. The university laboratory/classroom was a fairly common scene, not only in Horror but in many other movie genres during the time period. Here the Professor is himself condemned by the know-it-all student (in other films the professor condemns the student, the students conspire amongst themselves for myriad reasons, etc.). Our Dr. F refers to the famous one, among other things, as "Grandfather," leading us to believe there is only two generations separation, but the class itself (with the exception of the Mr. Know-it-All and the creepy envoy from Transylvania?) could very easily have been pulled wholesale from a UCLA Biology class, c.1974. Whatever the reasoning was, it comes across not only as integral to the parody but as great subtle humor as well. 2. Wilder himself leads us into the subtle comedy (droll delivery of textbook facts, condemnation of his Grandfather which hedges on indifference) and out the broad slapstick (two entirely different "kneejerk" reaction gags) as deftly as any of his other comedic roles (his title role as "Cisco Kid" refuses to ride a horse on the Sabbath, turning the traditional Western horse chase into a classic gag) 3. Watch any of the Hammer horror films of the '60s, all remakes on classic horror genre, all full color, and what do you see? Red blood, I'll give you that, but then what? Gray, Brown, Black, Stone. Filming the original set pieces in color would have lessened the other comedic aspects of the film.
  6. 1. Exaggeration reigns throughout the entire clip, from the "drawing straws," to the outrageous deli order. While there is a suggestion of potential violence, this could be seen as an element of slapstick or parody. The musical interlude, twists on classic lines ("you better get some rest . . .) and the use of extras (the 'lookouts" smoking outside, the quirky mix of delicatessen delivery men and catering staff) are some of the details which made this an excellent send-off of the "guerrilla/rebellion" genre. 2. I would agree that "Bananas," has " . . .an apparent structure (peace corps schlemiel ends up fighting with rebels) and a real one (four wheelbarrows of coleslaw moving surreptitiously toward the secret rebel base). That being said . . .anyone notice they missed something?
  7. 1. First, there is color: big splashy color all over the place. A typical "barnstorming" balloon act, performing somewhere in America (or even in Europe), would not nearly be as colorful, or even clean for that matter. The Great Leslie may have had his circus tights bleached white (if he was lucky), but he certainly would not have a monogrammed straitjacket--he would have the real thing, four or six separate buckles to open, more exciting that way. His balloon would not nearly be so spectacular, unless he was the barnstorming magician equivalent of Bruce Wayne. Bunting? Do you know how much of a pain bunting is to keep clean, much less store or transport? Second, everything about Professor Fate and his minion is right out of a cartoon: the camouflaged arrival unbeknownst to our hero, popping out of said camouflage with a evil cackle, and the appearance of the evil weapon (which others have very accurately pointed out should have "ACME" printed on the side). 2. The one thing that stands out for me is the overwhelming make-believe factor. Everything is so over-the-top comical I don't mind seeing the obvious blending of projected backgrounds and live shots. The effect doesn't need to be believable, because we all know it's a homage. 3. This has already been thoroughly and sufficiently covered already in previous posts. I think we're all agreed that the issue is pretty much "Black" and "White."
  8. I don't think anyone could do physical slapstick on the same level as the Stooges. When The Three Stooges aired in 2000, I first learned about their original--and violently literal--stage act. Later, when the trio enter movies, they discover how their gags can include sound effects. Michael Chiklis, who portrayed a very believable Curly, turned to brother Moe (very well played by Paul Ben-Victor) and said something along the lines of "now my ears won't ring for hours when you hit me." I believe Curly died first, and of a stroke. I know The Great Race has gone down in history as one of the biggest in history, but there begs a question: How many pie-fights exist? Has anyone ever given a number? Has anyone in class ever been hit in the face with a pie? (raises hand)
  9. 1. So many great posts from a three-minute clip! While there are several excellent gags to choose from, I will ask some small indulgence, as I point out a gag, while occurring probably seconds before, manifests itself throughout the entire clip. If there is a billiard table, Clouseau will not only choose the most warped cue in existence, but he's bound to have trouble with the chalk. Lo and behold: from the :31 mark onward, you see the unfortunate results. 2. Clouseau is hopeless--completely, clinically, ritualistically hopeless. Literally everything the man touches, looks at or refers to, explodes. It's all in the line of duty for our intrepid Inspector, physically making his way though the scene, leaving violent chaos in his wake. 3. Sellers' signature character. IMHO, is the very definition of the "Bumbling Detective" who, despite his ineptitude, manages to lure the guilty into custody, sometimes screaming their confession just to get away from him. Clouseau spawned a long line, reaching beyond slapstick into dramatic television (Inspector Columbo) and even cartoons (Inspector Gadget)
  10. Sigh Lucy and Desi as newlyweds, heading out in their studio apartment on wheels. It always reminds me of a cozy post-war apartment complex my (nearly) newlywed wife and I lived in back in the late '80s. I always used to call "LUUUCY I"M HOME!" whenever I arrived home form work or wherever. . . Sorry, couldn't be helped. 1. Even though the FCC approved the first color TV sets about four years before The Long, Long Trailer, the movies maintained their mastery of the color pallet, and this movie was no exception. As many others have pointed out here, color emphasized the trailer's luxurious pastels, not to mention that mainstay of 1950's design: CHROME. Watching the clip, what stood out for was the way color accentuated the sense of depth Minnelli successfully created. Color also improve the textures in the scenes, most particularly that final cut to poor Lucy, mud oozing down her once-cute yellow pajamas. 2. The camera follows Lucy as she "exits the kitchen," and "enters the dining rom," and one could almost feel queasy, sliding sideways while the camera slides left. While the film earned a mere WGA nomination, the Oscar committee unfairly overlooked the tension- (and hilarity-)building editing in this film. Minnelli's well-timed cuts to that overworked jack is textbook slapstick. 3. Lucy did not start out as a comedienne, again as several others have pointed out. She was "discovered," as I understand, in the other Hollywood tradition--decorating Louis B. Mayer's poolside. She showed an early eagerness for whatever the role required (though the title escapes me, I can remember watching her square off with Maureen O'Sullivan), and this soon extended to slapstick. Bouncing around that bedroom scene would have been no trouble for her; I'm surprised she didn't add a couple more bounces (once off of Desi, and another off her bed before careening out the door). When we cut back from the busted jack to it's consequence, she was exactly where she needed to be--reminiscent of another time, another hapless newlywed and another starter home.
  11. Bonjour Mr. Hulot! I was first introduced to Jacques Tati's character when the good people at TCM aired Le Vacances de Mr. Hulot Hulot's world (like Sellers' Clouseau and Atkinson's Mr. Bean, in my opinion) can be summed up in one word: complication. If their world isn't complicated enough (even if his apartment building is a post-war, reconstruction, there must be some easier way to get to the third?floor), they will go to whatever lengths are necessary to take the situation to every possible height of complication. Unlike the characters I mentioned above, Tati's Hulot is the very model of unperturbed composition. The apartment building (and the boarding house of his sunny seaside vacation), is merely there. There may be the occasional squeaky hinge or unreasonably loud bird, c'est le vie. Unperturbed as he is, one of the trademarks of his slapstick are the victims he leaves in his wake. If the scene were, for example, a supermarket, Hulot would move replace the can of soup where he feels it should be, leaving it to the next poor sap to pick it up and send the display crashing to the floor.
  12. ScottZepher

