Defining Screwball Comedy
DigBoston film critic Jake Mulligan leads a Coolidge Education course on "screwball comedy", a phrase which, much like "noir," is oft-used to describe films but all too rarely actually defined.
Following a brief look at predecessors from the stage, page, and screen, attendees will look at the lineage of the "screwball" subgenre in film from its generally accepted starting point in the mid-1930s through to its decline about ten years later, with some time saved at the end for a look at how its influence has been reflected in other comedy films ranging from the 50s to the present day.
In parsing through all this history, attendees and instructor alike will look for and take note of the shared tendencies, consistent aesthetic qualities, comparable social contexts, and various other elements which separate the "screwball" from the merely comedic—a distinction which becomes mighty clear when looking at the films which seem to qualify, a compressed run of masterpieces which left a mark on the American cinema still visible to this very day.
DigBoston film critic Jake Mulligan leads a course on "screwball comedy", a phrase which, much like "noir," is oft-used to describe films but all too rarely actually defined.