A Companion to Film Comedy

Overview

A wide-ranging survey of the subject that celebrates the variety and complexity of film comedy from the ‘silent’ days to the present, this authoritative guide offers an international perspective on the popular genre that explores all facets of its formative social, cultural and political context
  • A wide-ranging collection of 24 essays exploring film comedy from the silent era to the present
  • International in scope, the collection embraces not ...
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Overview

A wide-ranging survey of the subject that celebrates the variety and complexity of film comedy from the ‘silent’ days to the present, this authoritative guide offers an international perspective on the popular genre that explores all facets of its formative social, cultural and political context
  • A wide-ranging collection of 24 essays exploring film comedy from the silent era to the present
  • International in scope, the collection embraces not just American cinema, including Native American and African American, but also comic films from Europe, the Middle East, and Korea
  • Essays explore sub-genres, performers, and cultural perspectives such as gender, politics, and history in addition to individual works
  • Engages with different strands of comedy including slapstick, romantic, satirical and ironic
  • Features original entries from a diverse group of multidisciplinary international contributors
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“This work is indispensible for any student or scholar who, in the spirit of Rabelais, Swift, and Chesterton, will laugh while studying film images. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduates and above; general readers.” (Choice, 1 July 2013)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781444338591
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 12/3/2012
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 584
  • Product dimensions: 7.15 (w) x 10.05 (h) x 1.15 (d)

Meet the Author

Andrew Horton is the Jeanne H. Smith Professor of Film and Media Studies at the University of Oklahoma, USA. An award-winning screenwriter, he is also the author of twenty books on film, screenwriting and cultural studies, including Screenwriting for a Global Market (2004), Writing the Character-Centered Screenplay (2nd edition, 2000), and The Films of Theo Angelopoulos (2nd edition, 1999). His screenplays include Brad Pitt’s first feature film, The Dark Side of the Sun (1988), and the award-winning Something in Between (1983), directed by Srdjan Karanovic. He has led screenwriting workshops around the world as well as across the United States.

Joanna E. Rapf is Professor of English and Film & Media Studies at the University of Oklahoma, USA. She writes regularly about film comedy, with recent essays on Woody Allen, Jerry Lewis, Roscoe Arbuckle, Harry Langdon, and Marie Dressler, and has edited books on a range of subjects including Sidney Lumet, On the Waterfront, and Buster Keaton.

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Table of Contents

Contents

Notes on Contributors

COMIC INTRODUCTION : “Make ‘em Laugh, make ‘em Laugh!”
Andrew Horton & Joanna E. Rapf

PART I COMEDY BEFORE SOUND AND THE SLAPSTICK TRADITION

1. “The Mark of the Ridiculous and Silent Celluloid: Some Trends in American and European Film Comedy from 1895-1929”
Frank Scheide

2. “Pie Queens and Virtuous Vamps: The Funny Women of the Silent Screen”
Kristen Anderson Wagner

3. “Sound Came Along and Out Went the Pies”: The American Slapstick Short and the Coming of Sound
Rob King

Part II COMIC PERFORMERS IN THE SOUND ERA

4. Mutinies Wednesdays and Saturdays: Carnivalesque Comedy and the Marx Brothers.
Frank Krutnik

5. “Jacques Tati and Comedic Performance”
Kevin W. Sweeney

6. “Woody Allen: Charlie Chaplin of New Hollywood”
David R. Shumway

7. Mel Brooks, Vulgar Modernism, and Comic Remediation
Henry Jenkins

Part III NEW PERSPECTIVES ON ROMANTIC COMEDY AND MASCULINITY

8. “Humor and Erotic Utopia: The Intimate Scenarios of Romantic Comedy”
Celestino Deleyto

9. “Romantic Comedy on the Margins: Falling In and Out of Love in Before Sunset and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”
Leger Grindon

10. The View from the Man Cave: Comedy in the Contemporary “Homme-com” Cycle
Tamar Jeffers McDonald

11. The Reproduction of Mothering: Masculinity and Identity in Flirting with Disaster
Lucy Fischer

Part IV TOPICAL COMEDY, IRONY, AND HUMOUR NOIR

12. “It’s Good to be the King”: Hollywood’s Mythical Monarchies, Troubled Republics and Crazy Kingdoms
Charles Morrow

13. No Escaping the Depression Utopian Comedy and the Aesthetics of Escapism in Frank Capra’s You Can’t Take It with You (1938)
William Paul

14. The Totalitarian Comedy of Lubitsch’s To Be Or Not To Be
Maria DiBattista

15. Collateral Damage: Dark Comedy from Dr. Strangelove to the Dude
Mark Eaton

PART V COMIC PERSPECTIVES ON RACE AND ETHNICITY

16. Black Film Comedy As Vital Edge: A Reassessment of the Genre
Catherine A. John

17. Winking like a One-Eyed Ford: American Indian Comedic Films on the Hilarity of Poverty
Joshua B. Nelson

18. Ethnic Humor in American Film: The Greek Americans
Dan Georgakas

PART VI INTERNATIONAL COMEDY

19. Alexander Mackendrick: Dreams, Nightmares and Myths in Ealing Comedy
Claire Mortimer

20. Tragicomic Transformations: Gender, Humor, and the Plastic Body in Two Korean Comedies
Jane Park

21. Comedy “Italian Style” and I soliti ignoti (Big Deal on Madonna Street, 1958)
Roberta Di Carmine

22. ‘Laughter that Encounters a Void’?: Humor, Loss, and the Possibility for Politics in Recent Palestinian Cinema
Najat Rahman

PART VII COMIC ANIMATION

23. “Laughter is Ten Times More Powerful Than a Scream’: The Case of Animated Comedy”
Paul Wells

24. Theatrical Cartoon Comedy: From Animated Portmanteau to the risus purus
Suzanne Buchan

Index

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