(Ch. 12) Response Post (due 11.21.16)

Due November 21, 2016 (before 11:59 pm) – Response Post:

imagesAfter checking out Chapter 12 “An Exploration of Comedy,” “Comedy & Cinema,” “Math & Mirth,” “Health & Humor” – and reading the info and watching the videos with Blind Film Critic Jay Forry answer the following questions:

  1. What do you find most fascinating about Jay Forry and/or his approach to reviewing films? Why?
  2. Select three elements from the readings about comedy/humor that you found interesting. Explain why they interested you.
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14 Comments Add yours

  1. jguberman242 says:

    1) What do you find most fascinating about Jay Forry and/or his approach to reviewing films? Why?

    First of all, I love Jay’s sense of humor. I really enjoy how he doesn’t let his disability stop him from success, especially in a field that typically isn’t geared towards the blind.
    It’s interesting how he can pinpoint the quality of a movie’s plot better than seeing people. He made a good point that “Avatar” doesn’t have the best plot, but everyone else was just so absorbed in the visuals that it almost didn’t matter. The same goes for the movie he mentioned loving the soundtrack of. Everyone focused on watching the actor in the ocean, and all of the action, but he focused on the realistic sounds of water and wind whipping through a boat’s sails. He evaluates the qualities that many people overlook.

    2)Select three elements from the readings about comedy/humor that you found interesting. Explain why they interested you.

    1. I find it interesting to think about how many types of comedy there are, and how they play into what a person does and does not find funny. I figured that people across cultures wouldn’t find the same things funny, and I have had personal experience with people next to me not finding the same things funny, but I never considered it was because the category of comedy.
    2. One point made in the section “Mirth=Math” that I found intriguing was the thought that humor is when our expectations are violated. I feel like this could potentially contribute to how some people find certain forms of humor funny, and others don’t. Perhaps it’s because we have different ways that we find it acceptable to violate our expectations. For example: in “Dumb and Dumber,” when Harry is trying to use the bathroom before his date, we have the expectation that he will do his business and be on his way. However, our expectations are violated when the toilet at his date’s house turns out to be clogged. Some people find that scene to be hilarious (myself included), but some find literal toilet humor to be off-limits. Some people are uncomfortable with jokes about bodily functions because those things are meant to be private, not portrayed on the big screen. Some people may not find it funny because they simply feel bad for the character. I think it’s interesting to look at the ways in which our expectations are violated and why it causes certain people to react in the ways they do.
    3. Lastly, I find it interesting how comedy originated as primarily slapstick humor. I wish I could see how effective comedy was during its early days, since not everybody today finds slapstick to be entertaining. Did a larger percent enjoy it back when it was the only comedy in movies?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. noeltmanning says:

      Thanks Jen – Especially for the reminder of “true potty humor.” 🙂

      Like

  2. kmanning2 says:

    1. What do you find most fascinating about Jay Forry and/or his approach to reviewing films? Why?
    First of all, I absolutely love Forry’s positive and light-hearted approach to his work, his disability, and life in general. He shows that even when life deals you with tough rough cards, it doesn’t mean that it’s over. Forry definitely exemplifies this. I also enjoyed reading about how he reviews films, as well as reading some of the reviews themselves. As I was reading, I sat and thought about what it would be like to watch a movie with my eyes closed. I think, as Forry mentions, I would notice the dialogue and music much more. This shows that movies are much more than just a visual form of entertainment.
    2. Select three elements from the readings about comedy/humor that you found interesting. Explain why they interested you.
    I thought it was neat to read about the health benefits of laughing. No wonder I laugh when I’m in pain! According to the reading, it can actually help to ease the pain.
    I also thought it was interesting to read about comedy not being as successful at the box office, especially because of its typical inability to reach different audiences. That surprised me a bit, because just a few years ago, the comedy Bridesmaids was actually a smash hit, earning over $288 million worldwide (boxofficemojo.com). Over $119 million came from foreign markets (boxofficemojo.com). I wonder what made this film different, in terms of cultural relevancy.
    I enjoyed learning the history of comedy. In my Technology in American Society class, we studied the history of movies, so I already knew about The Sneeze and the Lumiere Brothers. I think that it’s so cool that comedy and humor is such an early hallmark of movie production. It perfectly demonstrates the human spirit and our need for some laughter and humor in our lives, as well as exemplifies the medium of cinema as a means for entertainment.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. noeltmanning says:

      Kathryn – Watching movies with your eyes closed … I like that. Great point about Bridesmaids … something to investigate for sure. Thanks -NTMII

