Friday, February 23, 2007

I also have a theory, with regard to American comedies. If a film is 'good', that is 'good' by conventional standards of having of a tight plot, 3-d characters all that, there's a good chance it's not as funny. The Marx Brothers are a case in point. Groucho regarded A Night At The Opera and A Day At The Races as their finest achievements in film. They had plot, characters to empathize with and root for. But they are just not as funny as Duck Soup or Horse Feathers. There's an anarchic energy that's essential in comedy. And that gets sacrficed when the film has to become Good, or Of Value To Society, or Correct. The most effective satire in film in the 20's and 30's was arguably Chaplin. And those are beautiful films, but what's important in them, what is the base for the satire and story of City Lights and Modern Times, is the whirlwind of energy that surrounds The Tramp. What happens to The Tramp. What The Tramp does. Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgandy, as great as it is, can't and shouldn't be compared to The Godfather. They just work on different levels.

And while I'm at it, I feel like listing some of my favorite films, in no particular order.

Good Fellas
Duck Soup
Horse Feathers
The Spirit of The Beehive
The 400 Blows
The Naked Gun
About Schmidt
Beauty And The Beast (Cocteau)
The Doom Generation
Blazing Saddles
Young Frankenstein
Mad Max
Surf Nazis Must Die
Thou Shalt Not Kill Except
Blue Velvet
Night Of The Living Dead
The Jerk

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