    Problems with Canvas Dashboard?

    Just saw this--apologies for the duplicated request elsewhere
  13. ScottZepher

    General Info about our Message Boards

    I had requested assistance re uploading a profile photo, but received no reply. I had a image well below the limit, but couldn't even get it into the editing area. What exactly is necessary to download a photo?
  14. I'm afraid this is one of those 'hit-send-in-haste" instances that I must unfortunately own from time to time, and I apologize to LN04150 for involving him. I had not mentioned Seinfeld previous to the post LN replied to; I was probably referring to, or had begun to refer to Abbott and Costello. The point I was trying to make is sadly lost, which makes this even more embarrassing. That being said, I stand on the point I did make, which was the inferior quality of Seinfeld's comedy. The MTM and Gary Marshall productions mentioned above were the epitome of television comedy during the 1970's. I am hard-pressed, however, to recall any program from the '80's onward that I could say was all that funny. There are some extenuating circumstances that may skew my impressions, not the least of which being the fact that I didn't really watch very much "broadcast TV," (if it wasn't for things like TCM, and having kids, I probably would not have much reason to have a TV even now). Though even in reruns, I don't see the appeal shows like Seinfeld, Cheers, Friends, etc. had.
  15. I have, and I have to say: it really is a show about nothing. Seinfeld's appeal, like A&C (which btw, there is such a thing as Abbott and Costello Meet Seinfeld), was to take the nucleus of his stand-up and continually refresh it by means of the misadventures of his co-stars. It was like the cartoon shows of the late '70s and '80s, but with the moral at the beginning of the show.

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