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About Desilu19x

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  • Birthday 05/27/1991

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  1. I want to thank Dr. Edwards, everyone who made this course possible and to my peers who have made this experience so enjoyable and enriching! I truly enjoyed this little journey and I couldn't be more grateful to everyone who made this possible and wonderful. Now I will be able to see comedy/slapstick in a much better light and appreciate it's beauty more. I do hope there will be more classes in the future, I am already looking forward to it! Thank you everyone, especially you Dr. Edwards for not only gracing us with your knowledge of movies, but for making us feel so comfortable, so at ease... this is more than just a class, it's a family!
  2. 1. How does this scene successfully parody the old Universal Horror films of the 1930s? Be specific. While the doctor is in a serious mode, using profound words to explain his display, his off moments, that rather come off as insane, works beautifully and tells us very well that not only is this man not in his right mind, but the way it’s brought out, you can’t help but laugh at how rather extreme and sarcastic he tends to do this, as if trying to cover up his looney moments, with the explanation of it being an “involuntary impulse” 2. In keeping with Gene Wilder's own observations about the writing of this film, how does this scene move between comic subtlety and broad slapstick humor? Be specific. From the moment the doctor gives his explanations of involuntary impulse, you feel the comedy rising, the facial expressions Wilder gives off in this scene gives the audience a hint of what is approaching, only to effortlessly turn it into slapstick humor when he gives the volunteer the knee. Not only does this provide violence, but the sudden tone change of his voice provides us with verbal slapstick. Another moment to note was towards the end of the clip, when the doctor is arguing with his student over his grandfather’s researches, only to get mad and stab HIMSELF on the knee. Seems like a funny hint of karma? 3. Would this film and its gags have worked as well if Young Frankenstein was shot in color? Defend your answer. I think the gags would have worked the same, but the film itself, I don’t think so, solely because this is meant to be a tribute to classic horror. Horror in general was shot and done differently than a movie of another genre, in a way, film noir and horror share this similarity, it not only shoots scenes in a rather dark lighting, but the use of shadows, suspenseful music backgrounds. Black and white coloring in a horror movie tends to add more scare into the movie alone, coloring tends to take away the mystery of what is not ever meant to be discovered.
  3. 1. What do you think the addition of color adds to this scene and its gags? I think what it really adds, is the mood and personality of the characters, not to mention how well the combine together. Most of all, it helps us also appreciate Lucille’s vibrant red hair, because it brings out and reminds us just how fiery Lucille Ball is. 2. What are some of the techniques that Vincente Minnelli uses in this scene to make it more cinematic than a TV show such as I Love Lucy? Consider, for example, camera angles, depth of focus, or editing strategy. He was able to show a deeper view of scenes, like the mud scene, we are able to actually see Lucy inside the puddle of mud, while in I Love Lucy, scenes like that can only be caught so nicely. (In a way the mud puddle scene reminds me of the Vineyard scene Lucy has) You also feel, that you are able to get inside the minds of both Lucy and Desi separately and together. While the story is mostly told in Desi (Nicky’s) POV, you can feel and see just what Lucy is feeling throughout the movie as if she herself was telling the story as well. 3. What are some of Lucille Ball's contributions to the history of slapstick comedy, and how does Minnelli use her physical comedy in this clip? Lucille’s greatest contribution is opening a new door for women in comedy, proving that women are just as equally as funny as men, and that they can be just as bold and daring as they are, she proves that there are no boundaries as well to physical comedy. Minnelli used her physical comedy brilliantly first off, in the bedroom scene, her failed attempted to get into bed and stay there, are beyond perfection, and wonderfully wrapped up when she falls onto the door and into the mud puddle.
