Analytical Screenings: Understanding Comedy

I recommend you watch each film taking casual notes, then return to a couple of scenes you especially liked or disliked for multiple viewings and deeper critical analysis.  It may help you to reference a list of comedic genres as you respond to the assigned film in 750-1200 words.  Please do not write generically about the film as a whole.  Instead, refer to one or two specific, representative scenes.
A.  Identify major contributors to the film’s comedy.  Address at least one item from each of the following three categories:
1.  Elements of Script
Plot
Dialogue
2.  Elements of Character
Casting
Verbal Performance
Non-Verbal Performance
Costume
Make-Up
3.  Elements of Form
Lighting/Color
Production design: Setting & Props
Composition/Mise en scène
Audio design (sound effects, music, recording technique)
Graphics/Titles/Credits
Editing
B.  Which theoretical framework (superiority, relief, incongruity, or play) best describes the humor of this film? Why?
C.  Which jokes might be most difficult for a modern audience to appreciate?  How might the film’s original audience have understood them differently? (An informed response to this question might require research into the prevailing social customs/beliefs/major events of the time).

Please submit your resulting essays to the appropriate D2L assignment folder before 3:00 p.m. on the day the film’s title appears in the syllabus.

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