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About RobertSmith

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  • Birthday 10/25/1964

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    Orlando, FL
  1. Buster was insanely talented and ridiculously athletic. No ifs, ands or buts about it. There is no one in this century who comes close to having his nerve or his ingenuity.
  2. 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? That’s an oversimplified view. Canby’s assumption is based on audiences never changing. That could not possibly be the case. Over the past 100+ years, audiences have unfortunately lost an appreciation for the simple joys in life. We’ve also lost our sense of patience. We couldn’t sit through seeing the same gag repeated over and over as it is in this clip. That’s really too bad. Another unfortunate loss is that fact that most of us have become gluttons. We simply fail to appreciate a character having to steal and/or use his wits to grab a few morsels of food for mere survival. Thankfully, this character’s needs are not relatable for most of us. 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? The hole for the cop to peer through is obviously essential to the bit. Another essential that is oft overlooked is the suspension of disbelief. We have to overlook the fact that the cook would have to be an utter moron to let Charlie go on as long as he did. 3. What do you think a gag like this and its brilliant on-screen execution contributes to the history of slapstick comedy? It reinforces the necessity of repetition and one character having to outwit another. It also delivers a huge payoff as the bothersome authority figure gets his in the end!
  3. Funny. Only yesterday, I mentioned what the clip refers to as social commentary, fighting back when being bullied by the cops, and here it is! A prelude to the shot below. : )
  4. I think that one of the elements that make slapstick so attractive is that the violence is make believe. Not a day goes by when we wouldn't like to smack one of our co-workers upside their head. Of course, we never do. However, we can do so vicariously through Moe Howard. We can even beat up cops through te likes of The Three Stooges, Laurel and Hardy and the like. These comedic icons ritualistically do what many of us would like to do...if we could get away with it!
  5. I believe this to be a common element in every film. Conflict rules the day. Also, America loves an underdog. We almost always prefer to root for him or her. If not in sports, at least in film.
  6. I believe that the ritualism provides the audience with something to anticipate, something to look forward too. For example, when Moe Howard says, "Pick two." we know what to expect and we are NEVER disappointed.
  7. Do you agree or disagree with these definitions? Yes, I do. They are as good as any I've heard. Do you have an alternate definition you would like to propose? No. I do believe that any definition must place a heavy emphasis on physicality. I recently competed in a film challenge where the producer who drew the slapstick genre screened a film with zero physicality and only suggested violence. While there was some snappy dialogue, the film simply didn't work. It left the audience feeling cheated. Do you believe slapstick comedy has to include all five of the conditions I discuss? "I certainly do, Ollie."
  8. Pretty smart using the straw boater hat. Not only is the actor spared a blast to the face, the visual is much better when the hat blows off!
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