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monika

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About monika

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  1. Though the gags are similar, the personalities of both Keaton and Lloyd's onscreen personas are what set them apart. "Coney Island" is a bit more crude in its humor, and rough in its physical comedy, much like the overall work of Arbuckle and Keaton. "Number, Please?", on the other hand, shows Lloyd's "boy in glasses" character as he is known to be -- innocent, gullible, sweet. Lloyd's glasses character keeps moving, always, rarely stopping to analyze, focus, or observe.
  2. What I find intriguing about Keaton's stunts, and his career in general, is that he was genuinely himself. Show business was in his blood and he learned many of his "tricks" early in life. Like any of us that learn anything -- a sport, an instrument, or a foreign language, for example -- as a young person, the selfconsciousness that inhibits the majority of our years is not there. The feeling of potential failure, or injury, or embarrassment isn't present. So who Keaton was as a film comedian was who he was in reality -- an entertainer. He knew how to do things safely, and smartly, that would have killed anyone else.
  3. The Chaplin each clips emphasize the 5-point definition from 1.2. 1. Slapstick involves exaggeration: Slipping on a banana peel is now a classic gag. In reality, though, how many of us have done such a thing? To the point that we've slid across the ground and turned feet over head and fallen hard from it? This is the epitome of exaggeration. 2. Slapstick is physical: Slipping, flailing, rolling back and forth through the hole in the fence, the body language speaks louder than words ever could. 3. Slapstick is ritualistic: As Chaplin's character evolved, the nature of the gags did as well, but not the foundation of the gags. 4. Slapstick is make believe: Because his little tramp was a character -- a "personality", as Dr. Edward points out -- unlike anyone you'd come across in day-to-day life, his existence alone is communicated to be make believe. 5. Slapstick is violent: I don't read "violent" in this definition so much to be the act of causing physical harm to someone else as much as I see it as causing physical harm to oneself. Chaplin falls on his back, runs into things, slips, gets hit. It's physical to the point of being a sport, and has got to be painful. I'm looking forward to discussing Keaton, who beat himself up so terribly and so often that he broke his own neck and didn't even realize it.
  4. I agree with the two definitions of slapstick presented in the 1.2 notes, although like many others have noted, I do not feel that each bit/short/scene/etc. needs to contain every defining element. I think that it is the combination of elements, thoughtfully chosen, that make the greatest comedic effect. I especially want to point out the notion of slapstick being "make believe": When cinema was young, the technology basic and the public inexperienced, the emphasis on showing that the bits were make believe was tremendously important. This was the same era in which viewers sprung from their seats and ran when watching a film of a train headed toward the camera. As the moviegoing public got more and more used to films, and then techniques used within, they understood that what appeared to be happening to those on camera was not real. Later on, as actors and actresses had a name and an image beyond titles such as "The Biograph Girl", moviegoers recognized the personality behind the part, the "reality" off the screen.
  5. What contributes to the legacy of L'Arroseur Arrosé is that its storyline resonates universally. No matter what age or class standing, place of origin or personal sense of humor, it is funny. Simple in execution but not in entertainment. Also, how many slapstick comedies rely on revenge tactics to get their laughs? I immediately think of Roscoe Arbuckle and the iconic pie in the face gag that he created.
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