Visual gags in comedies: US vs UK



That´s why I absolutely love Edgar Wright’s movies.


This isn’t really US versus UK, so much as Edgar Wright (and one Monty Python clip) versus everyone else. Which is fine, but let’s be honest about it. I’m not sure I accept the video’s thesis, that all mainstream comedies are totally failing at visual gags, but it’s a good video.

The video puts forth that Wright’s style is the best way to do some of the visual jokes…and while I am a HUGE fan of Edgar Wright, I think he’s far from the only interesting approach to use. His limited sample size of films (mostly mainstream talkers from 2013 that WERE the results of improv, primarily from the greater ‘Apatow’ stable) weakens his argument. Films like Nebraska, Pitch Perfect, Silver Linings Playbook, Dark Shadows, Bridesmaids and Moonrise Kingdom all feature interesting visual storytelling and sight gags in the vein of what he’s describing (or their own inventive styles). If overused, a lot of Edgar Wright’s visual stylings would go from interesting to gimmickry, which would defeat the purpose, IMHO.


I’m less interested in the veracity of the thesis than the fact there’s a movie by Edgar Wright et al I haven’t seen.

Dunno how I missed that.

Which one? Just curious.

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No it’s more of a Comedy directors using all their skills as a director to emphasis and create comedy vs stationary camera waiting for comedy to happen.

The sheer lack of notable comedy directors is quite telling in this. Who the hell remembers who directed Anchor Man? Everyone knows the actors but there’s no actual director style to it. It’s just a guy who shot 12 hours worth of improv and edited together a movie out of it, and as shown there was enough crap on the editing room floor to make two movies out of.

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I get what the video is trying to present, but at the same time I feel like a director’s style is just as much of a curse as it is a blessing. Take Darren Aronofsky for example. All the movies he has directed have a certain style about them, and if he directs a movie you are likely to have an idea how it’s going to feel when it’s done. But I wouldn’t say that’s exactly a good thing, personally I love his work, but at the same time I can easily see how a lot of people wouldn’t. I can also see how a lot of producers and writers wouldn’t necessarily want their work skewed by his style (or vice versa and they want him to direct their work).

Or take it to the extreme with a movie like Crank/Crank 2. That movies isn’t anything but style, and while it works exceedingly well for that movie it wouldn’t work well at all for a slow drama.

A lot of Edgar Wright’s movies are also comedy versions of other movie genres. Hot Fuzz is a comedic cop movie and he uses shots that would be used in a cop movie. Shaun of the Dead is a comedic zombie movie so he uses shots that would work in a zombie movie. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is based on a graphic novel so he uses shots based on that.

The answer is Will Ferrell. Will Ferrell remembers him, and keeps working with the man. I’m sure you’re a better judge of the profession than Will Ferrell though!

actually he just does movies with who ever comes along, It’s just that one director did the only two movies that any one will ever remember Will Ferrell was in.

He just does everything in hopes that one or two of his movies will make a reasonable profit. Broken-clock and all that.

What? Who is a broken clock?

If you haven’t seen the films of Jacques Tati, you should. Dialog is completely irrelevant in Mr. Hulot’s Holiday, etc.


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