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About Ninnybit

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    Advanced Member

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  • Gender
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  • Location
    Austin, Texas
  • Interests
    libraries, dogs, movies
  1. My mom used to diss modern avant-garde movies. She didn’t like the non-linear plots and the twists and ambiguities, and I used to argue with her that’s there’s no odder turn in a movie than for a group of people to suddenly burst into organized song and dance! THERE’s surrealism for you! Just depends on what you’re used to.
  2. My favorite is Singin’ in the Rain. I can’t help it. But I’ve always liked It’s Always Fair Weather, especially “Baby You Knock Me Out”.
  3. It does feel like a cartoon and I loved it when I was a kid. As an adult, it's pretty and fun and clever, but it's too broadly played for me now. This one and Those Daring Young Men in Their Flying Machines and their Jaunty Jalopies--loved all three of them when I was a kid.
  4. I've watched a lot of Peter Sellers but I never thought of this until I just now. It applies to this clip, maybe not elsewhere, but this whole pool room scene is hilarious even though--maybe because--you see it coming. You know when he turns that bent stick the other way he's going to tear the felt, and you know when he goes near that forest of sticks it's going over, and you know he's going to go the wrong way out of the room, so I think the projection builds tension, and then you can laugh because what you expected to happen happens. The pool-stick nest is hilarious. And his face with t
  5. I just had to pause the second Dr. Gearing vimeo to comment. He says Chaplin is Dickens, but Keaton is Beckett. Spot on. Never thought of it that way. Exactly.
  6. How many takes did it take before they got the paper to tear just right timed to the dialog, I wonder. I've always considered this one of the great comic bits any time, anywhere. I never pass up a chance to tell somebody there ain't no sanity clause. Was this in their vaudeville act, or did they write this for the movie?
  7. I'd never noticed Charley Chase before. He's not nearly as appealing as Harold Lloyd, or anybody we've watched so far. He's just kind of annoyed all the time. He's better as the conventioneer in Sons of the Desert (in which he's not as important as Mae Busch, btw, and gets higher billing on imdb). I've always wondered when movie makers switched from running the same music through a whole film regardless of what's onscreen to making the music fall and rise with the action. Anybody have any good info?
  8. 1. In what ways does Lloyd use the settings, amusements, and attractions of Coney Island in pursuit of creating original slapstick gags? Be specific. One stands out--the stack-of-bottles game where the mean guy throws the ball that wins Lloyd the doll. 2. Do you agree or disagree with Schickel's assessment of Lloyd as more "real" or "freer" of "exaggeration and stylization" than Chaplin or Keaton? Why or why not? Lloyd isn't a character like Chaplin and he doesn't keep a stone face like Keaton. He's somebody you might expect to see walking down the street. Where Chaplin would whee
  9. 1. What elements (set design, costume, prop, camera placement, acting) make this gag effective as visual comedy? ALL of them! The fake piano carried on the shoulder! And then when it got into the house, it was a real piano! The squishy ceiling/floor. The big rectangle Keaton cut in the side of the house to yank the piano in. Even his wife's dress! Big silly houndstooth. And the house on the naked lot--just bare naked. 2. In what ways do you sense that Keaton's comedy differs from that of Charlie Chaplin? Chaplin is about relationships and sentiment; Keaton is about machinery. Chap
  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? I agree there's a difference. The same thing could be done today, but more likely they'd cut away between takes so the actor could spit out the cakes; you wouldn't wonder how he fit so many in his mouth--maybe they were just cake shells?--you'd know what was happening when they cut away. It's funnier watching Chaplin make innocent faces between fe
  11. 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? I agree with most of the other people on the message boards, I like comedy talkies better. Sound just gives you more options. The Marx Brothers are a perfect example of a transitional combo: silent slapstick (Harpo) and great language jokes. There is no comedy, silent or talkie, better than The General, that's true, but for my money, that's the pinnacle. 1912-1930 might have been the golden era of physical comedy, bu
  12. We just replaced an aging fence, but nothing like Chaplin's! That thing really looks 50-years patched! Makes me think my old one could have lasted longer.
  13. It's not my favorite kind of comedy, either. I think that's why I like Buster Keaton best. The humor in his slapstick is that he avoids being hurt. It's more a ballet of avoidance than getting a laugh from being smacked in the head or slipping on a peel, which is ironic because from what I've read, he got hurt plenty doing those stunts--broke his neck when a water tank emptied on him. (Well, there's the gag that proves my theory wrong.) That's why I've never been a fan of the Stooges. They hurt. I don't want to watch their noses pinched and their faces slapped. My favorite movie of theirs
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