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 Izzy's Black Hole 
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get out

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Thu Oct 10, 2013 12:36 am
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10 hours of sleep? Christ.


Thu Oct 10, 2013 12:36 am
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Beau wrote:
10 hours of sleep? Christ.


it's a whole process, but it can often be 12-14 if i don't force myself to wake up

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Thu Oct 10, 2013 12:37 am
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jeez. drink coffee

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Thu Oct 10, 2013 12:38 am
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I sleep 6 or 7 hours.


Thu Oct 10, 2013 12:39 am
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I average 7, but I'll get 8-9 when I want to sleep in.

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Thu Oct 10, 2013 12:40 am
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Izzy Black wrote:
I average 7, but I'll get 8-9 when I want to sleep in.

yeah this

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Thu Oct 10, 2013 12:45 am
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Izzy Black wrote:
I average 7, but I'll get 8-9 when I want to sleep in.


I only get to sleep in on Saturdays and Sundays. And sometimes, not even that. :(

I'll stop crying now.


Thu Oct 10, 2013 12:51 am
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Izzy Black wrote:
jeez. drink coffee


I take a strong preworkout supplement every day before I go to the gym and it does very little to stimulate energy. This isn't a fun response, but my depression really saps my energy stores. If I took enough of a stimulant to really give me a boost, it'd probably damage my heart. :P

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Thu Oct 10, 2013 12:57 am
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Heavy doses of caffeine are part of my essential daily routine

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Thu Oct 10, 2013 1:00 am
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10-12 hours of sleep would sap my energy stores. :P

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Thu Oct 10, 2013 1:02 am
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Beau wrote:

I only get to sleep in on Saturdays and Sundays. And sometimes, not even that. :(

I'll stop crying now.

:heart: your top 50

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Thu Oct 10, 2013 1:16 am
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Shieldmaiden wrote:
10-12 hours of sleep would sap my energy stores. :P


It can for me, too. It's hypersomnia, and it's basically as bad for energy as getting too little sleep. Like I said, though, the depression is a factor that makes these things hard to really nail down.

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Thu Oct 10, 2013 1:19 am
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Izzy Black wrote:
:heart: your top 50


W... which?

Last top fifty I wrote is ancient. That means a few years old, when you're in your 20s.


Thu Oct 10, 2013 1:38 am
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More like one year. :P

http://corrierino.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=1018039#p1018039

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Thu Oct 10, 2013 1:49 am
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ANCIENT.


Thu Oct 10, 2013 1:57 am
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anything more than 5 is overdoing it


Thu Oct 10, 2013 2:47 am
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Anything more than 5 what? Films to put in a "G.O.A.T" list? Years removed to call something "ancient?" Be specific with your passive-aggresiveness, rouj, please!


Thu Oct 10, 2013 2:56 am
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Years of age.

It's why LEAVES is perpetually 5 years old.


Thu Oct 10, 2013 2:57 am
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So every single Corn member is overdoing it (except LEAVES)?

Thanks for nothing, roujin, you poopy-head!


Thu Oct 10, 2013 3:00 am
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Izzy Black wrote:
I was actually worried you wouldn't like it so :up:

Aw, we don't know each other at all.


Thu Oct 10, 2013 3:53 am
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membs

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Sat Apr 05, 2014 1:20 pm
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black hole


Sat Apr 05, 2014 1:36 pm
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Epistemophobia wrote:
Aw, we don't know each other at all.


No I totally thought if anyone would like it you would! I'm just always self-conscious about my picks :oops:

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Mon Apr 07, 2014 3:19 am
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Trip wrote:
membs

wat

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Mon Apr 07, 2014 3:19 am
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just membs

so good

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Mon Apr 07, 2014 9:45 am
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what is that

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Mon Apr 07, 2014 10:58 am
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REMEMBER, jesus

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Mon Apr 07, 2014 11:00 am
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teach me internet

i'm updating this soon

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Mon Apr 07, 2014 12:20 pm
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Image

The Wolf of Wall Street and The New Cinema of Excess

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Wed Apr 09, 2014 10:01 am
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We are not worthy.

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Wed Apr 09, 2014 1:44 pm
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:oops:

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Wed Apr 09, 2014 3:08 pm
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too fucking long

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Wed Apr 09, 2014 3:48 pm
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I don't know that I get how you get to the point of "not an altogether admirable [project] to pursue" when you clearly acknowledge that satire and tragedy actually propagate of the actions they depict, which means that the value they confer is lost on those who need it. It's like developing a cure for Cat AIDS that only works on humans. To use a sports analogy (or, better, to use an analogy contrasting sporting activities and non-sporting activities), satire and tragedy are effectively turning the viewer into 'Monday Morning Quarterbacks' while black comedies are effectively making viewers face decisions while being tackled by large angry men. Your implicit support of these wayward, ineffectual modes of narrative as 'valuable' is absurd, and I hope that you find enlightenment before your intellectual economy collapses.

