the screen comedy project
In the past few years I have begun studying film comedy, especially Hollywood screen comedies of what I think of as the Golden Age of cinematic social comedy, from around 1930 to 1945. I have embarked on a project that I'm calling "Phallus, Phallus, Who's Got the Phallus?" -- a way of thinking about screen comedy that employs many theoretical approaches, but mainly sees classical Hollywood comic films as a medium for synthesizing different ethnic traditions of comedy into an American ideal: Yankee yeoman humor, patrician New Yorker sophistication, the Jewish humor of Central & East European emigres, African-American comic traditions, and Latino currents. At the same time, I'm interested in how these classic comedies vary, and contribute to, the perennial forms of comic art. I'm not sure the project wants to be a book. I will be using this space to make notes of my observations about comic theory and specific films that I am spending my time "studying" (wink, wink).