Follow US:

Practice English Speaking&Listening with: THE100: TELEVISION FILM AND THEATER Spring 2020 Session 03

Difficulty: 0

You are watching DHTV from California Sate University Dominguez Hills

hello and welcome back to theater 100 television theatre and film today we are

in our weeks three before we begin today I just want to say a few things

obviously I had created an announcement last week I was very ill I was not able

to be in studio to do the broadcast I know that I put an announcement up but

just for those of you that may not have realized or you know were confused

because maybe you didn't see the announcement and we did have a broadcast

that had all the same information that you would need to pass the quiz and all

of that and it was the right one for the right week but it was from last year so

it wasn't live and it was still me but I just wasn't in studio was very ill so um

a couple other things really quickly and I I'm still because I was sick I'm a

little behind in my grading I haven't caught up yet to grade the last two

discussion boards so I'm getting to that and I also know that a few of you had

emailed me I tried to go back and check this morning about some problems you had

with the quiz I went and looked at the quiz and from what I saw I didn't see

any issues with it on my end so I'm not sure what's going on I'm gonna try to go

back on and look again today and see exactly who was having the problem and

see again what the problems were and maybe I need to go in and reset those

few people that said that they had a problem it was more than one person so I

again I'm not sure usually if it's more than one person that means there's

something problematic on Mayon but when I looked again today didn't see anything

so maybe I missed it but if you were one of the several

people that emailed me and said you had a problem with last week's quiz that was

due Sunday please don't stress out I'll try and

figure out exactly what it was and if you need to be allowed to take it late

this week for whatever reason we'll work something out and I'll email you

directly to tell you exactly how we fixed it okay so that's what's happening

right now in terms of what's on the board I'm going to get to grading all

those discussion boards and you guys will be moving on in terms of the

assignments this is week three and do have a quiz this week as well so make

sure that you go on and take it by Sunday and then do your discussion board

by Sunday as well but those are the only two things that are due this week all

right I do wanna remind you we are live and

online you can always give us a call today we are actually live three one oh

nine two eight seven three three zero and you can also type in with a question

a comment at sdh TV live at we do have a question for the day which you

guys can go ahead and type in for for extra credit so and because you didn't

get it last week if you do type in today I will be doubling up extra credit for

this week so if you type in you'll get double the amount just to kind of make

up for what you missed out on last week and here's the question

described in your own words one of the characteristic traits of traditional

tragedy so if you did your reading or even if you have your book right next to

you you can open it up and maybe take a look and type in will can read some of

your responses during the course of the broadcast or you can call in as well and

if you do type in today even if I don't read your comment online today blyve you

we still take your name down you still get the extra credit and it will be

double extra credit today okay all right so today we're going to be we've got a

really rich broadcast we're gonna be talking about the history of film we're

gonna be looking a little bit at our chapter reading today on tragedy and

comedy and then we're gonna take a quick peek right at the end I'm hoping we'll

have time to do it at V for Vendetta a film kind of continuing on our

exploration of film techniques okay so let's talk a little bit about the

history of film so in the first 25 years film went from a novelty attraction to a

major tool for entertainment communication and mass media but film

really did start out as being kind of just as I just said a novelty a toy

right and the idea of moving images started with a creation of the so trope

and the and this was a device maybe you've seen it in which there is a strip

of paper and this was typically at the time it was drawn on and it

kind of the early forms of cartooning where people would draw individual

images that were in slightly different positions and then you take this strip

of paper and you put it in a cylindrical shaped device which it sets into which

has slits on the side and then sets on a joint and you can spin that cylindrical

device and when you look through the slits you see the image and it appears

to be moving and that's what a zoetrope is there was another version that stood

kind of like on a pinwheel so rather than putting it into this device it was

jointed from the back and then you spun it like a pinwheel and then you got a

similar thing happening before that though we knew that we could project

images through the use of physics and bending light and that was known as far

back as the 1600s through a development called the camera obscura also a pinhole

camera right so the way that this works is that what you do and you can actually

I don't think kids do this anymore but when I was in school we actually made a

pinhole camera and here's a very fancy version of pinhole camera and what you

do is you have a box a contained box as you see this is a contained box is dark

inside it has a looking aspect at 1 in this is actually got a full-on lens and

everything but you can do this with a shoe box at home where you just

basically literally take a pin and put a pin in one side right and then you have

a viewing portion on on the other end and what happens is that as the light

enters the tiny hole the tiny aperture it's focused and bent right so light

enters through the one side and this is a great picture this is a picture I I

always use in my classes and so you can see light is coming in right we see the

castle or whatever the the minaret and it's the light is pouring in and now

it's being focused and inverted on the opposing wall and because the person

standing inside of that box obviously they've removed a wall so that we can

look into it but that that box would be completely dark and so what you would

see if you were standing inside of there is this inverted fairly clear image of

what was right outside the hole right and this is basically how a camera

obscura or a pinhole camera works now obviously just looking at this image we

can see there's an immediate problem the image has been inverted right and that's

because the way that the light comes in and is bent it flips the image upside

down but later on in that fancy device we just saw that was up on the behind me

that device has a lens inside of it and that lens is there so this one this is a

much more advanced version right this would actually then because of the lens

it would flip the image to the correct way right so when you look inside of

this device you still get to see whatever was in front of the aperture

but you'd see a flip the correct side up it would be the correct side up right

look here's another right look there's he's lit this is good because you can

see where he's viewing right he's looking into it and he would see the

image and because it's got a lens on it again it would have flipped the image

the correct way so what's really interesting about these as well is that

this is also the beginning it's also why it's called a pinhole camera this is the

beginnings of a camera and in fact a lot of cameras I would say not not this one

I'll show you what I mean not this camera but a lot of the original cameras

and even the ones that you could get not too long ago still operate on this basic

kind of premise the difference is that instead of just having some piece of

blank board or whatever in there catching the image you put a piece of

film or you put a piece of celluloid there and it's a special type of film

that actually then burns the image the light being poured in burns it on to

that piece and then you can develop it or you know if you're using a Polaroid

you can it can spit out and be developed that way right but the idea of light

pouring in and then using a lens to flip the image the correct way all that those

basic mechanics those are we're still the things that

exist in a camera if you find an old film camera at a garage cell or at a

thrift store you could open it up and see that these basic things are still

basically in there operates in basically the same exact way so and there are

stories of there's a story of a Maharajah in India who again now we're

going way back right this is the 1500s that they had discovered that you could

do this and he actually had a whole room at like a giant pinhole camera like we

saw that man standing the box where he could bring his whole entire court in

there and they would sit inside the darkened box and there would be

performers outside performing things inside of the aperture and then they

would be projected on the opposing wall and you could see all these amazing

things happening now of course those things had to happen live this was not

pre-recorded they didn't have a way to film there was no film yet right and but

it was a way to take a moving image from one place and then project it into

another place and to the people at the time it would have been completely

fascinating because you lived in a world in which the only things that you saw

were the things that were happening right in front of you at the moment

right and we live in a very different world and which just like with this

broadcast you may end up watching it two days after I was actually in the studio

and it will be at a completely different time I will no longer actually be

sitting here this moment will have passed and yet you will be watching

something that took place in the past right the idea of that now is so

engrained and we're so used to it that it's not surprising to us but if we go

back really really not that long this was a radical idea because again people

live their entire lives only being able to see what was right in front of their

eyes and happening right now and there was no way to record or playback

something that happened in the past at all right the way that people sent

pictures to each other wasn't through their phones if you wanted an image of

somebody else you had to hire an artist to draw an image of that person and then

you know send it to somebody else and it would be

of course whatever the artist thought that that person looked like so it

wasn't the kind of objective reality that we have now so the camera obscura

and the also known as the pinhole camera was the first development in kind of the

technological advancements that were needed to create a moving camera the so

trope was next which I had talked about and then in 1878 a guy named Eadweard

Muybridge was who's not a filmmaker is actually a

as oh Allah gist he was working on a problem with several other people and

the question was when a horse starts running when a horse is at high speed

running does all of the horses feet are they is there always one hoof on the

ground or is there any moment in time in which a horse is running and all their

feet all their hooves come off the ground again today a question like this

seems kind of like rudimentary right well why wouldn't you just film the

horse running like you see behind us and then you could just pause it or look

frame by frame in this to see whether or not you know the feet are all off or

they're not right yeah but at the time they didn't have the ability to do that

so this is I I think this is actually the stills of what they did so let's

talk about what this is what they did is they set up a series of cameras all set

on trip wires and they had the horse run past these cameras for as many frames as

