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THE FUNNY SIDE OF LIFE

USA, 1964 (MIFF 1964)

Director: Harry Kerwin

Among the screen comedians of the silent era three names are pre-eminent: Chaplin. Keaton and Lloyd. Each is remembered for a particular style, each tackles the classic comic situation (defined by Chaplin as the ridiculous and embarrassing encounter wiih adversity) in his own individual way. To Chaplin it is a challenge to be met with subtlety and a never-failing ingenuity; to Keaion, whose screen existence is a constant succes­sion of misadventures, it is something to be borne with dignity and an impassive face: but with Lloyd the encounter is always avoided at the last moment, or, unconscious of the fate supposedly awaiting him, he is protected from its assaults by his own confidence and irrepressible optimism. The pathos which is found in Keaton and Chaplin is replaced by a bouncy walk and general exuberance which convey a confidence in the principle that cheek and luck are all that is needed for success. His best films have an exhilarating impetus, and gag follows gag with a hummer-blow effect which is hard to resist. The character that Lloyd created has come to represent the determined optimism of a genera­tion of Americans.

As wiih his earlier World of Comedy, this film is a compilation of extracts from several of his silent films. It includes "Subway"\ "Boat Adventure", Taxi", "Girl In Tile Woods" and "New Car" sequences from various films: the "Wedding Guest" sequence from For Heaven's Sokes and. almost complete. The Freshman; the latter, made in 1925. suited Lloyd to perfection and was the first of a procession of college-football pictures.

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