Elements Of Charlie Chaplin

Submitted By glademarie
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Pages: 4

Focusing on at least three films of one comedian only, (Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton or Harold Lloyd) identify and analyse the specific elements which generate its humour
Further reading: * Paulus, T. & King, R., (eds) 2010, Slapstick Comedy, NY, London, Routledge * Carroll, Noel, 2009, Comedy incarnate: Buster keaton, Physical humour and bodily coping, Chichester, Wiley-Blackwell * King, R., 2009, The Fun Factory, The Keystone Film Company and the emergence of mass culture, Berkeley, CA, University of California Press * Gunning, T., 2010, "Chaplin and the body of modernity", in Early Popular Visual Culture, vol.8, issue 3, August, pp237-245 (available online) http://chaplin.bfi.org.uk/programme/conference/pdf/tom-gunning.pdf * Trotter, D., "Chaplin and Imitation", from BFI Chaplin research programme available online: http://chaplin.bfi.org.uk/programme/conference/pdf/david-trotter.pdf
Musical space/sound effects,
The great dictator. Music is used in correlation with movement to create a very funny barber scene. As the customer is the chair, Chaplin caresses his face with shaving cream as he was the conducter of the orchestra with long hand movements. As if he were playing an instrument Chaplin sharpens his utencils while looking at the camera with a smug look on his face which is funny because the customer is unaware of this and the audience know what he is doing is ridiculous but the ustomer looks angry and confused.
Imitation is also a very funny element used by Chaplin to create a humouros reponse. In the Great Dictator he prancis around with an inflatable ball dancing and kickering around the room with glee. This is funny because he is imitating Hitler and the as an audience, the thought of hitler dancing around a room is propostorus. This sort of exaggerated movement is something used in a lot of Chaplins films.
“What made Chaplin unique was that, paradoxically, he was endlessly imitable, a given emphaxsised by his own talent for mimicry…through mimesis, the viewing subject is neither stabilised nor rigidified by means of identification, but insytead brought into a kind of ideational mimicry of the comic behaviours depicted onscreen, a suspension of the boundries odf self that produces laughter.” Jennifer Bean “The Art of Imitation: The Originality of Charlie Chaplin and Other Moving-Image Myths”
This suggests that what we as an audience find the most funny is within ourselves, and when characters onscreen imitate others through slapstick we find this hilarious as we see how silly human behaviour is. exaggerated movement/no control over body,
e.g city lights restaurant scene slipping and falling over and legs moving frantically as he is trying to stand up, long shot of whole restaurant him moving across the space and you get to see peoples reactions laughing whioch makes it more funny. Camera movement follows him frantically around the restaurant which adds to the humour. quick editing of him throwing a cigar that lands on another womans chair and she sits down and lights her dress on fire, this then leads to a chain of events such as fights which chaplin is not a part of which makes it more funny as chaplin is a catalyst tro the