  4. I know W.C Fields, his name is too familiar to not recognize, but I admit I have not seen him in many movies. (I’ve mainly seen the silent ones.) I am happy to have been introduced to this film! This clip reeled me in and I will be sure to see the full movie! Thanks to this course I will be able to enjoy W.C movies in a whole new and different level than I would have without it! 1. Compared to the last two Daily Doses, how does W.C. Fields verbal slapstick compare to and/or differ from Charley Chase and the Marx Brothers? I feel that it differs from Chase and Marx Bro’s verbal slapstick in the sense that W.C Fields is much less exaggerated, he is more straight to the point, blunt, serious to the point where you can’t help but find it funny. He says what’s on his mind and doesn’t hold back, and has a way of carrying himself where you believe that in his mind, his word is law. He is an average man, yet, one with perhaps a very big ego. In similarities, I feel that his work like Marx and Chase carries a lot of puns, sarcasm and outrageous metaphors. Well mostly Marx Bro’s/W.C Fields. I cannot really include Chase since I have yet to truly see his work. (I have yet to see a full movie of his unlike Fields) 2. Based on Alan Dale's definition of verbal slapstick, what are some of the characteristic verbal "gags" that you noticed in watching this clip? Feel free to share some of your favorite lines from the clip as well. I noticed a lot of sarcasm, perhaps to me, W.C Field’s greatest trait, outrageous metaphors, insipid verbosity, basically all of them, and my favorites have got to be the lines, Egbert: Oggilby? Sounds like a bubble in a bathtub! Egbert: Say, you oughta vaseline this place in here or move the post over. Egbert: These cloves are pretty dry, you’ll have to sprinkle them with alcohol! I am enjoying this so much and exploring W.C Fields is really interesting, since his comedy really tends to stick out from the rest of the comedians we are learning about. He is a mix of them all, only thing is, he is much more toned down and literally relatable in an actual normal sense. He feels like the guy you would actually meet, and in this movie I can’t help but feel like I can almost see a grandfather here, who has lived it all in life but is ready for many more adventures, even if he seems like he couldn’t give two cents. He is raw, but a total clown that yes is rude, but you can’t help but want to hug the man and tell him “I get it”.
  5. 1. How well does Alan Dale's definition of verbal slapstick fit the Marx Brothers? Dale’s definition was made for the Marx Brothers, and from the moment they attempt to read the contract, the definition falls beautifully into place 2. Can you identify specific "characteristic gags" that Groucho and Chico use in their on-screen performance of this extended verbal slapstick gag? What is most notable and most hysterical, at least in my point of view, is their use of double entrendres, my favorite being the end bit where Chico asks Groucho about the clause in which Groucho reads and responds; Groucho: “if any of the parties participating in this contract is shown not to be in their right mind, the entire agreement is automatically nullified” Chico: Well I don’t know Groucho: It’s alright, that’s in every contract! That’s what they call a sanity clause! Chico: You can’t fool me there ain’t no sanity clause! 3. Which of the five conditions we associated with visual slapstick comedy (exaggerated, physical, repetitive/ritualistic, make believe, painful/violent) remain operative in the use of verbal slapstick in the movies? All of these conditions can be pointed out in verbal comedy, mainly though, the two that can be most noted is exaggeration and repetitive/ritualistic.
  6. Baseball is still a beloved pastime, and always being near Yankee Stadium just makes these movie bits/gags more enjoyable to watch. If there is one thing I truly love about slapstick is the misdirection, and Harold Lloyd was truly brilliant at it, I can’t get enough of Babe Ruth’s reactions, and as Dr. Edwards pointing out the pun Babe is supposed saying really kicks the charts. Loved watching Joe E Brown, and what’s most entertaining to see is his ability to sort of make fun of himself? It’s remarkable, and the great Nielsen! It’s always a joy to see him, now that I am in this course, I can’t help but think of Charley Chase? They sort of have a similar style? Since from what I remember from Leslie Nielsen’s work, he wasn’t the type to be over silly, was goofy in his own way, and in some movies, would tend to be the serious guy, but still equally funny? My memory most likely is a bit rusty, but that is how I remember Nielson. This course has really been a great treat so far, and I can’t wait to get deeper into it! Looking forward to the next episode of Breakdown of a Gag! Dr. Edwards and Cellini make such a wonderful team!
  7. Like everyone else, I truly appreciated the breakdown of this gag. It was fantastic and so detailed, and what I truly enjoyed learning was the “no boundaries” rule the Marx brothers seemed to have, it’s honestly admirable, and makes them stand out in their own way. What truly startles me in some way is Harpo’s ability to act asleep all throughout this chaotic gag! I find it outstanding and incredible, especially since he is the one being dragged around that small room that is slowly being filled up with some many people. Another thing I enjoyed about this bit is how cartoonish it seemed, it almost seemed truly made up or “touched up” if that makes sense, it’s just so illogical and ridiculous it’s funny, particularly Groucho’s laid back reaction to all of this. It's what really adds icing to this delicious cake!