For serious, though, a guy who wrote a book on black comedy would say that a true black comedy would refuse to implicate the self and the audience, as you say Scorcese does (and of which Haneke clearly does), but would leave them fully and forcefully ambivalent. Black comedy exists for ambivalence, and ambivalence is something that is lived, not something that is learned. As to what Scorcese achieves... I personally had no emotional or intellectual reference to the character, and it just fanned the flames of my typical sense of hilarity and terror at laissez-faire capitalistic zealots. Which is to say, it triggered only my already existing recognition of absurdity, but to someone who still clung to a faith in laissez-faire capitalism it could surely have generated a hefty sense of ambivalence. Especially considering he made his first millions by performing a perfectly legal scam, for which there was clearly a 'demand', the only problem being that that the Spike-Jonze-esque suppliers were not up to the task. Where you say "by displaying a world where characters learn nothing, we learn something" I would say - "by displaying a world we support which rewards bastards, we tremble." Excerpt below:

In order to recreate the effects of ambivalent life, in order to make us more aware of our minds working through our feelings, the good modern dramatist will insist, by refreshingly questioning illusion and convention in the theater, that we remain aloof although implicated. There can be no comforting sense of ‘belonging to a side’ in the experience of his theatre. There can be no relaxation in a play that acquits us by laughter at one moment and then convicts us the next. To place us in this unhappy limbo, the playwright will be busy measuring, expanding and contracting that vital gap between the world of his actors and the world of his audience, between art and life. The characters stand there on the stage – how are we to regard them? As next of kin or as distant poor relations? What if we are unsure? That is the uncomfortable state of mind the writer of dark comedy aims to create. He must control our infinite little decisions of heart and head. We are ready poised to cast our vote, but repeatedly we hesitate. The detachment of comedy is not allowed us, or the sympathy of tragedy. All the instinctive psychology of the man of the theatre is needed to achieve this particular tension: he must mix sufficient reality to hold our belief, with sufficient unreality to have us accept the pain of others. At the point of balance, we are in pain ourselves, and the play is meaningful.

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Wed Apr 09, 2014 4:09 pm
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Trip wrote:
too fucking long

tldr

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Wed Apr 09, 2014 10:40 pm
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LEAVES wrote:
I don't know that I get how you get to the point of "not an altogether admirable [project] to pursue" when you clearly acknowledge that satire and tragedy actually propagate of the actions they depict, which means that the value they confer is lost on those who need it.


I don't think either approach is very admirable! That's the intractability of the problem. But make no mistake, I think this is wonderful cinema. Not all cinema is perfectly clean. How boring. I like it messy.

LEAVES wrote:
It's like developing a cure for Cat AIDS that only works on humans. To use a sports analogy (or, better, to use an analogy contrasting sporting activities and non-sporting activities), satire and tragedy are effectively turning the viewer into 'Monday Morning Quarterbacks' while black comedies are effectively making viewers face decisions while being tackled by large angry men. Your implicit support of these wayward, ineffectual modes of narrative as 'valuable' is absurd, and I hope that you find enlightenment before your intellectual economy collapses.


Haha.

LEAVES wrote:
For serious, though, a guy who wrote a book on black comedy would say that a true black comedy would refuse to implicate the self and the audience, as you say Scorcese does (and of which Haneke clearly does), but would leave them fully and forcefully ambivalent. Black comedy exists for ambivalence, and ambivalence is something that is lived, not something that is learned. As to what Scorcese achieves... I personally had no emotional or intellectual reference to the character, and it just fanned the flames of my typical sense of hilarity and terror at laissez-faire capitalistic zealots. Which is to say, it triggered only my already existing recognition of absurdity, but to someone who still clung to a faith in laissez-faire capitalism it could surely have generated a hefty sense of ambivalence.


Well I don't argue that it's a straightforward complicity. I think our complicity is presented at some level, much like the badness of Belfort, but it's also complicated by the fact that we're almost made victims at times. I don't think Scorsese is morally condemning this complicity. A film that merely features villains or bad people isn't obviously satire and may very well be black comedy. It's for this reason I think it black comedy and not satire.

