Download Class, Language, and American Film Comedy by Christopher Beach PDF

By Christopher Beach

Reading the evolution of yank movie comedy because the starting of the sound period (c. 1930), Christopher seashore makes a speciality of how language, category, and social relationships in early sound comedies by way of the Marx Brothers, the screwball comedies of the Nineteen Thirties via Capra, Sturges and others, and Fifties comedies of Frank Tashlin and Vincente Minnelli, and modern movies through Woody Allen, Whit Stillman, and the Coen brothers. seashore argues that sound and narrative multiplied the semiotic and ideological capability of a movie, delivering moments of real social critique and in addition mass leisure. Christopher seashore teaches on the college of California, Irvine, and has taught on the college of Montana and Claremont Graduate collage. he's the writer of 3 books on American poetry, together with Poetic tradition (Northwestern, 1999). this is often his first ebook on movie.

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Firefly’s ephemeral nature is literalized in the brilliant gag of the opening scene. While the assembled guests await Firefly’s arrival as the country’s new leader, Mrs. ” as we see Firefly waking up and getting out of bed, sliding down a fireman’s pole, and, arriving from the rear of the hall rather than through the door 29 CLASS, LANGUAGE, AND AMERIC AN FILM COMEDY everyone is expectantly watching, taking his place among the guards and holding up his cigar in place of a sword. Other examples of such parodic roles are the college president Quincy Adams Wagstaff in Horse Feathers, with a name that manages to be both high WASP and somewhat ridiculous at the same time, and Captain Jeffrey T.

Beautiful. The success of this kind of dialogue depends on the audience being pulled along with it, seduced along with Mariette into the inevitable idea of “a little nap . . 6 Furthermore, the dialogue illustrates Pierre Bourdieu’s point that “[l]inguistic exchange . . ”7 It is Gaston’s linguistic competence, the “expressive style” of his discourse, which seduces Mariette and which gradually establishes the terms of their economic, as well as their romantic, relationship. If, as Bourdieu suggests, “the whole social structure is present in each [linguistic] interaction” (67), then we can read the linguistic economy of this film as one in which Gaston’s linguistic superiority balances Mariette’s social and economic superiority, allowing them to occupy a temporarily equal footing.

In the most direct allusion to the economic context in which the film was made, one of Groucho’s O’Neillesque soliloquies segues brilliantly into a series of stock market quotations: “And in those corridors I see figures . . strange figures . . weird figures . . ”37 In another scene, Spaulding and Chandler engage in a lengthy discussion of the value of a nickel: 42 A TROUBLED PARADISE : Well, you see my dear captain, in the last analysis it is a question of money. A nickel today is not what it used to be ten years ago.

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