  8. Wow, I admit, I have never seen this movie or have heard of Charley Chase, I will definitely set this movie to record! If there is one thing I love more than talking about classics, is discovering new classic gems! (This course just keeps getting better and better!) 1. How well do the slapstick elements of this clip match up with the five conditions of slapstick proposed in Module 1 (exaggerated, physical, repetitive/ritualistic, make believe, painful/violent)? I have to say that the painful/violence in this clip would have to be his attitude towards things, since violence doesn’t have to be just physical. Repetitive/ritualistic would have to be the bit where Chase lulls the man into reading the newspaper so he grab the utilities he needs to shave. Physical would have to be the bit between him and the dispenser scene, since he was splattered multiple times on the eye by it, make believe would so have to be the piece where Chase looks at himself on the man’s coat, and it giving off his reflection perfectly like a mirror. For exaggeration, I have to give it to the bit where Chase is so freely shaving in a public area, without anyone noticing or saying a thing. 2. Do you find the clip confirming or challenging Gerald Mast's description of Charley Chase? Even in a short clip, do you get the sense that his greatest emotion is "exasperation?" I have to say that I agree with Mast’s description of Chase, unlike Keaton, Chaplin or even Lloyd, Chase is like the yin to their yang or so to speak? It was easy to spot the difference on one clip alone, since the three silent film comedian’s, while they are not all smiles, their body language alone gives of a happy go carefree expression, they make fun of their situations, where as Chase, he gets angry with them, which is amusing and enjoyable to see, especially since his frustration like their relaxed attitudes is what gets them into more sticky situations. It’s thrilling to see the “opposite” but equally as funny character in a slapstick gag. 3. As an early talkie that is transitioning from the "silent film era," how well do you think this scene uses synchronous sound and music in the construction of its gags? While I do believe that it would have done well without the voice‘s, I think that the transition went very smoothly. The music and sounds where very spot on to the visual’s throughout the clip, and I think it was well done, not too fast of a change, slow and traditional to make the audience comfortable with the changes/shift from silent to talkies.
  9. 1. In what ways does Lloyd use the settings, amusements, and attractions of Coney Island in pursuit of creating original slapstick gags? Be specific. I feel that a very powerful tool Lloyd would use is the music & sounds throughout the gags, it was a wonderful addition and adds to the visual scenes we watch throughout the movie. I feel that also, the “extra’s” you see throughout the movie are not just there to be there, Lloyd has you feel that he is not a “main character”, everything is the main character, down from the amusement park, to the people, to the girl by his side, his jacket, and of course the crab. I adore that also, the swirls shown not only serve as a nice transition into the next scenes, but also represent how much fun both characters are having throughout the day. Also, the way he manipulates and uses the power of illusion (I'm probably looking for another word, but this is the best that comes to mind) really makes him unique and way ahead of his time. The scene where she is patting Speedy’s back, I truly believed for a moment he was probably puking from too much food or perhaps a ride that made him nauseous. 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? I agree, because while I can relate to both Chaplin and Keaton’s comedy in a “fantasy” sense, I can not only relate but easily picture myself in Lloyd’s place at the amusement park. 3. In watching this clip, what contributions do you see that Lloyd added to the history of slapstick comedy? I feel that while he lessened the need of exaggeration for a slapstick gag, he found new ways to keep it there, without being over the top, made it more real and raw for audiences to enjoy. I also feel that also the use of illusion (or misunderstanding, misinterpretations) on certain scenes was a big contribution to slapstick's history. A 2 for one, as I like to call those scenes.
  10. 1. What elements (set design, costume, prop, camera placement, acting) make this gag effective as visual comedy? In this gag I believe that everything becomes a character, down from the house, to the grass and mainly the piano. What makes it so effective is that everything plays part and does it’s own share of performing, everything is there for a reason and will not be there just for show. 2. In what ways do you sense that Keaton's comedy differs from that of Charlie Chaplin? Keaton was much more physical and if Chaplin was all about using his set and props, I feel that Keaton took that too a whole new level. He would interact with his props perhaps in ways not just anyone would dare try to, and not only that, I feel that while Chaplin yes, was relatable to people in a social sense, Keaton was relatable to people in a daily life. By that, I mean in a very exaggerated sense, like the bit where he tries to get the piano into the house. The struggle he goes through just to get it into his house. I could only imagine or even remember my own experiences, the STRUGGLE it is to get something so heavy into the house, especially when you have to do it all on your own. It’s quite annoying, nerve wrecking and if you look at it in another point of view, quite hilarious. 3. When you watch a scene like this with Buster Keaton, what contributions do you sense he added to the history of slapstick comedy? I think the inspiration to use physical comedy, to be more bold and daring in future comedic pieces. Also, I feel that he inspires thought, work, and energy into a good comedy piece. Even outside of cinema, I feel that Keaton inspires us to take a moment to look at ourselves and simple laugh. Life is too short to let it’s obstacles baffle us.
