BU Film School

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

FT 553 Lecture: Thursday, July 15

Notes in black comedy
No room for ambiguity in black comedy.

Stock characters, forms. Comedy cathartic -- writing of social wrongs. Exist to show how absurd we can be.

Music in black comedy
Music used for very distinctive thematic reasons. Kubrick very aware of properties. Uses it as commentary on scene. Dr. Strangelove -- sentimentality underscores death and destruction. Lolita -- music plays against scene, hideously funny. Lolita runs up stairs, takes HH in arms. Every music cue pointed, parodies particular kind of film. Completely tongue-in-cheek. Integral part of dramatic, thematic settings.

Ruling Class -- music. Tucker learns of bequest, does a jig. Jack -- "Varsity Drag" (from "Good News"), "Dem Bones", "Marguerita's Waltz" (operatic, false), folk-rock number, "Onward Christian Soldiers". Full Metal Jacket -- cadences. "Bob Roberts" - parodies folk music, MTV.

The trickster in black comedy
Trickster an essential figure in black comedy. Role is to move everything around surprisingly, stand worldview on its head. Chaos figure there to stir things up, disequilibrate things.

Eshu - Chaos figure that existed before gods. Make people need gods so they'll worship. Gods promised Chaos part of sacrifices and power (keeps safe for them). Halako figure dressed half as woman, dressed as man -- disrupt ceremony, stability of tribe. Clowns for Hopi.

Thersites - Troilus and Cressida. Shows up everyone.
Folly - Praise of Folly. Points out that without her presence, no great society.
"Reason" - A Modest Proposal. Uses reason to defend cannibalism.
Jack - The Ruling Class. Agrees Lords to their deaths.
Jack D. Ripper, Dr. Strangelove - Dr. Strangelove.
"Conscience" - The Discreet Bourgeoisie. Guilt keeps them from sleep, food, sex.

Satire built into trickster figure. After Greek trilogy, fourth play with same characters. Satyr play pokes fun at themes, to equilibrate, keep people from getting too serious, understand our fragility.

Technorati: , , ,

Comments: Post a Comment