Silent Film Comedy and American Culture

Silent Film Comedy and American Culture

by Alan Bilton

Paperback(1st ed. 2013)

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This absorbing study of early 20th Century American Culture interprets the anarchic absurdity of slapstick movies as a form of collective anxiety dream, their fantastical images and illogical gags expressing the unconscious wishes and fears of the modern age, in a way that foreshadows the concerns of our own celebrity-obsessed consumer culture.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781349437474
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan UK
Publication date: 01/01/2013
Edition description: 1st ed. 2013
Pages: 244
Product dimensions: 5.51(w) x 8.50(h) x (d)

About the Author

Alan Bilton is Lecturer in English and American Studies at Swansea University, UK. He is author of An Introduction to Contemporary American Fiction (EUP, 2002), editor of America in the 1920s: Literacy Sources and Documents, Volume One: The Cultural Condition, Volume Two: Voices of Modernity and Volume Three: An Age of Performance (with Philip Melling, Helm Information, 2004), and he has published articles in international journals such as the European Journal of American Studies, The F. Scott Fitzgerald Review and The Journal of American Studies.

Table of Contents

1. An Introduction to Silent Film Comedy and American Culture: Clowns, Conformity, Consumerism 2. A Convention of Crazy Bugs: Mack Sennett and America's Immigrant Unconscious 3. Accelerated Bodies and Jumping jacks: Automata, Mannequins and Toys in the Films of Charlie Chaplin 4. Nobody Loves A Fat Man: Conspicuous Consumption and the Case of Fatty Arbuckle in 1920's America 5. Dizzy Doras and Big-Eyed Beauties: Mabel Normand and the Notion of the Female Clown in American Silent Film 6. Consumerism and its Discontents: Harold Lloyd and the Anxieties of Capitalism 7. Buster Keaton and the South: The First Things and the Last 8. Sleepwalkers on Parade: The Shell-Shocked Silence of Harry Langdon Coda

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