American Dark Comedy: Beyond Satire

Overview

From Charlie Chaplin's The Gold Rush to Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction, Gehring presents a compelling theory of the black comedy film genre. Placing the movies he discusses in a historical and literary context, Gehring explores the genre's obession with death and the characters' failure to be shocked by it. Movies discussed include: Slaughterhouse Five, Catch-2, Clockwork Orange, Harold and Maude, Heathers, and Natural Born Killers.

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Overview

From Charlie Chaplin's The Gold Rush to Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction, Gehring presents a compelling theory of the black comedy film genre. Placing the movies he discusses in a historical and literary context, Gehring explores the genre's obession with death and the characters' failure to be shocked by it. Movies discussed include: Slaughterhouse Five, Catch-2, Clockwork Orange, Harold and Maude, Heathers, and Natural Born Killers.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Examines the genre of dark comedy in American film. After a historical literary review, chapters examine themes of the genre, pioneering works and directors, the coming of age movie and its ties to black comedy, and the relationship between dark comedy and film noir. Films discussed include Duck Soup, Slaughterhouse-Five, Harold and Maude, and Natural Born Killers. Includes b&w photos and a filmography. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

Meet the Author

WES D. GEHRING is Professor of Film at Ball State University.

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Table of Contents

Illustrations
Foreword
Preface
Acknowledgments
1 Historical Literary Overview 1
2 Selected American Dark Comedy Films and Themes 17
3 Dismantling Dictators: "Marxist" or Otherwise 53
4 Coming of Age ... With a Vengeance 91
5 When Film Noir Becomes Dark Comedy 133
6 Conclusions 165
Appendix: Selected Filmography 173
Selected Bibliography 181
Index 191
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