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Everything posted by Drosera

  1. Very well stated! And though I slammed Dice, I ****MUST**** say, he appeared on Arsenio Hall's talk show many years back. Hall just kept saying, "Ya gotta be clean"... "ya gotta be clean"... Arsenio provided the slapstick relief THAT night. Dice went out and was CLEAN and HILARIOUS. Not even a great grandmother would have been offended... His stage act is filthy. But it's well-tooled filth and equally hilarious.. and it's what evidently sells. I think he's along the lines of Alice Cooper... his act serves as a catharsis...(Alice's quote about his own concerts). That modern
  2. 1. How would you compare Abbott and Costello's style of verbal slapstick in this clip with Groucho and Chico's style from Daily Dose #6? This clip, of Abbott and Costello, relies more heavily on props and setting than Groucho and Chico's.... and, in my opinion, it's not one of their more complex verbal exchanges. A&C is, in this case, less rapid fire than G&C. Part of the charm in both cases draws on the familiarity we have w/ their characters. 2. Wes Gehring's observation about the "polish" of Abbott and Costello's comedy routines is also a criticism of today'
  3. When I Googled it... it referred disparagingly to someone who eat earwax...
  4. Good evening. I took the first quiz without incident and was scored immediately. The next time I logged on, my Dashboard says I have no enrollments. I am able to hop to any of the other pages via the history on my pc and they're fine. It does show the current time as well as my quiz score from earlier, so I guess I'm not too concerned... as long as I'm still enrolled, which I guess I am as is does offer the "drop this course" option. lol Just letting you know about the odd wrinkle. Thanks so much. Have a great, safe weekend! Lisa aka Drosera
  5. I'm looking forward to the Professor's comments as well. JohnT3 When I saw "Mickey" listed as one of our titles I thought, "Surely that's not the Mickey I watched ages back. That's not slapstick." I revisited it, for class, and it is, indeed, one and the same... but a couple of thoughts occurred to me, since I was keeping in mind our given "slapstick requirements". We're approaching slapstick from a comedic perspective for the most part, [ WK1.2's "Slapstick, a type of physical comedy", "Outrageous make-believe violence has always been a key attraction of slapstick comedy,", ""slap
  6. 1. What elements (set design, costume, prop, camera placement, acting) make this gag effective as visual comedy? I think what makes this, and most of Keaton's work, effective is that no matter how absurd the props are (the porch railing, light as a feather piano, saggy ceiling), Keaton takes it all in stride and meets the task at hand head-on; as we so often have to do in life. I think that's part of his tremendous appeal all these years later. This would fall under "content" rather than any of the aforementioned aspects. The set and props are outlandish. We know from the very beginning
  7. I love remakes. I love comparing them to each other and to the original source material, if it is existent. These two Coney Island clips strike me (pun intended) more along the lines of musical embellishment than cinematic remakes in the respect that Lloyd took the clip and owned it. He greatly expanded and tweaked it until only the initial setting / concept was left... and that was left far behind as it was a springboard for the film. Such basic alteration is beautifully illustrated in Amadeus... when Mozart plays Salieri's "March of Welcome". He tweaks the ending which then leads
  8. Of Compilations & Kings .... I adore Silent films... having now sat and snoozed through the "The Golden Age of Comedy" I can honestly say it does them NO SERVICE. Gratuitous pie fights and chase scenes are, to me, just as boring then as they are in today's modern era (Fast and Furious is a prime example ~ oye, shoot me, please!) Perhaps with vehicles being fairly new, back then, they were more exciting. I don't know. Ah, Perspective, thou art a troublesome waif. The only saving grace to car chases of old IS the old cars.. they're pretty cool! There are so many other WONDERFUL Sile
  9. Not too long ago I watched a bio on Keaton... the day or day before he did the second house falling / window scene he was in a terrible place in his actual life.. He'd just been served divorce papers, was broke, and told that very day that his studio was closing down. It was stated he went into that scene not caring if he lived or died. Meh.... perhaps. Though if he'd wanted to die, it was presented to him on a gold platter that day, which he thankfully did not accept!
  10. 1. Similar to Agee and Youngson's perspective in Daily Dose #1, Canby makes a claim at the end of his analysis that there is something missing into today's visual comedies when compared to the silent classics. Do you agree or disagree with Canby? Like so many others here, I'm going to disagree with Canby.... but for a different reason (though I only read through the last four pages of comments ~ forgive me is someone early on mentioned this).... As soon as I queued this clip, and the music started, it smacked of Bugs Bunny. As the scene progressed, it has Bugs written all OVER it....
  11. So, like everyone else.. all of whom made WONDERFUL points.. here are my two cents. 1. Do you agree or disagree with Agee and Youngson's statements that the silent films from 1912 – 1930 constituted "comedy's greatest era" or its "golden age?" Why or why not? Looking back AT the years in question, with a broader expanse to take into account, I would say that 1912 - 1930 constituted "comedy's greatest slapstick era" and was slapstick's "golden age". Gags were concise and to the point. Even the longer gags evolved. IE Buster's cow gag in "Go West" progressed and moved the plot along
  12. What impresses me about the house scene in both of these two films is that even when the action is stopped, scruitnized and rerun you realize that at no point did Keaton look down FOR that oh-so-important mark! What a pro!!! No matter how many times I'd have practiced it, you can bet I'd have been looking for it!
