The Comic Mind: Comedy and the Movies
University of Chicago Press, 1979 M09 15 - 369 pages
Although books on the comedies of the silent era abound, few have attempted to survey film comedy as a whole—its history and evolution, how the philosophical visions of its greatest artists and directors have shaped its traditions, and how these visions have informed both the meaning and manner of their work.
Blending information with interpretation, description with analysis, Mast traces the development of screen comedy from the first crude efforts of Edison and Lumière to the subtlety and psychological complexity of Annie Hall. As he guides the reader through detailed discussions of specific films, Mast reveals the structures, the values, and the cinematic techniques which have appeared and reappeared in comic cinema.
The second edition of The Comic Mind treats the comic developments of the 1970s in terms of the traditions of film comedy set forth in the first edition, including a discussion of the evolution of Jacques Tati and the emergence of Mel Brooks and Woody Allen as the two greatest American comic stylists of the seventies.
"The most comprehensive study of film comedy yet written in English. . . .The book's extensive index with references to companies from which 16mm prints of many of the cited films may be rented will be of great value to the film teacher and audiovisual librarian."—Choice
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
Comic FilmsCategories and Definitions
Jests Tricks and the First Comic Personalities
CHAPLIN AND KEATON
First Nationals and Silent Features
Sound and Structure
Ernst Lubitsch and Rene Clair
The Dialogue Tradition
The Clown Tradition
The Ironic Tradition
The Case for Comedy
Other editions - View all
action Allen American appears artist audience becomes begins body Brothers Buster camera Capra Chaplin character Charlie chase cinematic City Clair clever cliches clowns comedy comic consistently contrast dance early effective emotional example face falls feelings Fields figure film film's final funny gags girl gives hand Harold Harry Hawks human ideas important interesting ironic Keaton Keystone kind lady Langdon later less Lights live Lloyd look Lubitsch machine Marx means mechanical merely moral movie nature never objects opening parallel parody perfect perform perhaps physical picture plays plot produce reality Renoir returns reveals rich romantic runs scene seems Sennett sequence serious sexual shot silent simply social society sound stage story structure style success Sunnyside talk things tramp turn values visual walks wants whole wife woman