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In Good Humour: The Calamatous Case of the Comedy Classics…

The wonderful lads over at Anomalous Materials are running a tournament over the summer to find the best comedy of all time. Think of it as a world cup, for film nerds. However, the competition – like our quad-annual footie fest – has had its share of upsets. Most notable in an early round where Galaxy Quest triumphed over Some Like it Hot or the trumping of Arsenic and Old Lace by A Fish Called Wanda another day (the same day The General went home empty handed, losing to Mrs. Doubtfire) or Bringing Up Baby getting trounced by Little Miss Sunshine. There are more borderline cases, with The Apartment beating The Circus or The Great Dictator losing to The Graduate. However, the only victory for a “classic” classic film I could find was that of City Lights over A Christmas Story. This sparked a bit of discussion between those taking part (which is, in fairness, the rather wonderful thing about events like this), but it got us wondering: Is comedy a fickle mistress? Has what the audience expected from a comedy changed dramatically with the times? Are what many consider to be “classics” of the genre subject to this winds of change and popular taste?

Modern Times are tough for Charlie...

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White and Wrong: Contrarian (Anti-Popularist) Film Critics

I was away in Florida when the whole Armond White thing broke last month. For those out of the loop, users of film review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes decided that they’d had enough of White’s contrary approach to film reviews after he ‘ruined’ the perfect Tomatometer for District 9 – and generated quite the reaction on the site. With District 9 being released in the UK and Ireland this week, it seems almost the perfect time to revisit the discussion, with the benefit of hindsight. Plus, film criticism is one of those topics that I take a great deal of recreational interest in.

Somehow I doubt we'll ever see eye-to-eye...

Somehow I doubt we'll ever see eye-to-eye...

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