you see there so this is what 16 frames right and they the camera the horse

tripped the wire as it was going past and it you know took a picture of each

one of these moments and so when they looked at it and we can look at it now

too right if you look in the what should be your upper top upper right row right

and we move from left to right the first one we see that there is still one hoof

on the ground and then the next one we see there are no hubs on the ground and

in the next one there are still no hooves on the ground and the next one we

see a hoof is coming down and in the second

we see that the hoof is back down right and then we go back to a fully

four-legged trot but what they learned from looking at these was that the

answer to the question is that absolutely yes there is a moment in time

it's brief when all of the horse's legs are actually up off the ground and

they're sort of flying through the air right but they would not have been able

to do this without this series of cameras that they had set up that we're

taking these very high-speed photos and creating this series of images now what

you don't get from this set of still images is that what Muybridge eventually

did after they looked at all these stills was they cut the pieces of film

apart and they put them together kind of like you see here except that they

joined all the ends together so that it was one long strip of singular film and

then they put it through a little device this is called a Zoopraxiscope and when

they put it through that device and shine the light from behind it they

played a movie right now his hand to operate it it wasn't like our you know

our cameras well our cameras they are all digital but it was hand operated

didn't operate off of electricity but he took the strip of film he had taped it

all together right in one long strip and he put it in this and had a lighting

source behind it I think it was a candle at first yeah

and the film went in front and of the so that light was shining through and you

could project it on a wall and you move it like this and if you move it fast

enough it works just like the Zotoh right and so what you get is instead of

seeing these individual shots it appears as though you're watching the horse run

again albeit maybe a little slower than you saw him run in real life right and

so what he discovered which was really interesting was not just the answer to

the question of when a horse is running is there a moment at which all four

hooks come off the ground but what he discovered was that people were really

interested in watching this horse run for a couple seconds and that people

wanted people who weren't zoologist people who had nothing to do with the

study of animal our gate or any of that they wanted to

come and watch this silly film of a horse seeming to run right a real horse

not a drawn horse a real horse with a rider on it seeming to run and this is a

moment that took place in the past right so at this moment when Muybridge did

this in 1878 we already had cameras we already had the ability to take still

images but we were just right on the cusp of really figuring out how to put

those still images together in such a way that we could create a moving image

now one of the things that what the Muybridge's experiment it makes very

apparent to all of us is that when you watch a film right you're not really

watching continuous movement what's on that film is not continuous movement

right it's a series of still images that when moved trick your eye into thinking

that it is a moving image but we can see that these are actually just a series of

still images and that we can look at each ended with this what we would call

frame right we can look at each individual frame it's why when you're

watching a film even today you can press pause right because if it was a real

continuously moving image right then you wouldn't be able to do that because it

just wouldn't stop like friends I can't press pause on my real life life is

continuously moving it moves forward I can't rewind I can't pause I can't

fast-forward through it but because our recorded images are actually a series of

multiple frames still frames that when run together appear as though they're

moving we can do those things and that was an important realization which they

had obviously realized when they were doing the zou trope and doing these

hand-drawn ones but then when they realized they could use a still camera

in the same way and record real images not just drawn images and then play them

at a particular rate and you still got the sensation and movement that was a

real breakthrough

the next big leap forward was that we had to figure out a couple things we had

to figure out first of all remember Muybridge did this with a series of

cameras we saw 16 frames I was taken with 16 separate cameras right and that

you know imagine if you wanted to take a film and lots of moving all over the

place how many cameras you would have to have all over the place to catch all the

individual frames it's completely ridiculous and preposterous way to do

things so we had to invent a single camera right that could record multiple

still frames with just one camera so that was the next big step forward and

in addition to that we had to create celluloid film right we needed to create

a film strip that could run through the spokes at a particular rate and could

record these individual still frames at speed right so those two things did

happen and of course William dick Dickson working at Thomas Edison labs

created the first celluloid strip and the Lumiere brothers in France also

created a cellular camera that could record these continuous images and when

you put those two things together you got the moving camera right you've got

this amazing invention so now we have the film that goes inside of the camera

to record the moving images and we have the camera that has the appropriate lens

and all the things in order to do that now these cameras were manually operated

they were not operated by electricity so if you ever see some really old images

of film cinematographers people who are running cameras what you see is the guy

home holding the the camera on his shoulder usually on one side or the

other and he has his hand cranking a wheel right like this in fact sometimes

we still use that as like if you're playing charades as a way to say movie

right of course that I have we haven't been

doing that for a very long time but still somehow in our cultural memory we

remember that this is you know movie and the reason is is because again there was

