Following the Education Programme’s first Focus on Film comedy in April, with Nick Smedley’s terrific three sessions on America director/screenwriter Preston Sturges, our next offering in this comedy programme is three sessions appraising the contributions of three more giants of film comedy – Buster Keaton, the Marx Bros and Jacques Tati.
Buster Keaton, with his masterpiece ‘The General’ (1926) as well as many other fascinating films in the 1920s, is one of the greatest writer/director/performers of the Silent Cinema, and some feel the best of them all, Chaplin and Lloyd included.
In the 1930s and 40s, The Marx Bros produced a string of wonderful films, full of verbal dynamics and gags, including ‘A Night at the Opera’, ‘Horse Feathers’ and ‘Duck Soup’.
And then, in the period from the late 40s to the late 70s, the Frenchman Jacques Tati continued this wonderful comedic tradition with ‘Jour de Fete’,’Monsieur Hulot’ s Holiday’, ‘Mon Oncle’, Playtime’ and others.
The sessions, devised and led by Mike Jennings, Lead Trustee for Education, will run on Friday afternoons from 13:30 – 15:30 in the Studio in this Winter Season.
Buster Keaton (Fri Nov 23rd)
The Marx Bros (Fri Dec 7th)
Jacques Tati (Fri Jan 11th)
Coincidentally, in a wonderful example of synchronicity, the British Film Institute’s Independent Film Office is touring a nationwide programme of films called ‘Comedy Genius’ between October and January, and New Park is showing a number of these classic comedies in their entirety in the Auditorium, including films by the three sets of comedians featured in our course. These are ‘The General’ (Nov 25 and 26), ‘Duck Soup’ (Dec 8 and 10) and ‘Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday’ (Jan 12 and 17).
In this dark political period the world is going through at the moment, this is a wonderful opportunity to see comedy genius at work, and share some laughter rather than despair! All very welcome.
Tickets £6 per Session (£15 for all 3)
This season is part of 'Comedy Genius', a nationwide celebration of comedy on screen led by BFI, the Independent Cinema Office and BFI Film Audience network, supported by funds from the National Lottery. For more screenings go to bficomedy.co.uk. #bficomedy