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
2. Elements of Character
3. Elements of Form
Production design: Setting & Props
Composition/Mise en scène
Audio design (sound effects, music, recording technique)
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.