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About cpelfrey

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  • Birthday August 5

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    Northport, NY
  • Interests
    Film, writing, art, movies, drama.
  1. 1. How well does Alan Dale's definition of verbal slapstick fit the Marx Brothers? They're masters of slapstick, and perhaps the best I've ever seen. They use the physical and verbal forms of slapstick that are incredibly famous and watchable today. Their work is timeless. 2. Can you identify specific "characteristic gags" that Groucho and Chico use in their on-screen performance of this extended verbal slapstick gag? Chico always relies on the silly ( but crafty) Italian immigrant, which in itself is ironic because they"re Jewish. And Groucho tries to play straight, but is really the o
  2. 1. There's a lot we don't know from this clip ( the crab, the tire marks?) but I loved how he used montage to go from ride to ride--most of which we can imagine but do not see today. For whatever reason, I thought the gag in the tunnel, where the couple is in the tunnel by themselves and all the stuff is falling out of their pockets, and handbag, and hat was very funny and relatable. Also, in Chaplin and Keaton, you do not see groups of people, so that's unique. He's also trying to impress a girl, and fails miserable although she is such a good sport. It was really funny after he ate all that
  3. 1. I love Buster Keaton. I always wonder if he lived with a lot of pain later in life. Must have been rough. Anyway, he obviously had great charisma and timing. His wife was also helpful, as the last gag of putting the sheet music on the piano was hilarious. I think she helped in this skit more than the man in the ceiling. That was a bit of a detractor. The acting and stunts are superb. And , this idea, that he's ruining his house by trying to build it is pretty close to home (as they say) to a lot of people. I think that narrative adds to the humor. Also liked the indoor/outdoor effect.
  4. 1. Modern comedy has so many other props, music, sets, costumes, and the need for continuous narrative, but the rich narrative of the silent era were intense and brief. It also required viewers to watch very closely, and uninterrupted. After all, you can cut into an episode of Seinfeld and also check your mail or play Words with Friends. You cannot do that with Chaplin or Keaton. You must watch closely. Obviously, this was known to them consciously, so to keep viewers viewing, the very good actors and directors worked at creating scene, narrative, stunt/spectacle, and also appeals to emotion (
  5. I liked the concept of slapstick progression and I think it has a lot to do with the individual actor, artistic freedom, and, frankly, the physical ability. This is going to be fun! And, yes, girls can do and watch slapstick. Think of Lucy! Madeline Kahn! All of the female SNL cast! I have seen slapstick fail when the woman is the butt of the joke, or if the behavior doesn;t match the character (Meg Ryan in French Kiss, for example). But, it can be totally successful and has been in all different times. Can anyone think of other awesome slapstick women?
  6. I don't think Violence necessarily has to be a part of slapstick. Yes, the tree stooges and even Bugs Bunny used violence as a technique. However, when I think of the Marx Brothers, and Saturday NIght Live (in many instances) they meet all the criteria except that they are not particularly violent. Silly, unrea, silly, wide , and wordy, but not necessarily violent. And is a prat fall violent or just a fall? If no one pushed you, it's not a violent situation. Just thinking.
  7. Even the Marx Brothers first film was basically a filming of their vaudeville act. So, I agree, there was a lot of slapstick even before film. And its universal. Everyone laughs when the professor gets a pie in the face, or slips in the mud, or gets stuck in cruise cabin. I love this class! I loved the Film Noir class, I learned a lot, but i'm a big fan of slapstick. My brothers and I used to watch Mel Brooks movies over and over again. Hooray for Captain Spalding!
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