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About CynthiaV

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  1. Certification Day come . . .and gone???

    I got your reply and the pdf did load. Thanks so much! Take care...
  2. Certification Day come . . .and gone???

    Hi Dr Edwards, did you receive my email? I sent you one yesterday but I'm not sure it went through.
  3. Hi Dr. Edwards, I have not received my certificate. I have not even received an email. Thank you.
  4. Certification Day come . . .and gone???

    I have never received any emails or my certificate. I saw your msg and sent you an email Dr. Edwards. At least I think I sent you an email on When I looked for a copy of it in my, "Sent" folder it was empty. If I don't hear back or receive an email I'll try resending.
  5. And I forgot to thank TCM, Ball State U, the Canvas Network and Greg P ... Thanks everyone Just completed my final so now I'm looking forward to the next movie course. I'm putting in my vote for Science Fiction or Horror but I enjoyed this course so much I'm game for just about any future TCM sponsored course with Dr. Edwards. Thanks again.
  6. By far, my favorite Monty Python scene of all time. Thanks for posting!
  7. I hope no one minds I began this post. This post is for any one who would also like to add their thanks. I just thought it would be nice to have a post set up to say thanks to Dr. Edwards and also fellow classmates and honored guests like Dr. Gehring and Vince Cellini. Thanks so much Dr. Edwards for teaching me to see Slapstick, "with new eyes." For sharing your enthusiasm and knowledge, your love of this artform and its many comedians and eras. For finding fun and interesting ways of teaching this considerable and influential genre. For helping me see the order within the seeming disorder. For caring and taking the time. Thanks to Dr. Gehring for bringing his expertise, the depth and breadth of his vast knowledge and sharing it with everyone. Thanks for connecting the dots... Thanks to Vince Cellini for his time and enthusiasm. Thanks for asking the questions I would have asked and for sharing the fun of Studio J with the class. And I agree, it's just not the Stooges without Curly. Thanks to my fellow classmates for sharing your knowledge, for your insights, opinions and encouragement. For sharing your love of the people, eras and movies of Slapstick. Most especially for making this a safe and welcoming place to share and discuss any and everything even when we disagreed. I'm really going to miss every one of you. I loved these past six weeks and look forward to our paths crossing again very soon. Best wishes to all. And my thanks to Buster'll always be the king of Slapstick to me...
  8. 1. How would you describe ZAZ's approach to film parody or film spoofs in this scene? Cite specific examples. Violent, physical, continuous. The Michael Bey of comedy. Destruction on an epic scale, the car careening out of control, the exploding gas tank, fire, the hit hydrant, water gushing up like a geyser, people diving, screaming, running till the car is out of the scene. And Drebin perpetually clueless that it is his own car. 2. How is ZAZ's approach to spoofing similar to or different from Mel Brook and Gene Wilder's approach in yesterday's Daily Dose? In this clip the comic approach is more reminiscent of Stanley Kramer's, "It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World," since the gag is anything but subtle spoofing. The humor is mostly violent and physical whereas Brooks' and Wilder's humor is mostly verbal, artful. 3. In the context of slapstick comedy, compare Peter Sellers' Inspector Clouseau with Leslie Nielsen's Frank Drebin. They are very similar. Both leave a trail of destruction in their wakes. Both see themselves as intelligent, competent and clever, able to outwit any and all criminals despite the circumstances. Drebin and Clouseau bumble along but somehow despite their many comical missteps and failed logic they both manage to catch the bad guy and save the day.
  9. 1. How does the spoof style of Ferrell and McKay differ from or compare to the styles of Woody Allen, Mel Brooks, or the team of ZAZ? Be specific. By our definition of spoof I don't see this as one. It's a parody because there is definitely imitation and exaggeration of network newscasters and the field of 1970s television newscasting as a whole but the humor is so broad and extreme that there is never any doubt Ferrell and McKay are 100%,"playing it for laughs,and " showing no respect for the genre. So in this sense they are very similar to Brooks, Allen and ZAZ. 2. We first saw a portion of this clip during our Breakdown of a Gag on Cameos – in the full context, what do the cameos add to this fight scene? Seeing familiar faces in this out of control scene helps anchor the dizzying action. It's similar to what designers or artists accomplish by using black in a room or on canvas. Also, because we bring our prior knowledge of these actors/comedians into the scene our anticipation and thereby our pleasure is increased. We are laughing even before the action begins. 3. Of the slapstick influences we covered in this class, who do you think most influenced Will Ferrell as a slapstick comedian? You can select for your answer any of the studios, directors, writers, or actors covered in this course. It felt the most to me like it was primarily a Frank Tashlin production because it was so cartoonish. The wild weapons, the entrance of the different gangs from different perspectives and the circling of the bikes and whoops like Cowboys and Indians. Even Ron Burgandy's, "... here are the rules..." announcement reminded me of Bugs Bunny. I believe he was most influenced by Peter Sellers and Gene Wilder.
  10. Wow! Who knew the Monster was blue-green or that color stills even existed. And the deleted scenes...As always Larynxa you are a wealth of knowledge. Thanks!