LEAVES wrote:
Especially considering he made his first millions by performing a perfectly legal scam, for which there was clearly a 'demand', the only problem being that that the Spike-Jonze-esque suppliers were not up to the task. Where you say "by displaying a world where characters learn nothing, we learn something" I would say - "by displaying a world we support which rewards bastards, we tremble." Excerpt below:


I'm sympathetic to this. That's a nice quote and I don't think I'd take issue with much in it. I'm happy to say that what we learn (or at least one thing we learn), or what we are made aware of is our "minds working through our feelings," that we tremble in the face of the contradiction. I suppose I'd just add that I think this also leads to a proper recognition of the problem (than that afforded by previous styles). Thanks for the insights!

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Wed Apr 09, 2014 10:55 pm
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Izzy Black wrote:
I don't think either approach is very admirable! That's the intractability of the problem. But make no mistake, I think this is wonderful cinema. Not all cinema is perfectly clean. How boring. I like it messy.
Wonderful but not admirable because it's messy? Just doesn't seem to follow for me. I's confused.
Izzy Black wrote:
Well I don't argue that it's a straightforward complicity. I think our complicity is presented at some level, much like the badness of Belfort, but it's also complicated by the fact that we're almost made victims at times. I don't think Scorsese is morally condemning this complicity. A film that merely features villains or bad people isn't obviously satire and may very well be black comedy. It's for this reason I think it black comedy and not satire.
I think the films you're talking about aren't necessarily strictly or purely black comedies, so I run the risk of confusing the object with the subject here, but in re-reading your analysis I think there could be other ways of describing the black comedy in the films which would contradict, in subtle ways, what you wrote. Which, again, may be accurate to what you're trying to say. For instance, you contrast normative with descriptive, but perhaps the black comedy elements of these films are neither, as surely there are stylized elements in The Wolf of Wall Street which are meant to disguise accurate description for the purposes of antagonizing the viewer. Maybe it's not descriptive or normative but instead treacherous. After all, it's not supposed to be a clinical observation, it's supposed to be a troubling, living experience.

What I'm trying to say is - if you are in fact talking about black comedy, it's hard to talk about. But it's my favorite so Image.
Izzy Black wrote:
I'm sympathetic to this. That's a nice quote and I don't think I'd take issue with much in it. I'm happy to say that what we learn (or at least one thing we learn), or what we are made aware of is our "minds working through our feelings," that we tremble in the face of the contradiction. I suppose I'd just add that I think this also leads to a proper recognition of the problem (than that afforded by previous styles). Thanks for the insights!
This I agree with, but because it is 'worked through', not just observed. It is humanist not because it shows an issue, but because its existence is an issue for the viewer. It is the existentialist art form, surely, which is surely a humanism, surely. Shirley.

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Thu Apr 10, 2014 3:58 pm
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LEAVES wrote:
Wonderful but not admirable because it's messy? Just doesn't seem to follow for me. I's confused.


In my essay, I talk about how Scorsese is complicit in the process, how the filmmakers indulge in the greed and materialism in order to explore a certain kind of psychology. This is ultimately toward a nobler end, or, as I say, "The hope, then, perhaps, that indulging in the sin that we might better come to terms with the animal of capitalism and learn something of value from it." The idea here is that Scorsese acknowledges his embrace of Belfort's materialism and his exploits at some level, and also the kinds of effects these films can have in contributing to the process, but it's toward, hopefully, a greater cause, and is, in any case, more honest than the moralizing and lack of self-awareness we've seen in cinemas of excess in the past. To say that it's not "altogether admirable" is a kind of cheeky way of saying that sometimes you have to be "bad" to do good. Ultimately, of course, I appreciate this humanist narrative project, but it's one where you have to get your hands dirty to realize one's goals. Rather than presenting tidy moral conclusions to us, the text feeds off its neutrality and ambiguity, challenging the audience to engage the text and arrive at their own conclusions, in the hope that, we may better come to terms with our current social situation. My expression of "not altogether admirable," then, was just a way of acknowledging this unique brand of cinema and its many layers of complexity in how it has to take part in the greed and materialism in order for us to truly come to terms with it.

LEAVES wrote:
[I think the films you're talking about aren't necessarily strictly or purely black comedies, so I run the risk of confusing the object with the subject here, but in re-reading your analysis I think there could be other ways of describing the black comedy in the films which would contradict, in subtle ways, what you wrote. Which, again, may be accurate to what you're trying to say. For instance, you contrast normative with descriptive, but perhaps the black comedy elements of these films are neither, as surely there are stylized elements in The Wolf of Wall Street which are meant to disguise accurate description for the purposes of antagonizing the viewer. Maybe it's not descriptive or normative but instead treacherous. After all, it's not supposed to be a clinical observation, it's supposed to be a troubling, living experience.


