By Michael North

ISBN-10: 019538122X

ISBN-13: 9780195381221

During this most recent addition to Oxford's Modernist Literature & tradition sequence, popular modernist pupil Michael North poses primary questions on the connection among modernity and comedian shape in movie, animation, the visible arts, and literature. Machine-Age Comedy vividly constructs a cultural background that spans the complete 20th century, displaying how alterations wrought by way of industrialization have endlessly altered the comedian mode. With willing analyses, North examines the paintings of quite a lot of artists--including Charlie Chaplin, Walt Disney, Marcel Duchamp, Samuel Beckett, and David Foster Wallace--to exhibit the artistic and unconventional methods the routinization of business society has been explored in a large array of cultural types. all through, North argues that smooth writers and artists came upon whatever inherently comedian in new reports of repetition linked to, enforced through, and made inevitable through the computing device age. eventually, this wealthy, tightly centred examine bargains a brand new lens for knowing the devlopment of comedic constructions during times of huge social, political, and cultural switch to bare how the unique promise of recent lifestyles might be extracted from its functional unhappiness.

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Sometimes, on a smaller scale, Keaton does rather glibly humanize an object, like the accordion-fold towel rack he fits with a boxing glove to make a turn signal in Cops. Even here, though, he seems only to unleash an unexpected intention, inherent within the object, that leaps out and slugs an unsuspecting policeman as if it had been waiting for that very moment. In this scene, the policeman, who has become a mere traffic signal, is more of a machine than the towel rack, which strikes him wickedly from behind.

In their purest form, they were simply practical jokes recorded on film. Stringing several of these together in a series produced a longer film but one that obeyed no prior rules of logic or aesthetic form. 30 Partly due to the influence of American comedy, there was a remarkably similar debate in Soviet film circles during the 1920s. ”31 The conflict has to do with the extent to which the individual shot or episode should be integrated into a larger whole, with FEKS insisting, in a slapstick vein, that there should be as little integration as possible.

His was, in other words, an aesthetic interest, and it was in this sense not so very different from the vogue for machines that swept the European avant-garde, starting with the Italian Futurists. ”40 Man with the Movie Camera is in a sense another of these manifestos, with shot after shot of industrial machines, most of them observed with such obsessive closeness that it is impossible to discern just what they do. Linked together by Vertov’s incessant crosscutting, these machine parts form a gigantic Rube Goldberg device, the workings of which are supposed to be fascinating in their own right.

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Machine-Age Comedy by Michael North


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