3FF3 Handbook Notes.docx

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Theatre & Film Studies
Course Code
Joe Sokalski

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Theatre and Film 3FF3 Handbook Notes American Film Industry in the 20sSilent Film Comedy James Agee Comedys Greatest Era p 194 main grades of laughter 1 Titter 2 Yowl 3 Belly laugh 4 BoffoStartup laughter again starts up a new ladderBen Turpin used comedy clichs Screen comedy today takes place on a screen that talkswrong cannot combine comedic style with talkGlory years 19121930Mack Sennett The father of American screen comedyMade 2 kinds of comedy 1 Parody laced with slapstick 2 Plain slapstickSennett had a rally at the end of his films a build up leading to a chase for exampleThe silentcomedy studio was about the best training school the movies have everknownSennett used to hire a wild man to think up wildies and sane men would help with the insane creative idea at handMasters of film comedy Charlie Chaplin Harold Lloyd and late Harry LangdonBuster Keaton The early silent comedians never strove for or consciously thought of anything which could be called artistic form but they achieved it Charlie Keaton and Lloyd were all more like each other in one important way than Harry Langdon was like any of them As soon as the screen began to talk silent comedy was pretty well finishedSennett was the first man to put Bing Crosby and WC Fields on screen Academy awarded him a special Oscar for his lasting contribution to the comedy technique of the screenCharlie Chaplino First man to give silent language a soul o Started to work for Sennett after Ford Sterling o Tillies Punctured Romance 1914 became a major star o Greatest star that ever lived o Played a tramp in Gold Rush 1925 o of all comedians he worked most deeply and most shrewdly within a realization of what a human being is and is up againstthe finest pantomime the deepest emotion the richest and most poignant poetry were in Chaplins work o He got a laugh every second o Most of the time however Chaplin got his laughter less from the gags or from milking them in any ordinary sense than through his genious for what may be called inflection the perfect changeful shading of his physical and emotional attitudes toward a gag o Survived the flood of talking comedy because he was the only one who cold afford to stay silentHarold Lloydo Worked with Sennett for a little bit and worked for Hal Roach after o Depended more on story and situation than any of the other major comedianso Kept the best stable gagmen in Hollywood hiring only about 6 o Has an unusually large comic vocabulary o Movies more extraverted and closer to ordinary life than any others of the best comedies o Made several talking comedies o Better at the comedy of thrills o Does more than merely milk a gag but tops it o Harsh experience has taught him a deep and fundamental rule never try to get above the audience o He lost half his right hand and nearly his sight when a comedy bomb exploded prematurelyo He played in Safety Last 1923 where he was climbing a large buildingHarry Langdon o Remarkable a master as Chaplin of subtle emotional and mental process and operated much more at leisureo Looked like an elderly baby and at time a baby dope fiend o His magic was his innocenceo The principle of the brick o A broken man when sound came in o Died broke with a broken heartBuster Keatono Teamed with Fatty Arbuckle under Sennett o Became Metros biggest stars and earners
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