no electricity to move the film forward to advance the film through and so we

had to manually advance the film through by using this crank that fed the film

through in front of the lens and record it each image am as Edison got a really

great idea after these two things came together he realized that there was a

real taste throughout not just America but the world for watching these films

and he realized that this showing these films could be commodified right meaning

people would pay money to go and see these films people had loved going to

see Muybridge as horse running and imagine if you could charge them you

know five cents or something to go watch 20 minutes of different these different

things right and so Edison really is the first person who came up with the idea

of the movie theater and it wasn't a permanent space at first it was just he

would go to different theaters where plays theatrical events were happening

or town halls and he would set up his vitae scope that was his version of or

his vitae scope also the conecta scope of the the projector and he would play a

series of these moving images for audiences who would pay to come and

watch them now these first films were not narrative right so they're not if we

went and saw one of these we would probably first of all totally bored out

of our minds and it would probably be a little confusing to us because these

films that they would tour around were not stories right that's what I mean

when I say they weren't narrative so they were just snippets of things that

people had gone out and recorded with the cameras so often they were just kind

of slices of life there were people cooking in their kitchens there were

people walking around the streets in New York or Chicago or driving in a car or

playing at the beach and they were very very short because

remember it takes a lot a lot of frames to create even one second of a live film

right so you know and if you're manually canned cranking this thing there's only

so long you know that you can do this and you would run out of film right so

you know most of these things were not very long a minute sometimes I mean that

was probably pretty long right but you would just watch a series of them you go

and you sit down for 30 minutes and you'd watch a series of these little

clips of people gardening and people driving on a car or people playing at

the beach and they often did things like driving a car or playing at the beach

things that a lot of people would not have experienced right this again was at

also the dawn of the automotive age yes people had cars but certainly not

everybody had a car so seeing a recorded image of someone driving in a car that

made you kind of feel like you were in the car driving even for 30 seconds

would have been completely exhilarating to these people

most people again traveling long distances was still very hard you would

have to go by train or horse or walk right like I mean most people did not

leave a 20 or 30 mile radius around where they lived for their entire lives

right so if you didn't live by a beach guess what you probably aren't ever

gonna see the ocean in your entire life so seeing again a 30-second clip of

people playing at the beach or doing things in places that you had never been

and probably will never go to would have been really really exciting for these

people but these things were not narrative they were just a bunch of

these images and moments kind of smashed together and people would go and watch

them and it was a great great hit alright so after this though we

certainly do get this idea that these the moving camera can be used for more

than just these kind of slice-of-life things that we can actually tell stories

with the camera right and obviously certain things needed to develop first

of all we needed to get one that wasn't just manually operated that could be

plugged in this allowed the camera to run for longer periods of time and you

know the technology needed to evolve a little bit but once it did then we were

able to start telling these kind of longer stories through the moving camera

um and but what we still did not have were two things that we have today and

one was that we still did not have color film and we still did not have the

ability to link the sound live sound with these moving images now to me the

sound thing is always the most interesting because we at the same time

basically that the moving camera was being developed we had at the same time

the phonograph being developed right so we did know how to record sound and play

it back but what we didn't have and it was actually a fairly hard problem to

solve was the ability to sync these two things together right how do you sink

this moving image with this sound right because you're gonna have to record them

separately the cameras aren't recording sound at all they don't have a

microphone or anything built into them so how do you record sound and then

somehow sync it up together so that it plays kind of seamlessly and isn't

completely discombobulated of course they did finally figure out how to do it

but until then we had what we call the silent film era so the whole first you

know 20-some odd years that film was around even when we started telling

stories with film the way that we did that was through silent film so all

films basically had no sound with them if there were actors talking and we

really really needed the audience to know what it was that they were saying

we would have these black slides that would come in between which we call

titles right and they would say write out what the important line was that you

needed to know that the actor said right and you would see their mouths moving

but again you wouldn't hear anything now do you think that you know audience

members just sat in these silent theaters just watch you know this very

quiet experience no film makers immediately even back in the Vitis cope

days immediately recognized that having some kind of sound with this experience

was useful and so what they would do is they would have live organists or live

piano players playing a score to the music that enhanced the visual images

right so if you went to a movie theater back in the silent film era you would be

sat in front of the screen just very much like we do now and you would watch

but at the same time at the very front of the house you would see an organist

or a piano player who was also watching the screen and playing live a score that

went with the the film that you were watching now if any of you have ever

been to the Pantages which is not the Pantages I'm sorry to the oh goodness

the name is escaping me there is a big movie theater it's by the Pantages but

it's it's not the same hmm I can't think of it right now

there's one in downtown LA where you can go and see movies and Disney owns it in

fact almost it's all Disney movies that play there now but when you go if you

get there early you can see an organist playing he plays on in this enormous

Oregon and if you're there like 30 minutes before the show starts you get

to enjoy his organ plane and you might if you didn't know this you might wonder

why is this guy playing the organ well the organ is original to the

theater because it used to be an old school movie theater and so when the old

silent films would play on the screen they would the organist would be there

and he would be playing along the score right now obviously it's just this kind

of appendage that's kind of this callback to an older era and so he only

plays at the beginning it's an amazing organ too because it lowers into the -

this kind of elevated stage that the screen is on and

then it comes I hold it's kind of magically out of the

out of that area but it's a really fun thing if you ever go see I'll have to

try and remember the name of this movie theater can't think of it at the moment

but if you go there it's on Sun Hollywood Boulevard and you see any

movie there again the 30 minutes before they play they have organ music and

that's why the organ is there it's to play along with the the silent films so

there were all kinds of different also special effects that started developing

as film became more advanced and they were trying to tell different kinds of

stories they realized that they could they didn't have a dolly system remember

in our very first class we talked about tracking and dolly systems they didn't

have the ability to really move cameras around like that so if they wanted to do

a big wide panorama shot sometimes they get the camera onto a train and they'd

set it on there and as the train is moving you know they get this really

long wide shot they also learned that you can use something called a jump cut

to create special effects in film now you can do this at home with your video

camera right if you have just the simplest film editing software on your

phone which most of us do what you do is you take then this is what a jump cut is

and the way that they would use it back then it hasn't changed at all you film a

sequence right and when you get to the part where you want the magical effect

to happen right you stop the film you stop so you Tate you stop the shot and

then you put in whatever it is that's supposed to appear in the next frame and

it's there and then when you start running for the next shot that thing is

there so for instance here's some of the things that they would do so they would

have a shot running and maybe there's supposed to be a genie that appears out

of some smoke right so they're running the shot the guys rubbing the lamp right

and they already have set up some effect where smoke is going to come out and

there's all this smoke and in fact the actor who's even rubbing the lamp does

Gulf tin smoke and they press stop right they stop running the camera they cut

basically now somebody dresses a genie runs into the frame and is standing in

the smoke and now we're gonna press play again right and now the next frame is

going to have the genie in it but when I watch it as an audience member I will

not realize that something has stopped right I will just simply watch the this

frame run into the next frame and to me it will appear as though the genie just

magically appeared out of nowhere right again you can do this with your phone at

home you can do all kinds of things like this if you just have some really simple

editing software on your phone you can you know snap your fingers and then

press stop and then put the pen there when you press play again and you marry

those two things together that the pen will appear to magically appear into the

shop right so they figured out all these different kinds of little tricks that

they could do to make the magic of film right now of course we have we're super

advanced because everything's digital we can do digital composites we can

digitally put things into films we can take things out right so there's

obviously we've we've become very very advanced but some of these techniques

are still used even today in the way that we work also single frame animation

evolved at the beginning of the the 1900s and the idea that we could take

that original xot trope idea we could hand draw and do single shots and then

when we play those shots together we get an animated film and of course Walt

Disney is one of the big Giants in the film in the world of narrow sorry

animation and long-form animation feature film animation so the techniques

of film continued to develop and to create film in itself started to create

its own language its own way of communicating story through the use of

different types of shots and the where we place the camera and all those things

people became so Bertie's starting all the way back in

the silent film era right people like Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin Clara

Bow Douglas Fairbanks all these people they made their careers in the silent

film era and quite unfortunately when we finally added sound in some of these

people also lost their careers because their voices were not pleasant to listen

to they were nice to look at but not pleasant to listen to

and and so some of those celebrities as we moved from a completely silent film

era to what we call the talkies did not come along with that Charlie Chaplin is

actually one of the few people that was consistently a big celebrity throughout

this entire period originally a lot of the filmmakers were actually this might

be interesting to you were actually based on the East Coast in New York that

was kind of where a lot of those developments had happen but because

Edison was also on the East Coast and Edison had patents for so many of the

technologies that was used in the film industry from the projecting camera to

this standardized filmstrip itself to the moving camera all those things and

so if you wanted to do a film in New York it became very very costly because

you were paying all this money to mr. Edison all the time eventually

filmmakers moved to Southern California because Edison didn't have him monopoly

over there and also one of the the great things and why Hollywood has flourished

here is because we have such great weather and remember that at the time

there was no such thing as all this stage lighting right there was no such

thing as really really high luminosity lamps for filming inside for filming at

night time so in order to be able to film for as many days as possible you

want to be living in a place that has a lot of sunlight and good weather a lot

of the time and of course LA is the perfect place to have have it so so many

of these studios moved over here because they realize they had way more days that

they could film

and then therefore they could produce more more movies for people to watch the

original Studios of course were designed in such a fashion to utilize and make

the most out of the natural sunlight those old Studios actually most of their

ceilings were entirely skylights meaning they were glass to let the sunlight pour

in so that they could again they could this maximize the filming too right so

maybe it is a little rainy outside and we can't have all of our equipment

outside but it's still sunny as we know we can get that in California and so we

can still film inside today it also allowed for them to you know create

these elaborate sound stages and do things in on interior sides without

worrying about found corrupting the film or other things happening so um there

again film continues to develop in terms of the type of shots and the types of

special effects that we can use eventually we do get found in 1927 the

first ever talkie sound that a film that incorporated sound is called the jazz

singer it had al jolson in it and it is what's really interesting to me about

this film is because we do consider it the first talkie but the there's really

only 10 minutes of synched sound at the end of that film so if you ever watched

this film 90% of the film is actually silent it's not until you get to the

last 10 minutes of the film that you actually get synced sound and images and

it's for Al Jolson's final performance at the very end of the film which by the

way just a warning in case any of you do decide to watch it after you get done

here to dare it and another point and the big moment in that film is actually

al jolson singing in blackface so it is racist yeah but it's it is interesting

to look at just in terms of it being the very first you can find it on YouTube

that last little bit of being again the very first film that included sound sync

sound and it's synced even now you can watch any was like they did a really

good job of figuring out how to sync the sound

and the moussine images so talkies took over Hollywood by 1929 basically

everything had moved over to being a sound film and this really is the thing

that assured in the great Golden Age of Hollywood most of the films that we

loved and from the Golden Age come from this time period with great stars of

course being developed out of this period like Clark Gable Audrey Hepburn

Humphrey Bogart Garbo and in the 1930s Shirley Temple so also this allowed for

us to do musicals right so now suddenly not only could we have sound in our

films but why not utilize it to the the most and make musicals and that is

exactly what had happened the studio executives knew that musicals in terms

of what was happening on Broadway or what was happening in the theatrical

world were some of the biggest drawers of audiences and so why not take that

same formula and just do it in a cinematic way and so they did they you

know did their own original musicals as well as taking and adapting Broadway

musicals to the cinematic world we also got horror films Dracula and

Frankenstein in 1931 King Kong in 1933 and a ton of the westerns also were shot

during this time period we got the genre of gangster films like Little Caesar and

