The Perpetual Three-Dot Column
The Perpetual Three-Dot Column
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by Jesse Walker

Thursday, July 14, 2005
AL GORE, MEET MARGARET DUMONT: Frank Krutnik on "anarchistic comedies" like Duck Soup and Never Give a Sucker an Even Break, as quoted in Henry Jenkins'
What Made Pistachio Nuts?:
It is as if the comedian -- the disruptive element in the smooth functioning of the genre -- has been dropped into the fictional world by accident, and, like a playful child, proceeds to toy with its rules. The comedian refuses to act "straight" -- unlike the other characters in the film -- or is incapable of doing so....Thus two sets of expectations come into conflict: the comedian "interferes" with the ostensible fiction, the fiction "constrains" the comedian. It is the play between the two that is responsible for much of the comedy.
That's why I still think James Stockdale really won that debate.


posted by Jesse 10:27 AM
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