>>I think comedy and suspense depend more on surprise, which won’t be there on repeated viewings.<<
I think you hit on it right there.
“I think once you get to the point where you know all of the jokes, they’re done being funny.”
“So, can there be such a thing as a timeless comedy? "
“I think comedy and suspense depend more on surprise”
What would be the mechanism here? I mean . . . if you know what’s going to happen, you know what’s going to happen. Right?
“Will no longer make you laugh” would probably have been a better phrase than “no longer funny”.
If the entire enjoyment is from laughing then yes, that makes the film less enjoyable (but not less good).
Even with the most serious of films I find it’s best to give some time between viewings. The difference there is that the best of them will improve for me with age. That’s a lot less likely for me with comedy or genre films.
I disagree that comedy is inherently only funny the first time. The most commercially successful comedy shows are the ones that repeat the same things over and over. There is usually a diminished effect the more times you hear the same joke, but comedy isn’t all about the writing, it’s about the performance. You will tire of the same jokes if you hear them over and over, but a talented comedy actor will continue to make you chuckle. I doubt I will ever get tired of the physical antics of Charlie Chaplin.
Matt said, What would be the mechanism here? I mean . . . if you know what’s going to happen, you know what’s going to happen. Right?
I’m not sure what you’re trying to say. I think the point is that dramas don’t seem to diminish even if one knows what’s going to happen. That’s not the case with comedies and horror/suspense films.
Michael F said, If the entire enjoyment is from laughing then yes, that makes the film less enjoyable (but not less good).
But it’s sort of strange saying a comedy is good, even if no longer makes you laugh, isn’t it? (Can a comedy be good if it’s not funny—and can something to be really funny without making you laugh? Something can be funny—in an amusing way—a way that elicits a smile, but not laughter—but then I would say the film isn’t very funny. I don’t know.
Dir. Terrence Malick
Liked it better the second time around—partly because my expectations were a bit lower and I knew what to expect. With Tree of Life still fresh in my mind, I can’t help but see a parallel between Holly’s “adventure” with Kit and young Jack going down the wrong path. Both contain the loss of innocence theme, heading down a dark path and both try to pull away/change directions.
I can rewatch Dangerfield or the Marx Brothers or Woody Allen and laugh each time. The laughs are actually better when you are waiting for them. A good thriller is still suspenseful no matter how many times you have seen it too.
“dramas don’t seem to diminish even if one knows what’s going to happen. That’s not the case with comedies and horror/suspense films.”
I think the half-life of a great comedy and a great drama, horror, sci-fi, etc. are all approximately the same. I was wondering if you had a sense of why you felt that comedy wasn’t repeatable the way drama was. Robert’s neuroscientist is correct, it’s not the same experience as watching a film for the first time, and I suspect Judd Apatow and Todd Philips may indeed to stand up to multiple viewing, but I don’t think repetition necessarily diminishes Chaplin and Keaton and Preston Strurges and Frank Tashlin and Tex Avery for me, or Twentieth Century, or The Awful Truth, or It Happened One Night, or The Philadelphia Story, or Ball of Fire, or Bringing Up Baby, or Dr. Strangelove, or Monkey Business, or Lord Love a Duck, or After Hours . . .
What I am saying is that if the reason I’m not laughing is because I heard the joke before, that doesn’t mean the joke isn’t funny, only that it no longer has an effect on me.
Perhaps Woody is a bad example because most his comedies have more than jokes to them, but I will laugh less in a re-watching. Still, I think that first reaction is what the humor should be judged on.
I certainly didn’t mean to say that all comedy is only funny the first time, but I do think if you become overly familiar with a comedy, the level of laughter will, more times than not anyway, diminish.
The Myth of the American Sleepover (Director: David Robert Mitchell)
the first non-Malick masterpiece of 2011, this is my favorite movie of the year so far. Filled with great performances and a killer soundtrack, this film is to today’s generation what “Remember the Daze” was to kids from the late 90s and also what “American Grafitti” was to people from the era that film took place in. Mitchell’s film is simple and while very similar to “American Grafitti” and “Remember the Daze”, it is also very different from those films. It’s a beautiful, heartfelt ode to the nostalgia of now and it’s a great movie.
Lantana (2001) 7/10
Well made movie, though I fail to see why it won so many awards down under.
Geoffrey Rush is always great to watch and though he’s underused in this movie, he at least leaves an impression. Bit difficult was that the movie’s main protagonist, with the rather odd name “Leon Zat”, is just a very annoying thugish asshole, stupid as a doorknob, which left me wondering whether this was intentional or a realistic portrayal of the average Australian male or rather a caricature of it?
Don’t know, like I said, never been there.
The mystery element of the movie felt forced and redundant, time better used to more explore the personal dramas of the characters, especially the relationship between Rush’s character and his wife.
All in all though the movie kept me interested right until the end, which is something of an achievement these days.
sorry double posting, a delete option perhaps?
Hannah and Her Sisters (1985)
Dir. Woody Allen
I’ve seen this several times, but I still enjoyed seeing this. I think the acting is solid and enjoyable to watch.
