fr_defenestrato: (saturnalia)
I Amazoned and am now commute-reading Nobody's Perfect, a collection of reviews and essays by Anthony Lane, film critic for The New Yorker since 1993—I was a subscriber at the time, BTW—and, it has increasingly seemed to me over the years, one of the best humorists of his generation—perhaps of any. I don't have time now to supply, for your delectation and as grounds for Mr. Lane's canonization, the range of excerpts I have begun noting (by page and paragraph numbers, in another book), but I certainly shall if the current proposal does not kill me.
fr_defenestrato: (riff raff)
1. Who thinks Clue is funny, and why? What are the funny bits?

I believe I've made it clear by now that I find that movie not merely unfunny, but insultingly so. Like its makers went out of their way to say, "You people are so fucking stupid you'll laugh at anything." Cut for the usual gourdian friends-page-monopolizing loquacity )
fr_defenestrato: (riff raff)
My friend [ profile] eric_mathgeek just posted a survey asking his friends what they thought of the movie Clue. To my surprise and chagrin, there are apparently many people out there who like this movie, who think it's very funny. In fact, there's a skin-crawlingly scary comment Eric reported, that "Someone on my list said almost every gay man he knows thinks it's the funniest movie ever." Well, it's not like I haven't found territory before in which the shibboleths of the gay community somehow escape me... I, who doesn't get the devotion to Cher, who still doesn't understand why we can't hear a Joni Mitchell or an Ella Fitzgerald or even a friggin' Beatles tune in a gay club (unless somebody's raped it with a thumpa-thumpa beat), I who still dress primarily for comfort to the sometime detriment of fashion. I with the hair. But CLUE? To me as bizarre as discovering the overwhelming majority of gay men sleep in three-piece suits and attend business meetings in pajamas.

Anyway, I thought I'd throw this out for my particular Maggotty circle... not for a poll but for more substantive or analytical answers. I know we showed this movie at the Fuckitathon a couple months ago, certainly not by my choice... but I'm curious about a couple of things:

1. Who thinks Clue is funny, and why? What are the funny bits?

2. Do you believe that repeated viewings can turn un-funny movies into funny movies in your consciousness? Is it possible we/I have movies we/I think are hilarious that are really just as dumb and badly written as I find Clue to be? What are examples that might fit that description in your experience?

2a. Are we susceptible to a lingering affection/respect for movies we found funny in our childhood?

3. Name some movies that you think are some of the funniest movies you've ever seen. Can you quantify or describe the humor in these movies such that there's a common element or thread? Or are there many different kinds of funny that you appreciate?

4. Name a movie or movies you have never found funny but most other people seem to.

5. Put these in order of funny (leave out any you don't know): The Three Stooges, Laurel and Hardy, The Marx Brothers, W.C. Fields, Abbott and Costello, Charlie Chaplin, Harold Lloyd, Buster Keaton, Our Gang, Burns and Allen.

6. Is The Rocky Horror Picture Show really as stupid as the "oh that's so old what were we thinking" backlash would have it?

Thanks for any insights.


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February 2015

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