By Noël Carroll
In Comedy Incarnate, Noël Carroll surveys the features of Buster Keaton’s precise visible kind, to bare the precise event of gazing Keaton’s movies. daring and provocative thesis written by means of one in all America’s leading movie theoristsTakes a special examine the philosophies at the back of Keaton’s styleWeighs visible components over narrative shape within the research of the Keaton’s workProvides a clean vantage aspect for research of movie and comedy itself
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Extra info for Comedy Incarnate: Buster Keaton, Physical Humor, and Bodily Coping
Johnnie, caught up in the momentum of his own martial stride, follows the clerk. From behind Johnnie, however, we see the post ofﬁce window where the men will sign up. It is on screen-right. The line of men behind Johnnie branches away from him at the table. Johnnie continues on the wrong side of the table until the clerk turns around and forcefully points him to the enlistment window on the other side of the room. Johnnie has to run across the top of the table in order to regain his place at the head of the line.
Since the dramatic conﬂict approach to the overarching narrative seems useless, we eliminate the relevant possibilities and turn to the prospect that the discrete imagery, the gags and actions of the ﬁlm, may provide the major thematic vehicle. Embracing an analysis of the gags and actions of the ﬁlm is motivated by pragmatic considerations since the dramatic-narrative approach doesn’t seem viable. Maintaining this approach will also hinge on a continuing pragmatic check of how plausible an account of the ﬁlm Themes of The General 25 concentrating on discrete imagery yields, because it is possible that this imagistic approach may also be fruitless.
First, there is a medium close-shot of Annabelle, apparently borrowing a book. She turns to walk towards a gate, her back to the camera. Then, there is a medium long-shot of Johnnie, followed by the local town boys, walking on the outside of a hedge. When he doffs his hat to a female passerby, the boys do likewise. When Johnnie takes off his hat entirely, again they mimic him. They march in step behind him and function as pint-sized mirrors, the humor of their actions being based on the parrot-like nature of their movements and the incongruity of such serious social civilities with their age.