      Like

  3. alicebyrd20 says:

    What I enjoyed the most about watching Forry’s appearance on Jimmy Kimmel, as well as reading about his story, is that he takes his “disability” with such humor and stride. There are a lot of people in the world who allow their “disability” to keep them from living a full life, due to their perception of their limitations, but Jay absolutely does not. He understands the humor in being a “blind film critic” and uses that to his advantage; people are naturally interested in how that paradox can play out, and he is naturally serious about his film critiques. He made an excellent point in the first part of the interview – he said that while other people are watching beautiful women and 3D, special effects, he is listening to the dialogue, the sounds, the music, and paying attention to how the actual plot unfolds – rather than being entranced with visuals. I think that makes his film reviews unique (obviously), because how many critics judge a movie on the basis of what’s heard and not seen? Even in my own reviews, I tend to place a lot of emphasis on the “look” of the film. Whether that’s costuming, lighting, set design, overall cinematography, etc. that tends to take up a lot of my critique. While this is an important piece, that’s not all there is to the movie. Forry even acknowledged that he does research about the setting and time period beforehand, so he gets an idea of what to expect, but I think there is something pure about going into a movie and hearing it for what it really is – the screenplay.

    Three things that interested me in regards to the comedy readings: 1) Health and humor. Well, duh, laughter is good for you. Nobody has ever watched the Titanic and felt good afterwards. 2) Scientific and mathematical explanations for humor. I am not a science or math person in the slightest, so I think it’s funny that scientists in these two disciplines would even TRY to come up with a theorem, postulate, or formula to figure out what “humor” is. People absolutely function better when they’re happy, and humor has countless different functions. The German philosopher was right – “things are funny when they violate our pre-existing conditions.” 3) I enjoyed reading about the different breakdowns of the genres within comedy. The ones I enjoy the most tend to be satire, spoof/parody, and dark humor. I really appreciate when films make fun of the plot, the characters, and the stereotypes that itself represents. I tend to deal with things through humor, so “dark” comedy resonates well with me. I also have a really sarcastic sense of humor, so I enjoy that when it’s well done – gives me more material to add to my comedic wit!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. noeltmanning says:

      This made me laugh: “Nobody has ever watched the Titanic and felt good afterwards. ” You are no scientist of math major yet you know these things: “theorem, postulate, or formula”. 🙂

      Thanks Alice

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  4. Mallory Moore says:

    1. What do you find most fascinating about Jay Forry and/or his approach to reviewing films? Why?
    I found it most fascinating that before he lost his sight and became a film critic, Forry was a foreman for steel workers. It is such a huge jump to go from that kind of work to reviewing films. I think that it is important for current college students to look at the stories of successful adults like Forry who didn’t always live their lives according to a plan. Forry didn’t decide when he was 19 or 20 that he was going to be a blind film critic. But he took advantage of the opportunities given to him despite the obstacles, and how he’s doing something that he enjoys. Right now, I’d like to plan out my career and know exactly what I’m going to be doing when I’m in my 30s and 40s, and what obstacles life will throw at me so that I can prepare for them. But there’s just no way to plan that far ahead. I find it inspiring that Jay Forry was able to make such a huge career shift despite the challenges.
    2. Select three elements from the readings about comedy/humor that you found interesting. Explain why they interested you.
    1. I think it’s hilarious that one of the earliest forms of comedy on film was a shot of a guy sneezing. And I think if I saw something like that today, I’d still laugh, just because it’s so simple and unexpected. Did people who saw that actually think it was funny, too? What will people 100 years from now think about the greatest comedies of today? I’m interested to see how comedy in movies continues to evolve.
    2. The idea that researchers are trying to explain humor through math is just astounding to me. I was confused just by that short video clip, and he didn’t even go into complex detail! If I tried to explain humor to someone, I’d fall short. It’s so hard to put humor into words, since it is so different for each person. And the fact that scientists and researchers are able to pinpoint its causes and track patterns is really fascinating.
    3. I found it interesting that Aristotle called humans “the creature who laughs.” When I think of the things that separate humans form animals, I think of technology and inventions, written language, governments and civilizations, and things like that. I don’t think I’ve ever put laughter on that list. But now that I think about it, I’ve never seen a dog or cat laugh. Maybe monkeys, but that’s about it. Laughter seems like such a natural instinct for humans. Even babies will laugh uncontrollably at the right thing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. noeltmanning says:

      Understanding laughter and “why” things are funny is really what Aristotle was going after. Thanks Mallory

      Like

  5. thoyle1 says:

    1. What do you find most fascinating about Jay Forry and/or his approach to reviewing films?

    I was amazed to see how successful Jay has been as a film critic. I never would have thought a blind person could have such a great career in film as he does. When I think about it, one of the things that is most important to me in film is the score and effects. While visuals are important as well, they are nothing without the right audio to match them. I think it’s great that Jay has the opportunity to be able to show the world this and it really shows that anyone can make their voice heard. The most fascinating thing I found about his approach is how much work he puts into the movies, researching the setting, having a person there to tell him details and so on.

