Farce

Culture Warrior

Will Ferrell is a funny man. This seems to be a fact undeniable even to those who don’t otherwise care for his brand of comedy. Even though his schtick has become reliably familiar – he often plays variations of an over-privileged adult child who is hopelessly naïve in certain categories of social life and prone to random bursts of livid anger – its regularity has yet to prevent Ferrell’s comic talents from growing stale. There seems to also be some indescribable aura at the core of Ferrell’s comic talent, something about his appearance and demeanor that can’t be explained through analyses of timing and punchline, as evidenced by his strange appearance on Jimmy Fallon last May. For many, Ferrell’s comic appeal has been this essential, indescribably funny core since his SNL days. Ferrell is funny not exclusively because of his physical comedy or imitable characters; he, as a force of nature, is pure farce (a farce of nature?). But as his film career continues to accumulate titles and as his unique comic sensibilities become better-known with his roles as producer and writer, it’s clear that, beneath his farce, Ferrell has a confrontational political and satirical streak underlying much of his work, which has naturally led to him portraying a politician in Jay Roach’s The Campaign. Ferrell’s roles, however, often exercise a fascinating and occasionally self-defeating tension between satire and farce, with one element substituting, rather than laying the groundwork for, the other. Here’s an overview of the politics of Will […]

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Farce is not easy to do, which is why it’s a good thing that Roman Polanski got four formidable actors to take on the challenge of Carnage. Based on the play “God of Carnage” from Yasmina Reza, the film version features Jodie Foster, John C. Reilly, Kate Winslet and Christoph Waltz as two couples (respectively) whose children have been in a schoolyard scrape. They meet for a conversation and all end up losing their minds over the situation. The wine probably helps, but watching everyone succumb to the outrage is hysterical – especially Reilly who pulls off layered, impotent rage like no man on this planet. What’s so great about this first look is that it isn’t funny in the way that, say, The Office is. There’s no passive aggressive awkwardness fueling the cringing feeling for the audience; the comedy comes straight from the breakdown. Bask in the glory of this fantastic trailer for yourself:

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Every Sunday, Film School Rejects presents a movie that was made before you were born and tells you why you should like it. This week, Old Ass Movies presents the story of two women who kill old men for charity, their nephew who wants to get married without being sent to prison, his brother who thinks he’s Teddy Roosevelt and his other brother who looks like Boris Karloff and has killed plenty of people himself. Insanity might run in the family, but it’s also the story of the bodies buried in the basement and the one still hanging around the living room. Yes. It’s a comedy.

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