BU Film School

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

FT 553 Lecture: Tuesday, July 13

Language in black comedy
Language is style of protagonist. Peculiar to its setting. Language a church, creates schism between those who know language and those who don't. Military, political language in Dr. Strangelove, machimso, technobabble. Isolates objects of satire and parody from rest of society.

Clue to black comedy is specificity of language. In Discreet, language of style, gentility. Innuendo, constantly double-edged. Hypocrisy, separation of humanity into castes. Surrounded by language no one else can enter. Dualism can deteriorate into neurotic state, then to pathology.

Behavior predictable, ritualized. Nothing can interfere with ritual. Language reduces section of society to automatons. Ritual and ritualized language essential part of black comedy.

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