the Public Enemy in 1931 and then of course going back to how animation

really started flourishing during this time in 1937 we got Snow White and the

reason why Snow White is important is simply because it was the first

feature-length film that had that was fully animated right if anyone knows

anything about animation and the process hand-drawn animation of course nowadays

it's a little easier but then just a laborious laborious process to do this

because every single frame has to be drawn right and then

captured with a camera and then we flip the next one on and was you know and the

guys are with a camera and because Disney wanted to do this really kind of

almost crazy idea make up almost two-hour film was only and just hand

drawn images this is thousands and thousands and thousands of images they

also developed techniques for making it easier the multi-layered carom shot was

developed through Disney where they had multiple layers of background to create

depth in the animation right they created glass pieces that allowed

the images to slide in and out smoothly as they're taking these these images

that can move as quickly as possible through photographing each frame there

were just a lot of developments that happened that Disney pioneered because

he had this idea of wanting to make this feature-length film and of course know

why it was wildly popular and people loved it and even today it's a classic

film well the crescendo of this this period

probably happened somewhere around 1939 1940 with Gone with the Wind and The

Wizard of Oz these two kind of seminal films one of the things that makes each

of these really important is that we also see the incorporation of color film

right Gone with the Linda's completely in color The Wizard of Oz has this

wonderful moment where we showcase our ability to finally use color film in

that the film starts out in black and white and then when Dorothy gets to Oz

we switch to this wonderful vibrant colorful world right these are you know

we see here in both of these films that the narrative process the way of

storytelling within film has fully developed we have a clearer sense of how

to cut scenes how to do two shots and single shots how to tell story narrative

Lee through the use of camerawork and these are really two really high marks

in terms of building to this point of being able to tell this really fantastic

story with all the elements in place color films sound and a fully developed

visual narrative process the 1940s brought world war ii and

this really kind of changed the way that film was being used if the films needed

to be patriotic and also people wanted to kind of you know they actually had

we've kind of skimmed over this but they had just kind of they were coming out of

the depression and we now were at war with you know there's this giant war

going on and people wanted to escape when they went to the movies they wanted

to experience something that wasn't like real life and so we get a lot of films

that do that for us Yankee Doodle Dandy and Casablanca in 1942 watch on the

Rhine 1943 but also Citizen Kane in 1941 which if you've never seen Citizen Kane

it's still widely regarded as one of the greatest films of all time I think you

know there's room for debate in there as to whether it is but certainly when you

look at the cannon a film and you look at its development up into this point

Citizen Kane does so many things amazing things genius things right that nobody

had thought of doing before as well as the story itself it's just timeless and

amazing and still resonates even today it's a wonderful life in 1946 and the

best years of our lives all these films came out in the 1940s right in the 1950s

that brought us the Cold War the H WAC hearings the house hearings on on

American activity led by McCarthy and we ended up having a kind of crisis in

Hollywood where we had the accusation by there was a belief by Senator McCarthy

and others that the Communists were trying to infiltrate America by using

Hollywood as a propaganda machine and so Hollywood was one of the first places

where Senator McCarthy kind of focused his lens trying to root out communism

out of America and unfortunately a lot of people were blacklisted someone like

Chaplin was blacklisted as a result of this another person you might not know

but there's a wonderful movie about Dalton Trumbo who was a writer

was blacklisted and not what does that mean it meant that they you got put kind

of on an unspoken list that meant you are a communist and not someone an

American and not someone that should be able to work right and so people lost

their jobs and they were not able to do the thing that they loved because of a

fear of communism infiltrating America but the other thing that this whole era

brought us was the B film and this is kind of like this very over-the-top

theatrical kind of horror sci-fi movie in which we are as often you know the

kind of fear of invasion and of course as you can see at the time this is what

you know the undercurrent of society was this fear that we were secretly being

invaded by communists and these films really tapped into that feeling and they

became their own sort of genre and very very popular films like about an

invasion of the body snatchers and war of the worlds' are really clear examples

of this style and this narrative of course the 1950s also brought us

television which really changed the dynamic of how Hollywood made its own

films because when people can be at home and watch on their little screen then

what is gonna take you out of your house we're kind of going through a similar

thing right now right why would you want to leave your house to go to a movie

theater right and pay money when you can sit at home and watch it for free so

films really kind of had to change the way they approached filmmaking it caused

them to become much bigger more spectacular more special effects all

those things things that you wanted to go and see it in a large format in a

movie theater and maybe warrant as best served on your tiny screen at home so we

get really big-budget films epics like the robe in 1953 the Ten Commandments

Ben Hur Oklahoma around the world in 80 days the South Pacific and Cleopatra all

these really sprawling epic films musicals again these things that you

want to go draw audiences to go and see them inside of them

you Theatre in this really big screen because they have that epic quality and

it's not gonna be the same if you watch it at home of course Disney continued

coming out with our own films such as Peter Pan Sleeping Beauty lady in the

Tramp and other classics in the 1960s we would change and we would begin to focus

on family themes we got Mary Poppins my fair lady The Sound of Music but also

another thing happened here and that was that there were a lot of foreign

filmmakers that got into the filmmaking business and started gaining traction

Truffaut and Godard Fellini these other filmmakers from Italy and France and

other places beginning to get traction on the international scene and sort of

up into this point really the people who had been dominating it had been the

Americans right so the fact that we had some international voices in there

gained some traction was a big change the Bond films also became very popular

during this era and then also others Kurosawa Japanese filmmaker whose

amazing if you've never seen anything that he's done he isn't just an amazing

filmmaker and such a G Dre in India so all these things would add to a new and

developing voices that were being allowed into the world of cinema and

these different perspectives that were coming in the 1970s is often called the

age of new Hollywood it changes from classical cinema with twist endings to

featuring morally questionable characters scrambled plots and all that

really begins kind of with film no more as a seed which happened years before

film more coming from war novels right and then moving into the world of cinema

and then later kind of influencing film in the 1970s also there was a whole slew

of new directors that had really distinctive voices and were kind of

moving film in really new directions doing things with it that had never been

done for them before some of these hopefully you'll be familiar with Martin

Scorsese who just is nominated for a Best Picture for the Irishman Francis

Ford Coppola Steven Spielberg George Lucas Brian De

Palma and they hi what has come to be known as an auteur

approach to filmmaking which basically said that they were going to use their

own personal style their own personal vision for how they were gonna tell

these stories and move away from what had been kind of standardized as this

classic approach to film right that you you know you had to do these kinds of

shots and this is the way you kind of put films together and this is the way

you told the stories and the ATO's really kind of broke out of that system

and said no I just kind of want to do my own approach and I want to have my own

stamp on it part of what happens when you do that is like when I mention these

names to people like Martin Scorsese or Francis Ford Coppola is still Steven

Spielberg because they're so individualized in the way that they

approach film when you watch these films even if you know you didn't know that it

was by Steven Spielberg often times at least if you're a film aficionado you

look at it you're like oh this is this is a Spielberg film right it just has

such a visual lexicon that's unique to these individual filmmakers that they

really put their stamp on these films and they you get a sense of their entire

tone and personality comes through the process of the filmmaking itself right

so you know some of the great films out of this this from these guys are

Scorsese's taxi driver Coppola the Godfather films you saw some of these so

I kiss I clean behind me Spielberg's jaws and Close Encounters of the Third

Kind and George Lucas's Star Wars which led to the creation will the creation

led to the idea of the blockbuster film right so meaning that you create a film

and you kind of have a few high budget films right that you're gonna put a lot

of money into but they're going to be really really popular when you release

them and you're gonna make you know tons of money back on them so you're okay

spending a lot of money on these few films even though you're producing maybe

you know 20 or 30 films in the year as a studio there are these three or four

films that you think are going be hugely popular and so you're gonna

pour a lot of money into those because you know you're also going to get that

return back we also started branching out and got a lot of world cinema in the

the 70s Bruce Lee brought greater realism to martial arts films he also

became a cultural icon Jackie Chan bought brought comedy in the 80s and

there was of course a boom in Bombay in the late 70s and early early ladies in

terms of filmmaking which generated Bollywood which if anyone knows anything

about filmmaking I don't know if this is true now China and other places might be

making more films now but as of I think at least last year Bollywood or India

was still the single country that generated the most number of films every

year they create the highest number of films now we don't usually see any of

those films because they're generated for an Indian's audience and for for

people who speak Hindi primarily and but actually if you have Netflix now you

can't see some of it they've brought some of those films in you know India

has been a powerhouse of filmmaking since the late 70s and early 80's and

they generate a massive amount of content and they have a massive audience

that gobbles all that up and they're you know they've got a lot of great stuff

that comes out of India in the 1980s we got the home VCR right people could now

again watch these movies inside of their homes and they didn't have to wait until

