Machine-Age Comedy by Michael North PDF


By Michael North

ISBN-10: 019538122X

ISBN-13: 9780195381221

During this most up-to-date addition to Oxford's Modernist Literature & tradition sequence, popular modernist pupil Michael North poses basic questions on the connection among modernity and comedian shape in movie, animation, the visible arts, and literature. Machine-Age Comedy vividly constructs a cultural historical past that spans the total 20th century, displaying how alterations wrought through industrialization have eternally 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 express the inventive and unconventional methods the routinization of business society has been explored in a extensive array of cultural varieties. all through, North argues that sleek writers and artists stumbled on whatever inherently comedian in new stories of repetition linked to, enforced by means of, and made inevitable via the computing device age. eventually, this wealthy, tightly targeted examine bargains a brand new lens for knowing the devlopment of comedic buildings in periods of big social, political, and cultural swap to bare how the unique promise of recent existence will be extracted from its useful sadness.

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What puzzled and distressed critics of both slapstick routines and the avant-garde film techniques of Vertov was a rhythm that seemed to be dictated by the camera itself, by a machine, and not by any recognizably human impulse. In pressuring these filmmakers to subordinate gags or tricks to organically developed story lines, critics were simply asking them to master and humanize the machine they were using. In so doing, though, they were asking Keaton and Vertov to abandon what had made them filmmakers in the first place.

Often, especially in manifestos, the comic stance is obvious and overt, as in the case of the Eccentrics, for example, who announced their movement in the “Free Comedy” theater in Petrograd in 1921. ”52 In this way, the Eccentrics were clearly continuing a tradition begun with the Hydropathes and the Incoherents in the nineteenth century, a tradition that continued in France as well, and not just in such well-known examples as dada and surrealism. 55 For its part, the public often responded in kind, and modern art was met not with disapproval or critique but rather with laughter.

CAMERA MEN 29 Fig. 2 The Cameraman (1928) Thus there is in both films a degree of tension between the single individual out to capture life with his hand-cranked newsreel camera and the elaborately selfreflexive film that has been made about him. That is one of the messages of the split-screen shots in both films, since these could not have been produced by the simple methods employed by the cameramen on-screen. Nonetheless, both films are named for their cameramen. Keaton’s film was to have been called Snapshots, but it was apparently realized early on that this was an inappropriate title for a film about the transformation of an itinerant tintype photographer into a newsreel cameraman.

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Machine-Age Comedy by Michael North

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