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About ln040150

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  1. Thanks, Cynthia, for setting up this post, and thanks to all for a wonderful class, especially Dr. Edwards who has once again set aside so much of his time for us and put up such a great effort for us all.
  2. I’ll wear my heart on my sleeve and say in this case that I really loved Sidewalk Stories, which is one film that I never saw previously, although I did hear about it at the time. It does remind one, chiming in with Roger Ebert, that silent film causes the audience to engage with the film emotionally, to work with the filmmaker, rather than merely sit inactive, having the film thrust upon you with words, virtually explained to you at every moment (or made more confusing for you at times). I very much appreciated the fact that it was an homage to The Kid, but brought up to date on the social co
  3. Even though it never followed through with anything, you had to have Japanese tourists in Foul Play because of The Mikado. And the car chases, again, were something of an obligatory homage to Bullit (they were in San Francisco, after all...).
  4. Although not used to great effect in this clip, I believe the ZAZ team is using an additional influence in their films—still cartoons, particularly those from MAD magazine—and this can be seen in the background and “marginal” slapstick gags that occur from time to time, which is a common element in satirical cartoon illustration. There’s almost always a lot of “business” going on in a ZAZ scene, so much so that one might think they anticipated VCR tape and DVD sales so that people might replay over and over to get full justice out of every take. Here we see the use of science, technology a
  5. From "Foul Play": Chuck McCann was a well-known bit-player in film but better-known to children around the country as a former Bozo-the-Clown and even better as the helmsman for many a children’s broadcast showcasing the classic sound film of the Hal Roach Studios. Billy Barty was an old Hollywood comedy stunt man, often seen on early television and in the films of the 50s and 60s.
  6. The unfortunate problem with the great horror classics of the 1930s was that they fed into the already-rampant anti-intellectualism of the American public by painting a picture of scientists as so far above them, so isolated in their thinking, that they would never sink to considering the possibilities that occurred to the everyday woman or man. “Preposterous” and “ridiculous” became standard vocabulary in scripts. Young Frankenstein plays upon this tradition in spades by creating a character in Frederick whose very neurosis is bound into the denial of what the common person takes for granted.
  7. Allen isn’t so much parodying film (although there are film references, like to The Quiet American and The Green Berets) as much as he is parodying the sturm und drang of the idealism of revolutionary politics ala Franz Fanon, Che Guevera and Eldridge Cleaver. He uses slapstick clearly here and we can see the five elements at work in the over-the-top exaggeration of the delicatessen order, the make-believe element in it in the utter implausibility of it’s being created and catered at the end, the implied and impending violence required to have it “paid” for and served up, the physicality of al
  8. Curtis and Lemmon were absolutely perfect in an absolutely perfect film directed by a genius.I was also a devoted fan of the Stooges, mimicking all they did (as best I could) with my friends...when I was in elementary school. But the repetition does grow old, even if repetition is one of the conditions of slapstick.
  9. Perhaps it was at this point that comic filmmakers--and filmmakers in general--began to understand the pure distinction between "homage" and "remake" to the point where many of their own tastes took a turn for the better. Or, at least, forced them to consider new ways of searching for comedic forms. (Of course, studio execs often didn't feel this way, which is why we still see debacles like "The Magnificent Seven Redux." Rule: we should only see remakes of poorly made films, never remakes of perfectly made films.) The pie fight scene, as colorful and playful as it may be, is simply over the to
  10. As someone definitively not a big fan of this film in particular, I can only say that the homage seems to be more in the form of one to "The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show" characters than to anyone from classic slapstick. The very historic premise--using a time period BEFORE the classic era of silent film--always made it difficult for me to see this as an homage to people like Chaplin or Keaton, let alone Laurel and Hardy, and no amount of pie throwing is going to change that. And I use the Rocky and Bullwinkle reference pointedly because, of all the possibilities, it seems that the Professor Fate
  11. When Dr. Gehring says Skelton's "career" ended, he means his "film career," of course. His television career lasted quite a long time and had a signifcant impact on the career of many other comedians.
  12. Prof Gehring's brief profile of Lloyd in Video three is at once both fascinating and chilling. I've always liked Lloyd, but I don't think I'll ever be able to watch him again with the same eyes after someone shared that post about his book of 3-D nudie pictures and Prof Gehring describing him as his era's Babbit.
  13. I realize this is off topic, but since Prof Gehring brought up the subject of variety in Video 5, I was wondering about the evolution of the musical through the sound era. Clearly, Hollywood went straight to the musical (The Jazz Singer) as soon as sound was available. It was the logical first choice. But they didn't seem to stick with it, early on, despite the fact that Broadway musicals were already quite popular, and so many were available (or so it seems). They jumped quickly to other, tried and true vehicles and then to the more "common" variety show. Why?
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