    2. Name three things that interested you from the readings.

    1) The first thing I was interested in was how comedy’s are the least successful film in international market. I had never thought about how other cultures may not understand our jokes and the things we find funny. I’m sure we are the same way in that a hit Chinese comedy probably wouldn’t do as well translated to English in America.
    2) Another thing I didn’t realize was how ,any sub-genres of Comedy there were. I understood that there was different toes of comedy, but I wasn’t aware there was such a broad spectrum of genres. I guess this is a good thing though so that more people can relate and have a desire to see comedies.
    3) Finally, I was also very interested in the article about laughter and health. I had heard before that laughter was good for you, but I didn’t think much of it. It makes sense that it would be stress relieving and a tension reducer, but I did not know it could ease pain and excersize lungs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. noeltmanning says:

      It really is fascinating when you get to explore all the subgenres

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  6. 1.What do you find most fascinating about Jay Forry and/or his approach to reviewing films? Why?
    I was quite interested to hear how Jay got into film in the first place. I thought it was very entertaining to hear how he saw films like the blockbuster Avatar. Those are the films that make me laugh because they have no real good story.

    2.Select three elements from the readings about comedy/humor that you found interesting. Explain why they interested you.
    The first thing that gave me pause was about the mathematical approach to comedy. I was interested to see just how calculated each gag in the movies is. I had no idea honestly.
    The second one was health and laughter. Laughing is one way that my family has always helped us get healthy. Also my family has relative fitness since young ages because of our senses of humor.
    I also thought it was cool to see just how much of a difference sound made to comedy. I personally think that slapstick and visual gags are the best but that changed a lot with voices. You then also have gags that have to do with the words that are said in a certain way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. noeltmanning says:

      Stay healthy Jamin’Ben … stay healthy 🙂 Keep laughing

      Like

  7. 1. What do you find most fascinating about Jay Forry and/or his approach to reviewing films? Why?
    I was interested to hear about how Forry has to research movies before he goes to see them so that he is familiar with what it is about and what to expect, since he may miss some of those elements otherwise. While many people may research a movie before watching simply to know if they would enjoy it, Forry has to “catch up” on some elements of the movie before even seeing it. Meanwhile, I thought it was cool to hear about how much Forry relies on the soundtrack of films to get a better experience. Sounds that he mentioned such as wind flapping in sails may seem only a minor aspect to many moviegoers, as they would be able to see effect on the screen. However, elements like that quite literally help set the scene for Forry.
    2. Select three elements from the readings about comedy/humor that you found interesting. Explain why they interested you.
    I found it interesting to think about how different kinds of comedies are written for different audiences. Though I had not thought of it this way before, it makes a lot of sense. I have seen advertisements for movies over the years that I did not think seemed funny, but then seemed to be popular. It probably had to do with the fact that the kind of stories and jokes being told in those particular movies were not concepts or experiences with which I was familiar. Tying into that concept, it is crazy to think about how filmmakers take international differences into consideration in terms of what cultures would be likely to find a joke or concept amusing. As someone that has watched primarily American films, it’s strange to think about how those particular ones, which would seem relatively normal to most people in the U.S., translate differently, even poorly, in other countries. It was also interesting to watch “The Sprinkler Sprinkled” and the compilation of Buster Keaton’s skits because they almost made me think of some of the plotlines of “Tom and Jerry.” It seems to me that all of these pieces use simple humor through light physical comedy that can be conveyed without dialogue or other sounds. Old movies were likely made in this way at least partially because recorded sound could not be added to film. I would be curious to see if “Tom and Jerry” and other similar cartoons were at all inspired by such older works.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. noeltmanning says:

      For Jay -If a film is about all the visual or it is some art film that relies to heavily of dissonance to drive the film-it would be a real challenge for him.

      Great thoughts about the “Tom and Jerry” phenomenon …that may make for an interesting research topic.

      Like

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