  11. Whenever I take trips to Coney Island, I tend to always think about these two silent movies, overall I find myself wanting to find a certain spot where any scene might have taken place. It’s amazing to see history in movies, since Coney Island has changed so much over the decades. I love the breakdown of both these similar gags, to me, it’s not only a tribute between comedians, it’s almost like writing a story among writers. Like for example, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, there have been many versions of this book written by other writers, their own views and takes on the legendary story, and this is no different. I love how Lloyd not only makes it his own, but as said by Dr. Edwards and Cellini, he expands it, not only putting his own take on it, but as if leaving the space for another fellow comedian/performer to expand this gag even further.
  12. Another example to me, of Slapstick Comedy in Mexican media is the famous TV series "El Chavo Del Ocho" while this sadly doesn't have any subtitles, I thought it would be nice to share as well. Might I mention that the actor that plays "Don Ramon" played by Ramon Valde(s)z, is brother of German "Tin-Tan" Vale(s)z. The series overall surrounds a young orphan boy (El Chavo played by Roberto Gomez Bolaños) who lives in a barrel that is located in a poor townhouse. This episode is called "Clases De Boxeo" (Boxing Lessons)
  13. *I think my other post was deleted? If so thank you!* Anyways, I wanted to post this since the subject of slapstick in cartoons has been brought up, I was wondering how people feel about anime? I know most anime is rather dramatic and dark, but some of Japan's anime, is very humorous and beyond entertaining. I find myself enjoying it more than most live action comedy I see now a day. One example of an anime that to me, fills every ingredient to what makes a slapstick comedy is the 2006 anime "Ouran Highschool Host Club" which is about Scholarship student Haruhi Fujioka, who is in debt to the school's host club boys for breaking one of their vases. In order to pay her debt of 8,000,000 Yen, she has to join the host club and pretend to be a boy. I for one adore this anime, and I find it's humor to be very exaggerated, type violent, traditional, and just overall fun, and I believe it would be fun for anyone who watches it. It has wonderful themes that not only touch today's society but I believe also hits back to the golden years, on both negative and positive sides. This is episode one, sadly you need a YT account to watch it, but if anyone is interested, I would be more than happy to supply a link where you can watch it! Both subbed and dubbed version! Does anyone else know or think another anime falls into this category? Do you believe that anime in general holds some form of Slapstick?
  14. 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? Once again, I have to agree but partially. I believe that some visual comedies do indeed have that magic and pay great tributes to the classics, but it all depends on the content you are watching. Most visual comedy now a day, tends to rely more on words rather than actually physical comedy. 2. Beyond the placement of the camera in middle distance, what other elements (set design, costume, props, acting, etc) makes this gag effective as visual comedy? I believe that the innocent aura of it helps along with the setting. The fact that you also didn’t need them to speak in order to understand what’s going on. You can’t help but also feel for both Tramp and the sweet dog he was carrying, you almost want him to just take the whole plate of biscuits and run. Another thing that makes this so effective, as I am sure is mentioned by other’s is the impeccable timing of both Chaplin brothers, the policeman (played by Tom Wilson I believe) and even the dog. 3. What do you think a gag like this and its brilliant on-screen execution contributes to the history of slapstick comedy? I think it contributes by influencing future generations, it gives you a greater appreciation of comedy, the lengths these legendary actors would go through just to get a laugh. It not only helps with actual live action humor, but with humor captured in cartoons and even in video games now a day.
  15. Since I saw a post dedicated to Tom & Jerry, I was wondering, is anyone a fan of the Flintstones? I have seasons 1-3 on DVD, and now taking this course of Slaptick Comedy, I find myself appreciating the cartoons I love, that fall under this category I mean, much much more! (It's obvious I am a huge cartoon lover, isn't it?) Also, I don't know if anyone has ever saw this similarity, but has anyone ever thought of I Love Lucy while watching the Flintstones?
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