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
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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 artist audience body Boudu burlesque Buster camera Capra Chaplin films character Charlie Charlie's chase cinematic City Lights Clair clever cliches clowns comedians comic films contrast costume dance Doctor Strangelove dream Duck Soup Edna emotional Essanay face feelings film's filmmaker funny gags girl Harold Harry Hawks Hollywood Hulot human intellectual ironic irony Jerry Lewis Keaton Keystone kind lady Langdon later Laurel and Hardy Lestingois Lewis Lloyd look Lubitsch machine Mack Sennett Marx Brothers melodrama Monsieur Verdoux moral movie murder nature never Ophuls parallel parody perform perhaps physical plays plot reality Renoir reveals Roach romantic scene screen Sennett sequence serious sexual Sherlock Jr shot silent simply social society sound comedy sound films Spite Marriage story structure Sturges style Tati Tati's tion tramp two-reelers Verdoux visual W. C. Fields walks wife woman Woman of Paris Woody Allen