  11. Please don't apologize for length Russell K. Your response is a thorough and excellent analysis and I thank you also for the great links. Fantastic job! I love Gene Wilder and Mel Brooks also. This course has been so much fun. Unfortunately, I've never had an opportunity to travel to any of the TCM Classic Film Festivals. So to be able to "meet" and chat with others who share my love of Slapstick has been a rare treat. I've learned so much while enjoying myself immensely. Kudos to everyone and especially our fun-filled and knowledgeable fair leader in mayhem, Dr. Edwards.
  12. 1. How does this scene successfully parody the old Universal Horror films of the 1930s? Be specific. I'll highlight just one aspect, his voice. Wilder masterfully modulates his voice to parody the scientists of the early horror films. They were the experts, they sold us their impossible theories at a time when science was unknowable by most audiences. They were so sure of themselves, so intelligent and brilliant. Wilder parodies this by somehow modulating his voice with a mixture of all of the above but adds a haughtiness, a comical aloofness. It's close to pomposity but not quite. He manages to ratchet it down and avoid becoming bombastic. His voice alone even when he is angered by the student is perfect. He parodies the original dialogue but imbues it with his own subtle humor. His skill in just this one aspect is amazing. It truly makes the entire scene. 2. In keeping with Gene Wilder's own observations about the writing of this film, how does this scene move between comic subtlety and broad slapstick humor? Be specific. As Wilder scientifically explains the nervous system we, the audience are lulled into his demonstration, the mundane, "lift your left knee." The subject complies. Then he approaches and places his hand on the subject's shoulder, and in yet a purely scientific manner continues explaining the differences between the complementary aspects of the autonomic nervous system. All well and good but then he suddenly knees the subject in the groin to exact a response. Owwww! Parody of the pseudo science of early horror films that has just devolved into violent slapstick. Back to parody with the explanation of the band on the back of the subject's skull to repress the response, zing, back to slapstick with the knee again to the groin. I love the assistant taking his lab coat, how he washes his fingers and the aside, "Give him an extra dollar," as the man writhes in pain on the gurney. All parody. Even when he is verbally confronted by the student and defends his theory, more early parody, there was always a desenting opinion. Wilder then proceeds to jab his thigh with a scalpel, more violent painful slapstick but he keeps his composure a la The Great Stone Face. Great clip. 3. Would this film and its gags have worked as well if Young Frankenstein was shot in color? Defend your answer. No. Brooks and Wilder need the black and white to pull off their slight of hand especially in terms of the parody of the earlier Frankenstein movies. But it also helps emphasize the violence of the gags as both parody and slapstick. Because of the black and white they work on two distinct planes, as stand alone slapstick gags and as parody of earlier black and white slapstick. Color would have detracted and brought us too far forward into the present day.
  13. 1. In what ways does this scene from Bananas operate as both slapstick comedy and as parody? Although there is no actual violence there is the threat of it. The exaggeration and make believe includes the revolutionary leaders and a coerced Fielding Mellish who all live in the jungle going to a bodega deli to get food. It is outrageous and funny in its ridiculousness. "The short straw. Well, as long as it was fair." The music is so disconnected to the action. What is that sound? A kazoo? The physicality is not in pie fights or banana peel pratfalls but in the line of cooks and waiters under armed guard forced to deliver deli sandwiches and wheelbarrows full of cole slaw to the guerrillas. Even the reaction of the owner in taking the outlandish order is so surreal as if the order is nothing out of the ordinary. "...1000 7ups...mayonnaise, on the side..." 2. Do you agree or disagree with Mast in his view that Bananas more closely captures Sennett's style or spirit than The Great Race? Even if you haven't seen either film, you can base your analysis on today's Daily Dose vs. last week's Daily Dose from The Great Race. I agree. Sennett also was a master of parody. He loved to parody his mentor D. W. Griffith whose large scale stories of melodrama and last minute rescues were instant classics and familiar to most moviegoers of the era. Sennett also developed many of his stories on the fly much as Allen did. Though Sennett is also famous for traditional "old time" slapstick more reminiscent with the physical gags of vaudeville, the circus and other traveling tent shows of which he was a veteran, the majority of his work predated sound pictures so it is unrealistic to not relate physical gags to his legacy. So, I believe, at heart, Allen better represents Sennett's spirit of film production by parodying outrageous situations and stereotypes such as a Jewish man charged with feeding an army electing to go to a Jewish style deli miraculously operating nearby and ordering food one would expect to find in NYC instead of a San Marcos jungle. So yes, this clip is more aligned with Sennett than Edward's, "The Great Race." "The Great Race" does parody the actual race and other situations but the experience of the movie is one of nonstop violence and physical gags. It is so over the top the parodies get lost in the extreme physicality of the story. There is no subtlety as in Allen's films where the parody takes center stage.
  14. I agree. Tashlin is another creative, multi-talented artist who didn't receive the plaudits he deserved during his lifetime. Hopefully, this oversight will now be rectified. I'd love to see a film festival devoted to his diverse works and various roles. Or perhaps a chapter or two in Dr. Gehring's next book!

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