Thanksgiving you know turn to channel 5 and watch et you could go to the video

store and you could grab this video and you could watch UT whenever you want it

you could rent a video and play it on your VCR and so this became a big thing

and it was another way for film studios to generate revenue right so not just

box-office profits but afterwards the sign of the VHS video and then the the

royalties from the rentals and all of that in the 1990s we got commercially

successful independent films independent films were huge throughout the 1990s in

the early 2000s this really allowed for a lot of

experimentation to happen in films like pulp fiction also big animated films

that Disney had a resurgence in the early 1990s with films like Beauty and

the Beast The Lion King Aladdin and then of course adding Pixar on at the end

where we had computer animated films with Toy Story which was the first

feature-length digitally animated film right

also we got DVDs we got rid of our VHS s and we moved to DVDs which provided

higher quality and more stable images if any I'm sure that nobody watching right

now probably has ever watched a VHS movie in their life but one of the

things that would happen and you didn't even have to play the movie that often

is that if you played the because it was just a magnetic strip that the the film

was recorded on those do generate pretty quickly and with each time you play them

you get a little bit of loss of quality and they're also sensitive to light and

heat all kinds of things right so you know as a kid I grew up with VHS and you

know you would play a video that you really liked a lot of times but you know

on the 20th or 30th sign that you played that video you had the image was you

know starting to get fuzzy and white noise was coming in you know static

basically and at some point you just really couldn't play the video anymore

sometimes you know physical things would happen to it and it would get messed up

inside of the player and you'd have to throw it out and get a new one so

obviously all those things went away with the invention of DVDs and then of

course even more set now with streaming yes we have to deal with buffering and

all those things and not having fast streaming but you never have something

you know and once you buy your thing on Apple I you know tunes or wherever you

buy it it's always yours forever and you're never gonna have to throw it away

of course until there's some new technological advancement all right um

nobody has typed in in the first hour for their double extra credit I'm

completely shocked we are gonna go to a break in just a minute it's going to be

a 10-minute break and when we come back we're going to

look at tragedy and comedy and hopefully get some time to dip in a little bit

into V for Vendetta we'll see but in the meantime maybe think about this question

described in your own words one of the characteristic traits of traditional

comedy and when we come back from the break maybe some of you will want to

type in or call in and answer that question for double extra credit okay

so let's go ahead we're gonna take a ten quick 10-minute break and when we come

back we'll move on all right you are watching huge TV from California State

University Dominguez Hills you know I feel like before I was just ball myself

I'm not gonna get distracted by anything or anybody I'm just here on a mission

that's what I thought but I started to realize that I don't want to be just a

student I want to be like I'll motivation to somebody I love my job

I wanted to be able to have a place like a laboratory on campus that people could

actually get hands-on into making a difference

the CSU D H urban farm is one part of the operation that we're building here

and we have energy systems we have food systems we have transportation systems

and we're trying to make them more sustainable I started to volunteer a lot

so we just let myself get exposed to different things that I wasn't used to

to get out of that comfort zone one of the reasons I teach here is because my

own artwork has a really strong tie to the LA community there's some really

amazing artists who live and work in South Los Angeles they want to work with

our students and when they actually meet these artists it's like very

transformative they start to realize that their time here at CSU th isn't

about finding something new to make art about it's actually about how to shape

and engage the community with the things that are already important to them I

want to become an orthopedic surgeon and right now I have an internship

Kizer and that's one of these I want to do in the outside world is just to help

the community I'm not only changing my life you know but I'm also changing

other people's lives that is that thing of like I want to get up and work hard

to change things for the future to make things better I want to interact with my

community how does this small system that we're building out here relate to

the larger regional system because ultimately that has to happen for the

entire city the entire country the entire world

my name is Devin my name is Johnny my name is Jenny and I'm a Toro


I am a first generation student and I never really thought that what I was

doing was important without the help of everybody that's mentored me so far I

don't feel like I would have gotten as far as I have for me that's the best

thing about being here seeing them achieve things that they never thought

they could it was a long road to get my bachelor's degrees I took a very

untraditional path I was working supporting myself I didn't know what I

didn't know and I made it a point to introduce myself to all of my professors

while I was here somebody who's already at this place where you want to be is

recognizing something within you and it gives you the the permission to believe

in yourself our research focuses on the intersection between psychology

technology and media how people's media consumption can affect them I think it's

remarkable that CSU D H has been represented on 60 minutes on national

media to me that points to the amazing cutting-edge research that we're doing

if it wasn't for professors like dr. shibir who had honestly bigger dreams

for me than I have for myself I wouldn't have had one of the most rewarding

experiences not only at CSU th but also in my life the year after I graduated I

got recruited to Facebook and I thought nobody's ever gonna ask me about the

degree that was the first question they asked

ideas can really blossom here for instance joining a lab or having an idea

for some program that you want to start we really allow those kinds of ideas to

grow the feeling I had when I was here as a student was that I could do

anything how can I share that experience that I had here with all the other

students now mentorship in that sense credible important because I started to

believe in my own ability but and it definitely helped me I suppose

become the person that I really am for me success is reaching the point where I

can become help to other people and now I'm heading off to my PhD my name is

Breen my name is Nancy my name is Samantha and I'm a Toro

don't waste time with negativity instead surround yourself with people who share

the same goals as you if you believe it you can do it

you are watching th TV from California State University Dominguez Hills hey

guys welcome back to theater 100 we just had our little break there was a little

technical difficulty so we just moved to the blank screen there but that was our

full 10 minute break and we're going to move on with the rest of our lecture for

today so in this last part of class we're going to be talking about your

reading for this week which was tragedy and comedy tragedy and comedy are the

two original large genres under which everything else

really has fallen falls under in terms of types of theater that exists but also

types of films or our plays television shows all those things they are the

original two and they were around all the way back during the Greek period and

evolved out of that period and then we're clarified by people like Aristotle

who we'll talk about in a moment obviously today we have lots of

different genres we don't just have tragedy which we would now call drama

and comedy we actually have lots of subgenres we have mixing of genres we

have all kinds of things we'll talk about that a little bit towards the end

of today but you know these two broad categories are foundational and so it's

worth it for us to kind of think about them and think about what they mean and

what are the criteria in terms of how these things fit together

they're so foundational to the theater that if you look behind me one of the

things that is clearly identifiable when we talk about theater is that you know

happy masks and the sad masks right and that happy mask and sad mask represent

the two broad genre of tragedy and comedy right so what is tragedy let's

start with that tragedy is again today we would call this drama but there's a

really a much more specific definition that the Greeks had for what a tragedy

is and um we're gonna break it down a little bit the word it's

is derivative it comes from the Greek word that means goat song and the

textbook defines it as one of the most fundamental dramatic forms in Western

tradition tragedy involves a serious action of universal significance and has

important moral and philosophical implications following Aristotle most

critics agree that a tragic hero or heroine should be an essentially

admirable person whose downfall elicits our sympathy while leaving us with a

feeling that there has in some way been a triumph of the moral and cosmic order

which transcends the feet of any particular individual the disastrous

outcome of a tragedy should be seen as the inevitable result of the character

and his or her situation including forces beyond the characters control so

you can find that in your textbook in the chapter tragedy and comedy but you

know what is it saying exactly well it's playing off of what

Aristotle said tragedy was Aristotle a famous Greek philosopher who wrote the

poetics and Aristotle basically laid out what are the rules for tragedy and what

are the rules for comedy and what makes a good play right we are going to talk

about a little bit of those but what he said and again at piggybacks well the

textbook definition is piggybacking off of Aristotle tragedy is the imitation of

an action that is serious complete and of a certain magnitude right so I like

to you know the textbook definition is really good it's very complicated so I

actually think the Aristotle's is a little bit more concise and let's think

about what he says and how it applies so tragedy is the imitation of an action so

