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Guy Austin

Since Aristotle, there has been ‘a long history of criticism that has viewed comedy as inferior to other genres in Western culture’ (Horton 1991 : 2). Within the French film industry, the critical denigration of genre cinema, the dominance of a realist aesthetic and the lasting influence of la politique des auteurs (see chapter 1 ) have all contributed to the neglect of comedy. This is in spite

in Contemporary French cinema
From Reeves and Mortimer to Psychoville
Author: Leon Hunt

The TV debut of Vic Reeves Big Night Out on Channel 4 in 1990 is often seen as marking a turning point for British TV Comedy, ushering in what is often characterised as the ‘post-alternative’ era. The 1990s would produce acclaimed series such as Father Ted, The League of Gentlemen and The Fast Show, while the new century would produce such notable shows as The Mighty Boosh, The Office and Psychoville. However, while these shows enjoy the status of ‘cult classics’, comparatively few of them have received scholarly attention. This book is the first sustained critical analysis of the ‘post-alternative’ era, from 1990 to the present day. It examines post-alternative comedy as a form of both ‘Cult’ and ‘Quality’ TV, programmes that mostly target niche audiences and possess a subcultural aura – in the early 90s, comedy was famously declared ‘the new rock’n’roll’. It places these developments within a variety of cultural and institutional contexts and examines a range of comic forms, from sitcom to sketch shows and ‘mock TV’ formats. It includes case studies of Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer and the sitcom writer Graham LInehan. It examines developments in sketch shows and the emergence of ‘dark’ and ‘cringe’ comedy, and considers the politics of ‘offence’ during a period in which Brass Eye, ‘Sachsgate’ and Frankie Boyle provoked different kinds of media outrage. Cult British TV Comedy will be of interest to both students and fans of modern TV comedy.

Author: Kathrina Glitre

Hollywood romantic comedy inevitably ends with the union of a heterosexual couple. But does this union inevitably involve marriage? What part does equality play? Are love and desire identical? This book explores the genre's changing representation of the couple, focusing on marriage, equality and desire in screwball comedy, career woman comedy and sex comedy. The shifting discourses around heterosexuality, gender, romance and love are considered in relation to such socio-historical transformations as the emergence of companionate marriage, war-time gender roles and the impact of post-war consumerism. Going well beyond the usual screwball territory, the book provides an understanding of the functions of conventions such as masquerade, gender inversion and the happy ending. This is complemented by a distinctive focus on individual films and their star couples, including detailed discussion of Myrna Loy and William Powell, Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy, and Doris Day and Rock Hudson. The book offers foundational explanations of genre and an analysis of cycles and films.

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Gracita Morales
Kathleen M. Vernon

4 The voice of comedy: Gracita Morales Kathleen M. Vernon Recent scholarship on mid-​twentieth-​century Spanish cinema has witnessed a re-​evaluation of the comic performances and persona of a number of well-​known actors, including José Isbert, Manolo Morán, José Luis López Vázquez, Alfredo Landa and Tony Leblanc.1 Writing in The Companion to Spanish Cinema on the ‘politics of stardom’, Chris Perriam and Nuria Triana-​ Toribio have noted the mechanisms and effects of this critical rehabilitation whereby the reputations of certain performers were purged of

in Performance and Spanish film
Celestino Deleyto

Romantic comedy has been described as a narrative of the heterosexual couple with a happy ending in which humour does not necessarily play an important part. In this book I would like to suggest the limitations of this conceptualisation and propose a change of approach in two different but closely linked directions: on the one hand, a comic perspective is a fundamental ingredient of what we understand by

in The secret life of romantic comedy
Sarah Leahy and Isabelle Vanderschelden

Comedy has been at the forefront of the French film industry since the post-war period in terms of both box-office records and cultural impact. For readers who are less familiar with this genre, Les Comédies à la française (Geudin and Imbert 2011 ) and Comédies françaises (Grassin and Sender 2011 ) document the production contexts of the classic films and provide

in Screenwriters in French cinema

Humour can be theorised as integral to the genre even if there are some films that do not provoke laughter. Romantic comedy has been described as a narrative of the heterosexual couple with a happy ending in which humour does not necessarily play an important part. The comic, protective, erotically-charged space is the space of romantic comedy. This book proposes a revised theory of romantic comedy and then tests its validity through the analysis of texts, but these films must not be expected to fully embody the theory. It proposes a change of approach in two different but closely linked directions. On the one hand, a comic perspective is a fundamental ingredient of what we understand by romantic comedy; on the other, the genre does not have a specific ideology but, more broadly, it deals with the themes of love and romance, intimacy and friendship, sexual choice and orientation. The book discusses two films directed by two of the most prestigious figures in the history of Hollywood comedy: Ernst Lubitsch and Billy Wilder. Lubitsch's To Be or Not to Be became part of the canon as one of the most brilliant comedies in the history of Hollywood in so far as its romantic comedy elements remained invisible. Wilder's Kiss Me, Stupid was almost universally rejected because its satire was too base, too obscene, too vulgar. Discussing Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window and Woody Allen's Crimes and Misdemeanors, the book attempts to move beyond the borders of comedy.

Brett Mills

To explore comedy performance is to acknowledge that there is something that defines a performance as ‘comic’; that is, that comedy performance is of a particular type which is distinct from other, more serious and/ or tragic texts. Furthermore, it is to acknowledge that comedy performance requires being read as such in order for its aims to be achieved; that is, comic acting must not only be funny

in Genre and performance
Celestino Deleyto

director with this genre and, consequently, to take the films’ genericity more or less for granted in order to concentrate on auteurist, psychoanalytic, feminist or philosophical issues which made the artist truly great or, at least, interesting from a cultural standpoint. More recently, however, considerations of a greater generic variety have gradually begun to emerge in writings on Hitchcock, and the presence of comedy and

in The secret life of romantic comedy
R. S. White

Gendered disguise If Shakespeare’s comedies in general provide cinematic romantic comedy with a composite generic blueprint, and if A Midsummer Night’s Dream offers a specific model for love’s confusions, another linking, generic element that emerges is romantic comedy based on disguised identity. This chapter raises the acute problems concerning the nature of

in Shakespeare’s cinema of love