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christinalynee

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About christinalynee

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  1. I agree with the course's definition of slapstick. However, reflecting on these identifiers inspired a few thoughts, and I'd love to get others' opinions on this. Regarding exaggeration: The course spends time talking about exaggeration as a way to ease audience's nerves in regards to the violence. By making it over the top, it transcends reality. Precursors such as vaudeville were brought up as well. What I think is also interesting is the difference between acting for the camera and acting for the stage. We see the earliest slapstick at a time when theatre is arguably among the biggest cultural influencers, not to mention that many radio (which could also be exaggerated when trying to paint a visual through sound). Film grabbed many of its screen actors from theatre and radio at a time when there were no classes on acting for the camera. For theatre you have to push the action to the back row. It's hard to give an understated performance that resonates like it does on film. I can't help but wonder if the exaggeration of slapstick is at least in some ways a product of its theatrical origins - a result that worked to ease any visceral reactions to violence and allow the audience to laugh at the circumstances being presented on film. Regarding violence: I find it fascinating that we can grow up with Looney Tunes and still get queasy when we see Buster Keaton in action. The only difference is that Buster is a real person, Bugs Bunny is a drawing. Interestingly, we have different reactions to each of these characters being hit on the head with a mallet, even though all of the slapstick elements are present in both examples: violence, exaggeration, physicality most definitely repetition. Despite all of the efforts to show viewers that slapstick is indeed a carefully choreographed expression of athleticism, animation takes us a step further from reality, making us feel that all is 'ok'. It's clear that the great slapstick artists influenced these cartoons, yet cartoons appear to be more easily accepted. Christina
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