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‘You had to be there’
John Mundy and Glyn White

Comedy has been intrinsically important in the development, influence and impact of radio, film and television. Its importance for these media industries and its role in their construction of our cultural landscape are clearly linked at all stages of their symbiotic development. Examples of comedy from these media need to be understood in relation to their specific time and

in Laughing matters
Explicit sex in recent French fiction and film

This book examines that body of recent French literary and cinematic productions which have been characterised by their reference to, use of, or complicity with the aesthetics, the codes, the tropes or the world of pornography, and which have made a significant cultural impact on the basis of this dimension. It considers the insistent heterosexuality of most contemporary pornographic citation, exploring a range of texts and films, and taking in the female perspective on the male and the male perspective on the female. The book discusses the work of Guillaume Dustan and Erik Remes, whose explicit representations of sexual activity intervene into debates about the place of gay and queer identities in contemporary France, particularly with reference to sexual practice in the light of the AIDS epidemic. The book explores the conflicted sexual space, considering the perspectives of men and women in turn, starting somewhat unconventionally with women's art. It addresses Catherine Breillat's work in terms of its relation to the pornographic. The book also explains that the homophobic dismissal of homosexuality, and its defiant, resistant assertion, sometimes rely on the figure of anality as a kind of shorthand for their arguments about the relationship between desire, productivity, anatomy, futurity, community, and so on. Michel Houellebecq's treatment of questions of gender, most especially the portrayal of women, including the discourses of misogyny and anti-feminism, is discussed. The book also looks at the concept of child pornography, romantic comedy, and the growing impact of independent cinema.

Mapping post-alternative comedy
Leon Hunt

3885 Cult British TV Comedy:Layout 1 14/12/12 07:52 Page 1 1 From alternative to cult: mapping post-alternative comedy Putting the ‘post’ into ‘alternative’ What is ‘post-alternative comedy’? The ‘post-’ prefix sometimes signifies an opposition to the term it transforms (as in some versions of post-feminism), but can also imply a more complex relationship, a continuation as well as a break. There is a version of the post-alternative that hinges on a caricaturing of the alternative comedy of the 1980s as self-righteous, ‘politically correct’ at the expense

in Cult British TV comedy
Film and television

Previous studies of screen performance have tended to fix upon star actors, directors, or programme makers, or they have concentrated upon particular training and acting styles. Moving outside of these confines, this book provides an interdisciplinary account of performance in film and television and examines a much neglected area in people's understanding of how popular genres and performance intersect on screen. The advent of star studies certainly challenged the traditional notion of the director as the single or most important creative force in a film. Genre theory emerged as an academic area in the 1960s and 1970s, partly as a reaction to the auteurism of the period and partly as a way of addressing popular cinematic forms. Television studies have also developed catalogues of genres, some specific to the medium and some that refer to familiar cinematic genres. The book describes certain acting patterns in the classic noirs Maltese Falcon, The Big Sleep, Out of the Past and the neo-noirs Chinatown. British television drama in the 1970s had a special interest in the genre of horror. There is no film genre to which performance is as crucial as it is to the biopic. To explore comedy performance is to acknowledge that there is something that defines a performance as 'comic'. The book also examines drama-documentary, the western, science fiction, comedy performance in 'spoof news' programmes and the television 'sit com' and popular Bollywood films.

Kathrina Glitre

Genre, cycles and critical traditions 9 1 Genre, cycles and critical traditions How do we know a romantic comedy when we see one? According to Brian Henderson, ‘definition, even delimitation, is difficult or impossible because all Hollywood films (except some war films) have romance and all have comedy’ (2001: 312). While the pervasive presence of romance and comedy is undeniable, Henderson is conflating different levels of representational convention. All Hollywood genres implicitly belong to the broader traditions of American narrative film (Pye 1975: 31

in Hollywood romantic comedy States of the union, 1934–65
From ‘cringe’ to ‘dark’ comedy
Leon Hunt

3885 Cult British TV Comedy:Layout 1 14/12/12 07:53 Page 165 7 Are you sitting uncomfortably? From ‘cringe’ to ‘dark’ comedy It’s so painful that at times I have my hands over my face, watching through the cracks in between my fingers. But behind my hands I’m laughing. (Sam Wollaston, Review of Nighty Night, 2004: 22) These final two chapters are concerned with comedy’s management of the unpleasurable into something perversely pleasurable – embarrassment, unease (even fear), disgust, offence, guilt. The negotiation of taste and one’s personal comic

in Cult British TV comedy
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Celestino Deleyto

December, Pearl Harbor had been bombed and the country had entered World War II. In 1940 Charles Chaplin had forcefully put forward the anti-isolationist perspective in his war comedy The Great Dictator (1940), and a year later Howard Hawks had marked the path for his country’s inevitable involvement with Sergeant York (1941). Now events begin to develop very fast. Famous Hollywood names, connected in the 1930s with the genre

in The secret life of romantic comedy
Chris Morris and comedy’s representational strategies
Brett Mills

3049 Experimental British Tele 16/5/07 08:02 Page 180 11 ‘Yes, it’s war!’: Chris Morris and comedy’s representational strategies Brett Mills When dancing, lost in techno trance, arms flailing, gawky Bez. Then find you snagged on frowns and slowly it dawns, you’re jazzing to the bleep-tone of a life-support machine that marks the steady fading of your day-old baby daughter. And when midnight sirens lead to blue-flash road mash, stretchers, covered heads and slippy red macadam and finds you creeping ’neath the blankets to snuggle close to a mangle bird, hoping

in Experimental British television
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The extraordinary couple
Kathrina Glitre

Conclusion 181 Conclusion: the extraordinary couple According to André Bazin, ‘comedy was in reality the most serious genre in Hollywood – in the sense that it reflected, through the comic mode, the deepest moral and social beliefs of American life’ (1982: 35). Hollywood romantic comedy’s articulation of the ideology of heterosexual love, marriage and desire is far from consistent, and certainly reflects many of the deep-seated anxieties of the culture(s) which produced it. However, where the realist Bazin implies that Hollywood comedy’s seriousness lies in

in Hollywood romantic comedy States of the union, 1934–65
Everyday articulations of identity at the limits of order

This book offers a theoretically and empirically rich analysis of humour’s relevance to world politics. Drawing on literature from a range of disciplines including International Relations (IR), literary theory, cultural studies and sociology, its central claim is that humour plays an underappreciated role in the making and unmaking of political subjectivities. As such, humour not only provides an illuminating way into debates about identity and the everyday production and reproduction of order, but also opens up hitherto under- or even unstudied sites where this production and reproduction takes place. With reference to the ancient comic figure of the parasite, the book suggests that humour has historically been understood in relation to anxieties about subjectivity, estrangement and the circumscription and protection of the political sphere. It identifies three distinct spaces where humour has informed, enabled or defined ‘parasitic’ engagements with world politics. In the body of artwork produced by detainees in concentration camps, in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and others (LGBTQ+) responses to the HIV/AIDS pandemic, and in carnivalesque tactics of contemporary mass protest, one can observe actors engaging through humour in the interrogation, negotiation and contestation of social, political and international relations. Through these detailed studies, the book demonstrates how everyday practices like humour can draw from, feed into, interrupt and potentially transform world politics.