Saturday, 10 November 2007

Tried and tested or old and boring?

I'm pleased to say that people have read this blog from all over the world now! From Thailand to Portugal, and Iceland to Spain people interested in puppetry are coming together. Thanks to those of you who have taken time to comment. It's great to get feedback from people! In honour of those reading along for whom English is not their 1st language:

Hallo und herzlich willkommen!
Olá e bem - vindo!
Hola y bienvenidos!
Salut et bienvenue!

OK i need to come clean about something, i don't really speak any of the above languages... but Google Translate does! Well i studied some Spanish at school and college, but i am nowhere near good enough to be fluent. My comprehension is quite good, but i really lack the vocabulary to enter into any meaningful conversation.

Language is a great tool, comedians often use it to brilliant effect. I love good wordplay in comedy. Mispronounced words that are normally dull or mundane can take on whole new meanings and overtones. I will always remember a comedy sketch with Ronnie Barker when he apologises for "piss-pronouncing my worms". People always said of Peter Sellers that if he hadn't had such a good grip on the English Language he wouldn't have been able to distort it so badly with his character Inspector Clouseau. I love the Pink Panther, i bought the 6 DVD box set a couple of years back. The pace of the comedy is a lot slower than it is nowadays, but that's not always a bad thing.

It strikes me that nowadays we have taken a very definite step back into the kind of slapstick comedy which was all the rage almost 100 years ago. Harold Lloyd and Jackie Chan both share a passion for real, big action stunts, all performed by the artist themselves (no stunt doubles needed). Both are masters of their surroundings and their spacial awareness enables them to make the most of the set/scene they are on. Harold Lloyd died aged 78 in 1971, Jackie Chan would have been just 17 and already making a name for himself in the film industry. Jackie directed his first film in 1980, Shi di chu ma aged only 26.

They always say that nothing under the sun is new. In which case does that make our modern comedy tried and tested or old and boring?

let me know your thoughts

take care - Dave

1 comment:

Adam said...

This was a very interesting post indeed! I would have to say that people are not patient enough nowadays to enjoy the older routines and films.

Whenever a film remake comes out, I go back to the original and watch it in the mindset in which it would have initially been viewed. Most of the time the original movies, comedy routines, etc, are my choice. Rehashes, to me, feel like leftover dinner microwaved for 30 seconds too long - it's still okay, but definitely not as good as it was.

Peter Sellers is one of my favorite performers. I watch something of his creation at least several times a year. Did you ever hear any of his Goon Show performances? Those are great! As for his films, I think my favorite would be Dr. Strangelove, although a couple of the Pink Panther movies are in my top favorites as well.

Speaking of languages, Caelyn and I are in the process of learning Italian. We switched from Spanish only a couple of weeks ago, primarily because we actually enjoy Italian. We will, however, go back to Spanish because of its usefulness here in Cali.

p.s. Sorry for my late responses. A lot of the time I just can't think of what to write! Take care Dave.