It's ultimately a semantic question what we choose to call "black comedy." What's obviously more at stake for me is the different styles or trends between old cinemas of excess and the new, much less in what terms we want to use to pick out or describe these varying styles. In any case, I grant that I am working from a more inclusive sense of black comedy. There is not a consensus on what defines black humor. There is disagreement about whether it is a genre, mode, technique, or tone. But among many writers, some trends often discussed is it deals with irony, the absurd, lack of moral conclusions (ambivalence), and the cynical mockery of taboo subjects (incongruity), which is finding humor in those subjects assumed too serious for humor (see writings on the subject by Breton, Weber, O'Neil, and Schulz). Breton even talks about the mockery of victim's suffering, and that's precisely the instance of black comedy that I'm invoking in my essay when I write here (I also say Scorsese himself takes part in this mockery):

Quote:
Perhaps in the film’s darkest moment of irony, Jordan’s co-conspirators crowd around him and cheer him on as he callously mocks a client with sexual gyrations while he cons him out of his money under the pretense of sincerity.

It’s this gleeful indifference and mockery of the characters’ crimes and their victims that makes the comedy a black comedy. It is not, however, satire.


There's no clear agreement about the role satire plays in black comedy. Its status complicated by the ambivalence of the text set in relation to its ultimate normative function in society, but I hopefully avoid that discussion altogether by plainly acknowledging that the specific set of films I'm describing as black comedy are not satirical (which is to say nothing of whether black comedy can in fact be satirical or can otherwise coexist alongside it).

In any event, if you don't like my understanding of black comedy and my description of these films as such, well, OK, the term itself is not especially important to me. What I'm interested in are the shifts in styles and conventions as seen in previous cinemas of excess and new. I find my account of them as black comedies fairly innocuous as far as I can tell, and consistent with strands of historical theorizing about the subject, but what matters is that I lay out the distinctions between old cinemas and new, so hopefully (my largely non-existent) readers won't be too bothered or caught up in the terminology itself to see the merit of my arguments.

LEAVES wrote:
[This I agree with, but because it is 'worked through', not just observed. It is humanist not because it shows an issue, but because its existence is an issue for the viewer. It is the existentialist art form, surely, which is surely a humanism, surely. Shirley.


Cool.

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Fri Apr 11, 2014 2:35 am
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LEAVES wrote:
perhaps the black comedy elements of these films are neither, as surely there are stylized elements in The Wolf of Wall Street which are meant to disguise accurate description for the purposes of antagonizing the viewer. Maybe it's not descriptive or normative but instead treacherous. After all, it's not supposed to be a clinical observation, it's supposed to be a troubling, living experience.


I want to come back to this. I don't think these things need to be mutually exclusive items. For one, I don't describe the film as a "clinical observation" - this implies an objective distance. I describe it as a psychological observation. It's a subjective observation rooted firmly in the POV of human experience. It gives Nietzschean lie to the "view from nowhere." This is an act of description that is inherently subjective and stylized, the means of which is designed to draw us into the worldview and reality (which is actually a sense of hyperreality) of its protagonist (the film is, after all, based on a memoir). This psychological reality is fundamentally perplexing and troubling, our journey through it no doubt a kind of living experience.


LEAVES wrote:
This I agree with, but because it is 'worked through', not just observed. It is humanist not because it shows an issue, but because its existence is an issue for the viewer. It is the existentialist art form, surely, which is surely a humanism, surely. Shirley.


But again, this isn't inconsistent with what I've argued. I'm at great pains to acknowledge the subversive elements of the film in my essay:

Quote:
As I’ve argued, they are are designed to provoke, cause discomfort, and subvert conventions of tragic drama and cathartic resolution. To answer the question of whether this form of abrasive cinema is worth valuing, we need to tease out some plausible explanations for the purpose or function of this kind of cinema.


To say it's a descriptive project isn't also to deny that it's a subversive project designed to provoke. The story it presents is inherently subversive. As for to what extent this "descriptive" aspect is a function of black comedy, as I say above, I have less stake in that issue, but I don't find it so troubling to include myself. I think presenting a situation that is fundamentally absurd and complex might perhaps be darkly comic precisely in part because it is descriptively accurate or intellectually honest. I don't see an inconsistency or contradiction in styles, but to clarify, I also never said that the descriptive nature of this project satisfies either the necessary or sufficient conditions for making the film black comedy.

I want to say that I appreciate your comments here and I can better see where you are coming after mulling over your post, but I don't find that your objections challenge or undermine the claims I argue for in my essay.

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Fri Apr 11, 2014 3:23 am
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I liked that essay.