already what Aristotle says is that when we're looking at theater when we're

looking at in even film or television what we're looking at is an imitation of

an action right there is a sense that this is pretend this is make-believe

this isn't really happening right here and in fact we engage our willing

suspension of disbelief so that we do experience it as if it were happening

but we also know that it isn't right and that's a really important part it is it

it is not we would not consider it theatrical or even okay even though it

would have been okay a few hundred years ago to go to a Gallo site and watch

people get hung right watch people literally lose their lives and be

executed even if they were deserving of that punishment for whatever reason that

would not be considered entertainment to us now like I said we could go back a

few hundred years even here in the Americas and we could find that that was

actually something that people wouldn't did but they still wouldn't consider it

theater right that's an actual thing that's happening and it has

ramifications in a different way than a theatrical experience so the fact that

something is imitative that it is simply pretend theatrical in nature is an

important aspect of the definition right that action should be serious so an

Aristotle's time they believe that tragedy will should be a hundred percent

serious there should be no tomfoolery in tragedy right if something is a tragedy

it's all the way a tragedy there's no funny line there's no funny moments that

happen in it there's nothing silly or ridiculous about it it's completely

serious in nature and that that tone pervades the entire piece now nowadays

when we look at drama we have such strong genres as things called drama

Dee's right this is a drama comedy we have such genres as things called black

comedies which are comedies that are kind of serious to sometimes right we

have all these mixing of styles and genres that we did not have in the Greek

period in fact that would have can be considered bad and not very good theater

to mix John risen that way so the Greeks thought that as Aristotle stating that

if something is a tragedy it should be serious in nature and then it should be

wholly and consistently serious we don't have moments of light

this is something that's supposed to be tragic in nature it should be complete

meaning that it should have a clear beginning middle and end right we should

have a clear moment in which the the hero is put into a tough situation and

they have to struggle to get out of that situation and at the end the there is a

clear answer to how they got out now in Greek tragedy that often means the hero

dying or as suffering a really really terrible fate sometimes worse than death

right but at the end it's really clear that the struggle is over it's complete

and it's not just going to kind of continue on for forever and to Eternity

it ends here and the story has a sense of completion and it is of a certain

magnitude so your textbook goes on to elaborate on that and says instead of a

certain 9s unity call it's a universal significance and and that's in some ways

what Aristotle means two things Aristotle means that tragedy should have

high stakes meaning when we watch these stories that the stakes what is

impossible for the protagonist or the hero to lose what is potentially

something that they might lose the there's a it's high it's very important

oftentimes it's their very life that's on the line right that's how high the

stakes are but even if it's not that their life is on their line it's still

something that's incredibly incredibly important right something that if they

don't get or they lose it's going to change the entire direction of their

life from now and to you know the end so when we say a certain magnitude we mean

that it's very high stakes the other aspect is that it should have a

universal component right it should be relatable that lots of people can look

at it and there's something very Universal there's a universal message

there's something in there that lots of people can relate to right Aristotle

also said that it should be concerning the fall of a man whose character is

good whose misfortune is brought about not by Vice or depravity but by some

error or frailty right so again the Greeks

believe that the main character the protagonist of the story should be an

essentially good person and that the bad things that they end up suffering isn't

because they're bad people it's because they have some innate flaw that has kind

of gotten them into this situation sometimes we call that their fatal flaw

right or their tragic flaw it's the thing the reason why we sometimes call

it their fatal flaws because in Greek drama a Greek tragedy it often ends in

the death of the protagonist so for instance an Oedipus Rex which is one of

you know in the great Canaan of Greek works the tragic flaw was that Oedipus

was was quick to anger right he had a hot temper and he was also arrogant

right and even though in certain situations those attitudes they actually

got him that they're the things that also made him King but when taken to the

extreme to the exclusion of other character traits that he come the thing

that also becomes his downfall and of course in my bet Macbeth it was this

ambition that caused his downfall again ambition not a bad thing but if you take

it to its extreme then it can also be the thing that causes you to falter

Aristotle says that it should also have events arousing pity and fear wherewith

to accomplish the catharsis of these emotions so that these dramas or

tragedies should elicit a sense of empathy connection with the protagonist

from the audience that allows us to experience the protagonists fear and

tragedy and to pity that person and therefore that we release those feelings

and we don't have to deal with them at other moments in our life right that it

should you know I think a simple way to say it is that when we watch these

stories with other people that we have a shared sense of compassion and grief for

our main characters and we also we experience that through

right so we're experiencing it together as a group because we're all watching it

but we're also experiencing it it's not just sympathy it's not just this feeling

of like wow I feel sorry for you it's like I actually genuinely feel sad as

well because I am so connected to you as a protagonist so he also said that there

should be heightened language and this was something that of course ways was

followed for many many hundreds of years thousands of years afterwards that when

we went to see a theatrical experience that we had heightened language probably

the thing you're most familiar with is Shakespeare the heightened language of

Shakespeare maybe you know maybe you don't but most people that lived in the

Elizabethan age did not chalk talk like a Shakespeare play has very elevated

language people didn't just walk around talking in iambic pentameter and using

these words to say little nothing of the fact that Shakespeare invented a ton of

the words that he used in his plays right so people wouldn't have even been

familiar with them he was just making him up so the language that we see in

Shakespeare's plays and in the Greek plays and in all the plays basically all

the way into the 20th century always involves some element of heightened

language and that would mean that they were either you know heightened in the

sense that their people were using words and speaking in ways that normal people

didn't speak all the way to the extremity which is that you have

structured language that is almost more akin to poetry than it is to normal

spoken language and again we see that in Shakespeare's works all of his original

stuff it wasn't until later that he started prose writing which doesn't have

as much structure but his original works are all very clearly written in iambic

pentameter and some of them even in rhyming couplet right and then we go

even further afield into the French neoclassical period the French were

white writing in something called a quatrain which is their version of the

iambic pentameter still in very heightened language so we get that

really for a very very long time all the way until the realists appear in the

20th century even today when you go and watch plays there is some place that you

see where your like boy these people really speak very

well most of us don't speak you know as clearly or as eloquently as the people

that we watch on stages or even in films and sometimes if you you know because

this language that has been written on the page for these actors to stay has

been labored over and shaped in a really specific way that you know most of us in

our everyday lives we don't do that we just save the words that you know come

to our head so even now even though our the language we see today in films and

television and all those things are less heightened than what we would have seen

in the Greek period we still have a sense of a heightened language and

heightened drama and heightened structure that exists in our film and

television there is an argument that tragedy still exists today and in our

films and in our art plays an example of a modern tragedy would be Arthur

Miller's Death of a Salesman he felt that we could still write modern

tragedies but that of course the rules would be slightly different his

definition was that a modern tragedy would be where the main character is

willing to lay down his life to secure his sense of personal dignity in fact

many people argue that the play we're going to look at in a week or so Raisin

in the Sun is also another example of modern tragedy where we see the main

character there who really struggles with again his sense of personal dignity

and his willingness to sort of almost do anything break all the rules

practically die in order to secure a sense of personal dignity and respect

within the world what are some other elements that exist in tragedy well

subtext is one of the things that we see inside of a modern tragedy

not so much necessarily in the tragedies of old and the Greek times but in a

modern tragedy we definitely do see subtext and these are emotions tensions

and thoughts not expressed directly in the words of the play but revealed by

nonverbal movements the actor and that was the definition

given by Stanislavski because it is a very modern thing basically means all

the things that the characters aren't saying right so what's happening

underneath you know I might walk up to somebody one day and say wow that's a

really nice shirt right but you can tell from the tone of

my voice and my body language that I don't actually mean that it's a really

nice shirt I mean it's really ugly shirt right

so that's subtext what are the things that the words might be saying one thing

but the tone the pair of verbal communication all that might be seeing

something completely different or have a completely different objective or goal

than what the words are saying right and this is something that was a modern in I

