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Transcript of Slapstick
as something from our silent era,
when it did reach peak. Comedy Is a Man in Trouble: Slapstick in American Movies (Alan S. Dale) Silent slapstick comedians 1912 - 1930 1895 1912 SLAPSTICK 1915 1913 Keystone Cops Charlie Chaplin Charlie Chaplin as "Charlie"
for the first time The Kid City Lights 1915 1921 1931 1967 1917 Buster Keaton Buster Keaton
& Fatty Arbuckle The General 1917 1920 1966 1929 1923 Harold Lloyd What is slapstick ? Low Genre? OED Definition Forms: also slap-stick.
Etymology: < slap (verb) + stick (noun)
1. Two flat pieces of wood joined together at one end, used to produce a loud slapping noise; spec. such a device used in pantomime and low comedy to make a great noise with the pretence of dealing a heavy blow.
2. attrib. passing into adj. Of or pertaining to a slapstick; of or reminiscent of knockabout comedy.
3. Knockabout comedy or humour, farce, horseplay. criticism: slapstick comedy lacks linearity film's linearity film's non-linear
diegesis gag/spectacle Are gags more important than the narrative? a place
an animal series of gags gag as a bad element
intrusions Slapstick = Genre ? "Slapstick is the generic term for the non-narrative intrusions (gags)."
- Donald Crafton "Slapstick occurs anytime things go wrong physically for the hero in such a way that we know the movie-makers are inviting us to laugh."
- Alan S. Dale 1. Slapstick as a genre
2. Slapstick as a term for gags (only compositional elements of a film) SLAPSTICK as a genre "The historical irony of silent comedy is that the clowns' theatrical experience trained them for the movies, which then destroyed the network they sprang from by stealing the audience."
- But... ...in both cases we still need a precise definition of slapstick, don't we? "Slapstick feels too familiar for a philosophical term" ... because it happens to us all the time! (Alan S. Dale) Mishaps!! Real life mishaps Audience Characters "both more and less like us" "we have to laugh at the loss
of our dignity" experience seem believable what do we laugh at? "Slapstick is the play with danger, with catastrophe, and its prevention in the nich of time."
- Siegfried Kracauer The Chase (cause and effect)
early slapstick = physical violence, mechanical repetition, speed and excessive moment parody of melodrama
silent comedians found melodrama ridiculous
however, melodrama gave framework to their films GAG? Definitions of gag Joke Gag "specific forms of intrusions" emphatic/violent/embarrassing gesture originality?
plagiarism? M. Willson Disher
6 kinds of jokes
6. stupidity HAHAHA - ha? kinds of gags SLAPSTICK
GAGS! FALL = caused by a banana peel
BLOW = pie in the face "Essence of slapstic gag is a physical assault on hero's dignity or the collapse of his dignity." THE PIE & THE CHASE Types of gags e.g.:
1. mistaken identity
2. camera tricks
3. manipulation of cause + effect (little action and disproportionate reaction) SIMPLE! COMPLEX! GAGS according to Noël CARROLL NO! sight gag = silent film 1930 ? - Alan S. Dale
Buster Keaton in The Navigator - superexaggeration of the hero's obliviousness and ineffectuality
and neither fall nor blow sight slapstick
& verbal slapstick 1930 - ... Mable Normand
Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy
Max Linder (France) 1. mutual interference of two/more series of events (The Freshman)
2. inattention or unawareness of the surrounding environment (The General)
3. the switch movement (The Pawnshop)
4. the object analog (The Rink, The Pawnshop)
5. solution gag (The General) Is this a gag or a slapstick? Can slapstick be used as a term regarding only elements of slapstick (gags)? And if yes - should we distinguish between slapstick gags and sight gags? Is slapstick a genre of the past? So... what is slapstick NOWADAYS? What happened to slapstick? Is there any "pure" modern slapstick movie? slapstick? visual comedy? physical comedy?
synonyms? opposites? verbal slapstick? Did slapstick develop or ...
did it disappear? Keystone Studios