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jggolobic

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About jggolobic

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    Female
  • Location
    Virginia
  • Interests
    IB Film Studies teacher
  1. Loved this clip! My husband and I couldn't get over how many biscuits Chaplin had to consume during the filming of this scene. It reminds me of an interview excerpt I read from Nick Offerman and Chris Pratt about how during the shooting of a Parks and Recreation episode, Chris Pratt decided to eat an entire ice cream cone during the course of the scene. They ended up having to shoot the scene many times, so by the end of filming, Chris Pratt had such a stomach ache and sugar rush. I can imagine Chaplin may have felt the same way shoving biscuit after biscuit in his mouth. Again, what is so impressive about this clip from A Dog's Life is the comedic timing and commitment to the gag by both of the actors. I would imagine that this scene had to have been choreographed and rehearsed ad nauseam to achieve such a high quality result on screen. It really shows the dedication these slapstick stars had to their comedy and the high level of discipline required to pull off such a complicated visual gag.
  2. I can definitely see why Agee and Youngson argue that this period from the 1910s-1930 or so is the "golden age" for comedy. This is where slapstick gets its beginnings on screen, and while this type of comedy had been popular in the live settings of vaudeville and music halls, the camera adds that focus point for the actors performance. I enjoyed the behind-the-scenes look of Sennett's Studios and how the production didn't shy away from exposing all of the production elements. Slapstick films such as these one and two reelers begin to break the fourth wall and bring the audience (via the camera) into the action and the gag. While I think there has definitely been great slapstick (and comedy) in film since the silent area, there is definitely more of a reliance on the visual storytelling which has been lost (or replaced) a bit by sound in cinema.
  3. Buster Keaton is my favorite slapstick comedian from the silent era. I loved seeing the progression of the house-falling-down-gag and how fearless this guy really was to perform a trick like that. Perhaps the instructor will talk about this next week, but I adore the whole sequence from Sherlock, Jr. when Keaton falls asleep at the projector and dreams that he enters the movie screen. How he interacts with the changing backdrop/set and his timing is just so incredible. It really sets a high standard for actors learning to "hit their mark." For Keaton, his mark was the difference between life and death (or serious injury). Keaton's risk-taking sets a high standard for all performers of slapstick/physical comedy.
  4. I enjoyed the first video lecture. Cute "sports commentary" setup that is perfect for breaking down a scene. I teach film at the high school level and plan to show some of these segments to my students to get them to think about how to prepare an analysis. I appreciate seeing the progression of Chaplin from a minor player to the physical comedy star we know as "The Tramp". Looking forward to Buster Keaton in Week 2 as he is my favorite!
  5. First of all, thanks for including Gene Wilder in the top screenshot of part 2. My husband and I were watching clips from Young Frankenstein yesterday and enjoying the slapstick comedy in this film. In regards to the definitions or "conditions" of slapstick, I would agree for the most part with all of them. I can't really think of an alternative definition, but I do think slapstick has evolved greatly from the stage to the screen and within cinema with the advent of color and sound. Also, let's not forget animation which includes a great deal of slapstick humor. Finally, I think slapstick must be exaggerated and physical, but the degree to which it is ritualistic or make believe or even violent can vary greatly from film to film.
  6. I watched both versions of "L'Arroseur Arrose". I can definitely see the beginnings of slapstick in these clips. I'm familiar with the Lumiere Brothers and know that in addition to documenting real moments they enjoyed creating some of our earliest visual stories. In the remake in particular, the build up to the moment where the sprinkler gets sprinkled seemed very exaggerated. This creates suspense as the audience waits for the moment we all know is coming (dramatic irony) - the sprinkler getting hit in the face with a stream of water. Also there is some physical comedy in the brief chase sequence and the eventual punishment (the spanking). In the remake, we also get the moment of payback where the prankster gets hosed down as well. Lots of films and television series still use these gags today. For some reason the stopped up hose reminded me of the opening scene in David Lynch's film "Blue Velvet", although for a much different purpose!
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