ENGL 2000: Texts and Contexts: Modernism and Cinema Essay

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5-7 pages (double-spaced, 12-point font, 1-inch margins)

 

1.       Legacies of Chaplin’s Comedy: Choose a scene or scenes from Charlie Chaplin’s The Gold Rush (1925). For the sake of convenience, give the scene a name (ie. “The Dance with Georgia and the Dog Scene,” “The Teetering House Scene”). Now choose a scene or scenes from a more recent comedy on film or TV that you think is complementary to Chaplin’s (ie. you think it would make for an interesting comparison). Give these scenes names too. Now, make a close study of Chaplin’s scenes in relation to the modern ones, and develop a thesis about how Chaplin’s influence may be present in the modern scenes, and also the ways in which the modern scenes innovate on or transform Chaplin’s legacy. There are a lot of directions you could go with this—for instance, comparing The Little Tramp to a modern comic character, or looking at physical gags, or studying the relationship between characters in comedy duos (The Lone Prospector/Big Jim MacKay) or looking at the role of romance plots or sad scenes in comedy.

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