Fri Apr 11, 2014 11:01 am
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Izzy Black wrote:
I want to say that I appreciate your comments here and I can better see where you are coming after mulling over your post, but I don't find that your objections challenge or undermine the claims I argue for in my essay.
I don't know that they do, either, and I don't really think I was trying to do that, anyway. We don't have to fight, Izzy! I'm not interested in the merits of your arguments, I'm only interested in rambling and not at all concerned if I completely missed the point,

Somehow for me the structure of your essay seemed to imply that the dark comedy was to be the defining element of this wave of cinema of excess, when maybe it's just a common element. It doesn't help that I can't read. Which is to say, I'm probably mis-guidedly looking at things only through the perspective of the films-as-dark-comedy-as-tragicomedy, which is certainly not all of what the films are to their core. I mean, The Wolf of Wall Street is hilarious, so it's disqualified. Much could be said of Scorcese's ability to make a hilarious film about a character who is not a buffoon, although he has his moments, which flies in the face of just about every comedy made in the last... always? It's hard. But, again, rambling. Forgive me.

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Fri Apr 11, 2014 12:13 pm
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ledfloyd wrote:
I liked that essay.

thx!

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Fri Apr 11, 2014 12:29 pm
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Btw, I salute all the courageous few that actually made it to the end of that mammoth absurdity

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Fri Apr 11, 2014 12:29 pm
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LEAVES wrote:
I don't know that they do, either, and I don't really think I was trying to do that, anyway. We don't have to fight, Izzy! I'm not interested in the merits of your arguments, I'm only interested in rambling and not at all concerned if I completely missed the point,


Oh fair enough, of course, LEAVES. I think I was in a grumpy mood and was reading you a bit too antagonistically. Sorry about that. But I actually thought a lot about your post in my follow up while I was running errands. I really appreciate your insights, as usual. I want to be clear about that.

LEAVES wrote:
Somehow for me the structure of your essay seemed to imply that the dark comedy was to be the defining element of this wave of cinema of excess, when maybe it's just a common element. It doesn't help that I can't read.


It's tricky because I did mention it in the headings for two sections, but I mostly was just trying to make an observation of an element of style (among irony and montage in particular, and so on). Do I think they are, at their essential cores, black comedies? Perhaps, but more specifically, I think they're cinemas of excess (duh!)

LEAVES wrote:
Which is to say, I'm probably mis-guidedly looking at things only through the perspective of the films-as-dark-comedy-as-tragicomedy, which is certainly not all of what the films are to their core. I mean, The Wolf of Wall Street is hilarious, so it's disqualified. Much could be said of Scorcese's ability to make a hilarious film about a character who is not a buffoon, although he has his moments, which flies in the face of just about every comedy made in the last... always? It's hard. But, again, rambling. Forgive me.


No problem. I think Wolf is patently black comic, but hey, everyone is entitled to their own view.

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Fri Apr 11, 2014 12:37 pm
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Fassbinder would call Wolf a heart-warming affair!

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Fri Apr 11, 2014 12:40 pm
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Izzy Black wrote:
Btw, I salute all the courageous few that actually made it to the end of that mammoth absurdity


Well, I mean, in terms of academic essays, it's short and fairly easy to read. In terms of blog posts, maybe not. But at least there wasn't much plot synopsis.


Fri Apr 11, 2014 11:10 pm
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Nothing is too long for Beau. I'm but a flea in your breadth.

I'm half kidding, half serious, though, of course, assuming the typical lay forum reader isn't one to trudge the length of such a clunky anonymous blog post. It's quite easy for me to imagine someone with something much better to do with their time.

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Fri Apr 11, 2014 11:22 pm
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Izzy Black wrote:
Nothing is too long for Beau. I'm but a flea in your breadth.

I'm half kidding, half serious, though, of course, assuming the typical lay forum reader isn't one to trudge the length of such a clunky anonymous blog post. It's quite easy for me to imagine someone with something much better to do with their time.


It's long for the glare of the computer screen, I guess. I read it early in the morning, when my eyes weren't a wreck yet. Otherwise, there's always my e-reader, where I upload most long online stuff.


Fri Apr 11, 2014 11:35 pm
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Beau wrote:

It's long for the glare of the computer screen, I guess. I read it early in the morning, when my eyes weren't a wreck yet. Otherwise, there's always my e-reader, where I upload most long online stuff.

thx for reading :heart: :]

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Sat Apr 12, 2014 12:18 am
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Izzy Black wrote:
It's quite easy for me to imagine someone with something much better to do with their time.

Someone -- perhaps, though probably not typical lay forum readers. Well done.

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Sat Apr 12, 2014 8:03 am
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