Jim Jarmusch

Comedy class

Comedy class

Recently I’ve had two students in for a weekly tutorial on film and comedy. We’ve been wrapping our heads around the mercurial question: Why is something funny on the screen? What makes it chug? What keeps me in my seat, and laughing? It’s been a pleasure to dissect a few films, and revisit three really good comedies in particular, funny for three really different reasons.

Learning, or not learning, from the road movie

Learning, or not learning, from the road movie

It’s summer … let’s road trip!

Wait – hold that thought – New York City has been non-stop rain this June, and most of us in the Big Apple don’t have cars anyway, so road-tripping is reserved for road movies.

I saw one last night, AWAY WE GO, more accurately a plane/train/road movie from Sam Mendes, that engages some classic tenants of the genre: protagonists searching for something (in this case, a new home town in which to raise a child), wide open American landscapes (Colorado and Arizona, in particular here), and, as expected, personal growth.

I started to wonder – do road movies always include such traditional character arcs? Do the drivers on the road in the road movie simply have to learn about themselves?