don't want to say invention because people do this all the time right you do

these things all the time you say one thing and you mean another you say one

thing but underneath there's some other things going on there

but it was not considered something that you should play on the stage for

hundreds and hundreds of years because it was felt that whatever happens on the

stage actors should be saying all of it right there should be no question in the

audience's mind as to what's happening and if there is then we need to have the

actor say something like in Shakespeare's time we need to have them

have a soliloquy so that they can express all the things that they're

thinking in their head so there's no question as to what's going on in their

mind right so in older plays we don't we see a lack of subtext people always say

what they mean and mean what they say in classical pieces but in a modern world

where we're trying to duplicate reality a bit more in the way real human people

communicate we get this idea of subtext and it is where we you know communicate

in a way that's very familiar to us where sometimes we say things and we

don't mean them right we mean something completely different we also get a

sub-genre of tragedy and in the early 19th century called melodrama now from

your textbook we see that melodrama is historically a distinct form of drama

popular throughout the nineteenth century which emphasized action and

spectacular effects and used stock characters I'm sorry and sorry I lost my

place which emphasize action and spectacular effects and use music to

heighten the dramatic mood melodrama had stock characters and clearly defined

villains and heroes more generally the term is applied to any dramatic play

which presents an unambiguous confrontation between good and evil

characterization is often shallow and stereotypical and because the moral

conflict is externalized action and violence are prominent usually

culminating in a happy ending meant to demonstrate the eventual triumph of good

so what's the difference between melodrama and tragedy well melodrama is

exaggerated and sometimes even laughable in its extremity tragedy is often more

honest and taken seriously melodrama is often suspenseful deals in the world of

spectacle and stereotypical characters whereas tragedy is often about kind of

deep emotional turmoil let's just you know honest portrayals of characters and

is might have spectacle as a part of it but only in terms of generating empathy

for the protagonist a modern example of melodrama would be soap operas right and

actually there's even TV shows that seem to fall into that category now that

aren't soap operas but this kind of very larger-than-life over-the-top

exaggeration and clear good guys clear bad guys good versus evil right all

those things alright we're gonna move on to comedy now comedy is the next big

umbrella genre and your textbook says applet comedy is a play that is light

and tone is concerned with issues tending not to be serious has a happy

ending and is it designed to amuse and provoke laughter right so just sorry one

second so comedies have been around since the Greeks they didn't have comedy

at first actually they only had tragedy and then it was some years later they

decided that comedy would also be a good thing to have

and and there was very different rules for comedies one of the things that

Aristotle says is that a comedy should always be about the heroes the

protagonist should always be people of lowborn or common nature right

meaning that in comedy at least according to the classical rules we

never have main characters that are highborn meaning aristocrats kings

queens lords ladies gods or deities right we always have

people that are just average lowborn folks right there's two reasons for this

one is that there was and just a innate knowledge that you should not make fun

of gods because they might strike you dead right and although you should

probably not make fun of kings or queens or people that had enormous of power

because they might come and have you arrested and you'd be end up dead too so

we don't make fun of those people right we don't want to put them in situations

that are silly or ridiculous secondly there was a feeling that gods and

aristocrats and these highborn people these are people that could really

experience these tragic events in these sweeping epic things in ways that normal

people couldn't right there's a little bit of this still left with us today

right when we look at our celebrities or we look at you know even some of the

monarchs that are still the Prince Andrews and Megan Merkel's who the world

now that these people really experience things in ways are special in a way that

we aren't right and so they live lives that are just far beyond you know and

it's more than just that they have money and power it's that they really are kind

