Comedy and Classicism
This chapter argues for Bordwell's failure to address the emotions and states that this distorts his understanding of classical cinema. For this chapter, the case of comedy is exemplary as a major genre of classical cinema. It displays Hollywood's willingness to sacrifice narrative transparency and drive for the sake of delivering laughs. What the average movie-goer seems to want most of all from movies is not narrative but strong and concentrated affective response. Since humour is a natural, evolved human response to dangerous, painful, or embarrassing situations, it is quite natural that humour is part of Hollywood movies. All that is needed to be done is to make a place for it in the classic Hollywood system that Bordwell, Staiger, and Thompson theorized. The chapter begs for further exploration of the possibility that what a classic Hollywood cinema is fundamentally about is a production of certain kinds of emotions.
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