|Festival Theme - COMEDY|
Dinner for One is a relatively obscure short English film which is screened every Christmas in Germany. Show the film to an English audience and you are likely to illicit an occasional bemused smile, show it in Germany and they laugh out loud.
Humour is personal, regional, cultural. It’s based on education, intelligence and maturity. In short having it as one of this year’s festival themes is perhaps asking for trouble. However film comedy is the oldest of film genres springing as it does from the slapstick of the silent era. It is to humour that we often turn to smooth over our discord, cut through complexity and lighten the burdens of life’s routines. Humour is healthy. Time and again it is used as therapy and as an aid in teaching. Whether it’s the extreme body comedy of Chaplin’s The Circus or the satirical bleakness of Dr. Strangelove we love to laugh and cut through the seriousness of life. Humour can be very clever, it can be very surreal, it can be as light as a feather and as black as coal. Even when we crave truth and certainty its contradictions, paradoxes and ambiguities always seem to comfort us.
Watching Liz Taylor scream at her husband Richard Burton on her way to an Oscar in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? is a bleak experience but also a funny one. Viewing marital discord from a cinema seat raises an inner smile as we voyeuristically reflect on our own experiences. The neurotic commentaries in Woody Allen’s Broadway Danny Rose remind us not all is sanity and reason.
The French comedy Le Diner des Cons is a wonderful example of how comedy can be so cruel and the hilariously melodramatic Spinal Tap. All these films as well as the perennially successful Les Enfants du Paradis are at the Lighthouse this year.
|Last Updated on Thursday, 31 May 2012 10:39|