of special unique people um that might or might not be true but if you expand

that idea and we go back a few thousand years this is the reason why the Greeks

never wrote comedies about these kinds of people because there was really

something special about them and those people could experience like tragic

things but we would never want to make fun of them or belittle them and besides

they were just so beyond they were just so cool really that they would never be

in these ridiculous situations that comedies asked us to look at well what

are some of the key of comedies aside from these things that

we just talked about over here which is that they need to be light and tone

right they are concerned with issues that tend not to be serious and they

have happy endings that usually evoke amusement or laughter well one of the

really important things is that they're non realistic they do not follow the

laws of nature right so audiences must be detached and aware of an artificial

world where the laws of nature are suspended and this is what allows the

comic promise to be accepted so one of the examples I always like to make when

we talk about how does this work in in the modern world and in modern

storytelling is for those of you that I've seen The Hangover if you haven't

you might still be familiar with this scene right so in the hangover we have a

group this is a comedy right there's a classic modern comedy I mean The

Hangover we have this group of guys that go to Las Vegas for a bachelor party

things go terribly wrong because one of the guys who's a real idiot played by

Zach Galifianakis basically roofies everybody unintentionally I think

unintentionally and and everybody kind of blacks out and they don't remember a

bunch of things that happen during the night when they wake up they're in this

really ridiculous situation where they're in this suite in Las Vegas but

the groom the guy who's gonna get married in just like 24-48 hours is

completely missing from the room and all these crazy things are in the room like

a tiger in the bathroom and a baby in the closet right all of these things and

so now these group of guys are on this journey right to find the missing groom

and to figure out what happened and get him back so that he can be on time for

his wedding right this is the basic premise so right up in the beginning of

the film we obviously set up that this is a comedy that people you know are

operating against the laws of nature and that is what allows us to at this

particular moment once they've already found the baby in the closet right Zach

Galifianakis it's definitely the least intelligent of all the guys there it

kind of takes the baby enters wing and there's a moment after they've had

breakfast where they're gonna go out and they're gonna try to find their friend

and zach galifianakis this character has the baby and a baby carry some of you

they've seen there's like stickers of this now and the baby's wearing

sunglasses has a little beanie on right very cute baby and the babies in this

baby carrier and they call a cap to come and get them and Zach Galifianakis

because he's never worn a baby before right opens the car of the taxi right

into the baby's face right and the baby gets smacked we don't actually see it we

see you know the over-the-shoulder shot of it happening the door coming towards

and we know we hear the sound we hear the baby crying right and in the film

this is a completely hysterical very very funny moment right people laughing

dying with laughter because this poor innocent baby has been hit in the head

so the reason why I like to uses example is for a couple reasons

if you think about any other moment that you can imagine in your life if you saw

a baby get hit in the head with a door so hard that it was crying your reaction

would not be laughter unless you're a psychopath right your reaction would be

horror and you'd be running over and you'd feel sad and you'd be worried for

the baby right but because we're in a comedy and we've already established

that the rules of nature the laws of nature do not apply as an audience we

are allowed to laugh at something that would be normally in any other

circumstance a really really horrific thing to see right a really terrifying

thing to see we are allowed to find it funny and that's for a couple reasons

because we know that the baby is actually not hurt at all all right we

know that the baby is going to be absolutely 100% okay when we see the

baby again right and in fact the filmmakers will reinforce this idea by

when we see the baby even though it might look kind of upset and crying

there's no blood gushing out of the baby's face there's no giant gash the

baby doesn't get a big bruise on its head at some point you know the baby

doesn't you know have a concussion and have to go to the hospital the baby just

cries and the next time we see the baby the baby looks fine look see if the

baby's fine totally fine find the rest of the entire film nothing bad happens

to the being and that's why we can laugh at it

because we know that now again going back to this example imagine

how differently you would have felt if you watch that film for the first time

you see the baby get hit the filmmakers have already established that this is a

comedy so you feel free to laugh but then what if the filmmakers had swung

around and the next shot you see the baby the baby has a really realistic

gash and it's like seizing up and has a seizure or something because it has a

concussion you'd be horrified and you'd probably be really confuse us whether or

not this is supposed to be funny or not funny right so filmmakers and

storytellers when they are crafting a comedy have that knowledge deeply

embedded in their mind now it's not that they're always thinking of it it's just

something that we accept when we're telling comedic stories these are the

things that have to happen and audience members don't feel alright laughing at

things if you haven't established that early on in the film right if at any

moment in that film we had seen someone genuinely get hurt or be genuinely in

pain or people around them react in a way that seemed genuine right we

suddenly would have been very confused about the tone of the film and then we

would not have felt okay laughing at those other moments so these kinds of

rules are already set up and built into comedies and because we accept them and

we innately know them to be true through the cues that the filmmaker gives us as

well as just what we know about comedies we feel like we can laugh at these

things and what that allows us to do is to laugh at things that might normally

be really really tragic and what Aristotle said is that that's actually

good for us it's good for us to be able to reframe

things that might sometimes be something that would be awful but then look at it

from a different perspective and actually find humor and lightness in it

so comedies really serve this kind of other purpose is that it allows us to

release tension through laughter and then also to become aware of our own

weaknesses right and to reframe things through the lens of this kind of comedic

perspective in your textbook Nichols also says that comedy keeps people

humble balanced and human by dividing stupidity hypocrisy and pretension and

my goodness if there is you know the hangover is a great example of that

right we get to laugh at these people who act like idiots

there's no pretension in the film right there's no sense of like I'm so much

better than this and I'm so much smarter than all this right we do away with all

those things and then watching it and engaging in those storytelling

experiences we also internalize those ideas and get to revel in them as well

so what are some of the techniques of comedy well there are a couple different

there's verbal humor as well as plot complications and there's also physical

comedy that that we can use so verbal humor is using language to be funny

through wit repartee malaprop's malapropisms puns sticking mithya it's

saying things in a funny way confusing words using puns words that sound like

other words to be funny we can also have plot complications that happen again

hangover a really good example right we have this complication that happens

where everyone blacks out when they wake up oh my god there's all these crazy

things and they have to figure out how they got into the situation and find

their friend mistaken identity is another one that's

commonly used and we've also had different styles and genres of comedy

evolved over the years comedy of manners is one of them your textbook defines

comedy of manners as a cultivated world with witty dialogue and characters with

social polish its intellectual in its appeal unlike farce one of the you know

there are lots of books that also were written kind of in this style that they

were turned into plays and films later one that's coming out kind of soon I

think yeah this month Emma right so Emma is a book that was

written by I believe Jane Austen you know back in the nineteenth century and

it's been turned into a film many many times but if you see that film one of

the things you're going to realize is that what's humorous about it isn't so

much that has all this physical comedy or it uses necessarily it does have some

interesting plot points but what's really funny about it is the way that

people use language in the film and their cleverness right so it's a very in

is it's a humor of the intellect that's used um

okay sorry someone has actually types in so I'm gonna go down we're gonna talk

about farce a little bit and then I'm gonna catch Diana who's just typed in

for double extra credit today yeah Diana so farce is kind of the opposite of

comedy of manners and here we have the textbook saying that farce is humor

based primarily in physical activity and visual effects relies less on higher

forms of language and wit uses violence rapid movement and accelerating pace and

these are all characteristics of farce and we also consider this low comedy

whereas comedy of manners and intellectual comedy is considered high

comedy oftentimes we call this low comedy and so farce is more about

physical humor uses slapstick right people slipping on bananas fart jokes

all those things happen in farcical things it's very very quickly paced in

some ways The Hangover fits into that that criteria right there is even a case

of mistaken identity actually in the hangover we're again something like the

film that's coming out emma is much more a comedy of manners it deals with the

intellect it might have some clever pop plot points but again there are these

intellectual points of cleverness that have us laughing at you know the way

people say things or funny little twists that happen rather than keep someone

falling on their face or a baby getting a door knocked into their face right

okay so Diana has a comment here says a question which is the most watch

today are popular tragedy or comedy or both um you know I don't have any

statistics on what I think is or just you know oh no I went away I hope you

can still hear my voice there we are I'm sorry about that guys

so I don't know exactly you know be interesting to look up you know our

comedies more more popular than tragedies my guess would be that people

tend to go to see things that are comedies and more like action films than

they do like dramas and that's just because people like to feel happier more

than they like to feel that I'm also not sure as to what is produced more in

terms of film and television but I think that each one has its own interesting

thing to give to us right comedy allows us to kind of see the world through this

comic lens and through lightness and to reframe things and to laugh at ourselves

whereas tragedy is asking us to kind of empathize and express art and try to

understand our humanity a little better through sort of dramatic events and

through oftentimes what are the struggles that we face as human beings

and how can we become better people once we've you know struggled through

those things so I think each one has its own benefits and its own things that it

teaches us and I'm not really sure the Diana that's a great question maybe I'll

look it up and we'll talk about it on here next time but you got you double

points of extra credit so good for you all right we've just got a tiny bit left

of class now in this last at 20 minutes of class we're going to take a quick

look at B for Vendetta so we're going to move on from tragedy and comedy and

we're going to look a little bit at this film so the film is a political thriller

by the makers of the matrix so will coughs Q brothers now the will coughs

kee sisters I believe but we're going to take a look a little bit we're gonna

just the head if we can the screenplay was by

at the time they identified as Andy and Larry will cough ski it was based on the

graphic novel by David Lloyd and written by Alan Moore it was directed by James

McTeague with Hugo Weaving as Vee and Natalie Portman and Steven Rios Stephen

Fry and John Hurt Hugo Weaving it lives excuse me one second is also in the

matrix he plays mr. Smith right so the guy who is ends up being Neos nemesis

he's also in the Lord of the Rings he plays the elder elf the father of the

one elf I can't remember what their names were

but anyways he's in both of those films he had a really good streak in the early

2000s where he was just in a ton of things so we're gonna just take a quick

look at a few clips from the film and as we're looking at these clips I really

want us to think about a couple things right we're learning about how we've

learned a lot about film today in the history of film we learned about tragedy

and comedy and what are some of the markers of that so as we're watching

this I'm not sure how many of you are familiar with this film but I want us to

ask ourselves some questions first of all is the tone of this film does it

strike us as being more tragic or dramatic in nature or does it strike us

as being more comedic and whichever one we think it is why why do we think it is

are we seeing that the laws of nature don't apply are we seen that this is

light and tone and not serious or we seen the opposite serious and tone high

stakes all of these things right second thing I'd like us to play pay attention

to the language of filmmaking how is the filmmaker choosing to tell this story

visually through the type of shots that he or she is using and the way that

they're compiling those shots or putting them together so that one moment flows

to the next moment one shot flows to the next shot to tell a continuous story so

let's try to pay attention to those things and let's see if we can identify

some of the shots that are being used in this opening sequence as well as whether

or not we feel this is a drama dramatic piece or a comic

piece we're gonna just look quickly at the opening here a V for Vendetta

great so I think one of the things that becomes incredibly apparent is just the

very serious tone of the film right from the very beginning right we get this

black screen was just Natalie Portman's voice V's voice over it she's quoting

the little nursery rhyme for that was created for Guy Fawkes and she explains

the story of Guy Fawkes while she's saying the story of Guy Fawkes we see on

the screen this flashback basically taking us back to the moment of Guy

Fawkes and showing us visually what he did while she sets up what's about to

happen because we're certainly not in you know the 17th century with Guy

Fawkes were way way way ahead into the into the future in a different time but

it sets up the corollary between those two things

so Guy Fawkes was a rebel who wanted to blow up the houses of parliament because

he felt that they were corrupt and not doing things for the people right he was

standing against this authoritarian government and he was going to destroy

it now he got caught he didn't get to blow up the houses of parliament and he

was charged with treason and he was hung and that's true that really happened

right in England so we get this you know this very kind of and we see a man hung

from the gallows and you saw all those people watching remember I was saying

earlier in the episode people used to go and watch people get executed quite

regularly not just hanging and get their heads chopped off right um so we see

this and it sets up a very very dark tone and when we see Guy Fawkes get hung

we see his wife that's who they pan to right they do this the pan to her and

you see her standing there and that was his wife and in the crowd and we see she

genuinely looks upset so we already note that this is not a comedy right

there's nothing light there's nothing funny this guy really died right he

doesn't get to walk away from the gun take the rope off and walk away from the

gallows at the end so we definitely set up a tone of seriousness

and the high-stakes life-or-death situations right and that's

foreshadowing for what's going to happen later she even says it that she's knows

now she understands that an idea