The Makioka Sisters 1983
DIR Kon Ichikawa
SCR Junichirô Tanizaki, Kon Ichikawa, Shinya Hidaka
DP Kiyoshi Hasegawa
CAST Keiko Kishi, Yoshiko Sakuma, Sayuri Yoshinaga, Yûko Kotegawa, Jûzô Itami, Koji Ishizaka, Toshiyuki Hosokawa, Ittoku Kishibe
MUSIC Shinnosuke Okawa, Toshiyuki Watanabe
Music gave it a TV soap-opera production feel and there was a lack of nuanced details.
For example: when Taeko Makioka reaches into her purse, she immediately pulls out the pack of cigarettes. That has never happened in the history of women with purses.
Without attention to detail, what does this film bring to the family-saga genre? All the seasons in a single film?
““dramas don’t seem to diminish even if one knows what’s going to happen. That’s not the case with comedies and horror/suspense films.”
Keep Walking 9/10
I’m not quite sure what I like so much about this film. It’s sort of a realist take on the journey to witness the birth of Christ, and it has subtle ways to discuss the idea of acting directly on faith over reason.
Captain America — I gave it a 4 out of 5. Then started a discussion thread about it here on Mubi.
Private Confessions (Liv Ullmann; screenplay by Ingmar Bergman) 4.5/5
Ullmann ends the trilogy, and like Bille August and Daniel Bergman before her, her job is to make a Bergman film, and she does so quite well (having Sven Nykvist and Max von Sydow around, again, has to help).
This film is simpler than the first two, but moving nonetheless. The ending in particular is haunting me.
I am curious as to why Daniel Bergman didn’t use Pernilla August and Samuel Froler for the parents. Nothing against the fine actors he used, but it does break up things a bit.
Then again, this is really more of a followup to Best Intentions than it is to Sunday’s Children, so it doesn’t matter that much.
femme fatale (2002)
d. brian de palma
a triumph of style over substance, a very clever movie about movies, the film is almost a visual orgasm and, ludicrous plot aside, right up there with de palma’s best work. only cinema can do this. 7.5/10
The Cherry Orchard 1999
DIR Mihalis Kakogiannis
SCR Anton Chekhov, Mihalis Kakogiannis
DP Aris Stavrou
CAST Charlotte Rampling, Dimitris Psahos, Alan Bates, Katrin Cartlidge, Owen Teale, Tushka Bergen, Xander Berkeley, Gerard Butler, Andrew Howard, Melanie Lynskey, Ian McNeice, Frances de la Tour, Michael Gough, Simeon Victorov, Itzhak Finzi, Ivan Pangelov
Bad – give is 5 because it’s Chekhov.
just watched some keaton shorts. good fun!
the play house (1921) — 2.5/4
cops (1922) — 3.5/4
daydreams (1921) — 2.5/4
DIR Kakogiannis Mihalis
PROD Mihalis Kakogiannis
SCR Euripides, Mihalis Kakogiannis
CAST Irene Papas, Kostas Kazakos, Kostas Karras, Tatiana Papamoschou, Christos Tsagas, Panos Mihalopoulos, Angelos Yannoulis, Dimitri Aronis, Georges Vourvahakis, Eirini Koumarianou, Giorgos Oikonomou, Dimitris Kondogiannis
Shoot! I blind-bought that version of the Cherry Orchard. (I really like Chekhov and Rampling.) I hope you’re wrong about it, Robert. :)
Iphigenia is streaming on netflix, so I might check that out. (You gave it 10/10, so it has to be more than just “good,” right?)
I personally really like the Rambling version of The Cherry Orchard, although more for the feel and mood than anything else. The merchant and Petya were quite good, I thought.
Still, not the best place to see a real Chekhov version. Both BBC versions (with Judy Dench as the daughter in the first and the mother in the second) are more true to the play.
Iphigenia is more like 8/10 but it’s pretty darn good in terms of adapting theatrical plays on screen and especially when you have one of the best Irene Papas performances there.
Cherry Orchard is sorry to disappoint you Jazz….underwhelming…at least that’s what I got when I saw it some years ago and it won’t really change my mind even if I do see it again, it’s probably the worst of the many Kakogiannis I’ve watched and it’s a pity because it was his swan song.
So Peabody, you decided to skip your awards “contempt” or are you giving great Greek cinema another chance????
Thanks for the feedback, guys. Here’s hoping Michael is right about The Cherry Orchard! :)
I saw Tales from the Crypt: Bordello of Blood on tv. I’d probably rate it 2.5/5
it was probably ripped to shreds by film critics the year it came out but nevertheless it was enjoyable for what it was.
“I personally really like the Rambling version of The Cherry Orchard”
It’s not the “Rambling” version, it’s the Kakogiannis version, she didn’t direct anything…
Come to think of it Jazz, Trojan Women is more of a 8/10, Iphigenia is close to a 9 because it provides that ancient tragedy space Euripides would have loved seeing since Iphigenia in Aulis is one of his best plays.