  13. You may be on to something there! In an earlier comment someone said slapstick works because we care about the characters... and it was Chaplin who stated that it was about the character's personality. Most of the characters, whose movies I've turned off, haven't been at ALL likeable... it was slapstick, but, IMHO, they weren't being slapped nearly as hard as they should have been! hahahahahahaha So, what else might make slapstick not work for you when it fails?
  14. Beautifully stated. I think we all have things we've outgrown over the years. My problem is that while I adore older slapstick (Charlie and Buster) and the mid-era (Stan & Ollie, Bud and Lou) and situational slapstick ("Dennis the Menace", "Lucy", tv's "Batman", Jackie Chan, "Ghostbusters") most of the modern work which they try to pass off as comedy, leaves me cold. It may be slapstick, but it falls short (pun intended) for me and is annoying at best (the "Dodgeball", "Goldmember" and "Home Alone" movies and things of that ilk) To be honest, i don't even watch them..... It mig
  15. Totally enjoying the class ~ ALL aspects of it, but the commentary on this, the first web installment, was excellent. It's so interesting to see the complexity of the material evolve. Thank you for progressing chronologically. A small point, but one much appreciated! Slapstick in the open air! Who doesn't love THAT?!
  16. "....slapstick needs to be aligned with the worlds of make-believe in order to operate. So filmmakers have to figure out ways for the audience to know that the physicality and the violence of slapstick is not "real" and that no one is actually getting hurt from this excess of violent actions." Do you still find this to be true? I think, as audiences have become more accustomed to screen (both large or small) portrayals that filmmakers no longer tend to do this as far as the make-believe queues. Of course there are still the outlandish sound effects, but slapstick itself is seamlessly
  17. The question put forth was, "How do these same gags change on screen with the advent of sound?" It had slipped my mind, until a moment ago... but the addition of music or a specific soundtrack can put a film over the top. The 1927 Laurel and Hardy film, "Putting Pants on Philip" was restored and had a new soundtrack put in place. Philip (Stan) is fresh off the boat, from Scotland and in a kilt. Ollie has to get him into pants.. you can imagine the rest. The new soundtrack was done by Robert Israel and is comprised of acoustic versions of 18th and 19th century Scottish folk tunes wh
  18. Agreed about siding w/ the youngling in most of these. hahha I found it curious that the poster for the film gave it away! Then again, who doesn't want to see someone ELSE get squirted ?
  19. Good afternoon, all! Lisa here.. Just wanted to thank everyone for sharing their time, thoughts and enthusiasm! That's about all I have.. just a love of film (Silents mostly) and 52 yrs worth of life experience. When I read, "comedic strengths out of physical prowess and athletic performance." my mind lept to Jackie Gleason on the rollerskates. So, I'm sharing that clip... hoping you don't mind. Can't wait for the rest of the class!!! Let's Slapstick on!!!
  20. Good afternnon, all. Love reading so many wonderful takes on these questions; much food for thought. I'm not sure I have anything new to add. The Overall Questions, first. 1. Do you agree or disagree with these definitions? I basically agree with the definitions stated and find them as being excellent spring boards. 2. Do you have an alternate definition you would like to propose? Under the "Violent" umbrella; "slapstick comedy bits and gags can make members of the audience squirm, make them uncomfortable, make them look away from the screen." I take these to be generally negative, how
  21. Goodness such wonderfully informative and numerous posts! I've a lot of reading to catch up on all ready. Remakes have always fascinated me.... especially when hard on the heels of the original. The number of films / skits this little gem has spawned is tremendous, as many here have mentioned. Still, it continues to be remade. Here's a longer, newer version, but still the same. It's even titled, " The Sprinkler Sprinkled (1895) Short Film: Lumière Brothers " My personal take on the original film is that it establishes the everyday as acceptable. it's Seinfeld in a nutshell.. and j
  22. Hey Lizzyanne, Welcome !!! Like you, I feel I'm "too new" to be a "true" enthusiast, but Gagman66's list is GREAT !! A couple of my favorites are: * "Broken Blossoms" aka "The Yellow Man and the Girl" a 1919 D.W. Griffith film starring Lillian Gish, Richard Barthelmess and a very young Donald Crisp. * "The Blot" Lois Weber's 1921 film. She is often considered the first American woman movie director of note, was huge in the industry. The movie is STUNNING.... imho * "The Penalty" directed by Wallace Worsley, starring Lon Chaney Sr. is amazing, too. But then, I'm partial to
  23. I've had this.... right down to the writing and getting no response. I did just see that there's been a recent update, so perhaps it was fixed? Here's crossing those fingers!
  24. I find the soundtrack to "*Putting Pants on Philip*" the 1927 Laurel and Hardy silent, featuring the score by Robert Israel AMAZING. (Philip, a Scot played by Laurel, comes to The States to stay w/ a very American relative, played by Hardy) Being a Scotophile, I was watching the film and I wasn't surprised to find that Mr. Israel had used old (circa 17th & 18th Century) Scottish tunes, until I realized that he'd matched up the song lyrics to the action on the screen. Once, and it might have been a coincidence, but no, the unincluded lyrics to each tune were perfectly timed an
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