From Plato onward

From Plato onward, many of the world’s greatest thinkers have attempted to tell the meaning of laughter. It is not surprising that the thing has proved alluring, for whereas a true theory of laughter might add little to our enjoyment of the comic; it would, nevertheless, help Us to understand the nature of life and mind. But although laughter is perhaps the lightest of human possessions, it is the most difficult to capture for examination. Neither philosopher nor literary critic has given us a wholly satisfactory account of the comic. One difficulty is that so many things are true of comedy; it is hardly less confusing than life itself.
Nevertheless, from time to time, attempts have been made to explain the baffling problem of the comic. The latest and perhaps the most ingenious work upon the subject of the ludicrous is Bergson’s volume upon Laughter, An Essay on the Meaning of the Comic. Bergson’s main thesis is that the laughable is “something mechanical encrusted on the living.” This explanation is suggested by his general philosophy. Life, according to Bergson, is a continual change of aspect; and the comic begins where the spirit no longer enlivens matter. All forms of the ludicrous are due to the substitution of the rigidity and monotony of a machine for the pliancy and variability of an organism. Bergson traces every variety of laughter to the detection of rigidity in life’s flux. A grimace is funny because it suggests the rigidity of matter beneath the skin.
Bergson calls attention to the comic in character, the essence of which is a lack of harmony with social environment. Society demands that we be alert to our immediate surroundings. In short, we laugh at any inelasticity of mind and character as well as of body. For example, the individual who exhibits persistent vanity, is comic, because life demands the cautiousness of modesty. Bergson lays down three principles which he regards as fundamental. In the first place, he states that “the comic does not exist outside of the pale of what is strictly human. A landscape may be beautiful, charming and sublime, or insignificant and ugly; it will never be laughable.” Bergson is surprised that this important fact has not received greater attention from philosophers; however, it seems doubtful whether the observation deserves the emphasis he gives it. It is true, of course, that we must express a thing in terms that we know. Bergson tells us that we laugh at an animal only after we detect in it some human expression or attitude. Clearly the monkey amuses us because we see in it a caricature of humanity. Likewise, the frog has been found ridiculous because it suggests human characteristics.
The second principle that Bergson lays down, is that laughter is incompatible with emotion or with sympathy with its object. “Depict some fault,” writes Bergson, “however trifling, in such a way as to arouse sympathy, fear, or pity; the mischief is done, it is impossible to laugh. The comic will come into being whenever a group of men concentrate their attention on one of their number, imposing silence on their emotions and calling into play nothing but their intelligence.
According to Bergson, comedy occupies a middle ground between art and life. The object of true art is to give individual pictures of life; whereas comedy is concerned with types and depicts characters we have seen before and shall recognize again. “What the artist fixes on his canvas is something he has seen at a certain spot and on a certain day at a certain hour, with a coloring that will never be seen again.” Comedy is also excluded from art because it seeks social improvement; whereas genuine art is disinterested. Art seeks “to brush aside utilitarian symbols, the conventional and socially accepted generalities, in short, everything that veils reality from us, in order to bring us face to face with reality itself.” However, comedy does not come into existence until men are freed from anxiety of self-preservation and regard themselves as works of art. Bergson has shown us that the detection of rigidity is a cause of laughter. However, it is difficult to see that he has accounted for the vast field of the comic. He has not told us why we laugh at the artless blunders of children; nor has he explained the laugh of victory or of pure joy. It is true that we laugh at rigidity in the midst of life’s flux; but we also laugh at spontaneous actions when a certain restraint is expected. The first laugh gives us social service and the second relaxation.
At the close of his essay Bergson finds a small place for sympathetic laughter. Like a dream, laughter brings relaxation and relieves us from the strain of living. Bergson, however, reminds us that this view of laughter is a very fleeting one; we must return to the actual world in order that we may correct its follies. But Bergson gives insufficient weight to laughter as a liberation from the hard facts of life.
Jokes and Their Relation to the Unconscious is a book on the therapy of comedy and jokes by Sigmund Freud. In this work, Freud depicted the mental procedures and methods of jokes, which he compared as like the procedures and systems of dreamwork and the Unconscious.
In Jokes and their Relation to the Unconscious (1905) Freud starts by storing up the broadest accumulation of jokes that he can, with a specific end goal to decide what number of various sorts of joke there are, their qualities, and what precisely it is that makes them pleasurable. He finds different verbal and theoretical strategies. He at that point recognizes and explores jokes with reason in antagonistic vibe or indecency and those without (‘pure jokes’). In taking a gander at the instruments behind jokes Freud infers that the delight emerges from an economy in psychical consumption, in all cases. Freud additionally takes note of the similitudes of the joke-work with the fantasy work and their relations with the oblivious – to be specific buildup, foolish portrayals and so forth., yet includes that there are likewise huge contrasts. Freud closes by contrasting jokes and the comic and amusingness. He characterizes and looks at the nature and attributes in the comic and diversion. He reasons that while each of the three can be identified with an economy in psychical use, they are recognizable concerning the expectations behind them, psychical areas and deciding conditions.
Jokes and Their Relation to the Unconscious is isolated into three segments: analytic, synthetic, and theoretical. The initial segment (analytic) is basically engaging. The instruments of jokes make utilization of the important components of dream work, which Freud abridges, giving a review of the systems utilized as a part of telling jokes. Likewise, with dreams, these components are oblivious and must be resolved sometime later. The second part (synthetic) examines the delight of jokes and its components and psychogenesis. The third part (theoretical) comes back to the correlation amongst dreams and jokes, yet from the perspective of the oblivious.
Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb film was originally intended to be a very serious war drama, but as the production progress, the cast and crew found the piece so funny, Kubrick decided to reorient his approach to the film and make it a comedy. He did not intend for the film to be silly or fantastic; on the contrary, all of the situations in the film are gravely important.
Dr. Strangelove is part of the vast collection of Stanley Kubrick’s greatest films, and goes down, as the greatest film about the cold war and nuclear scare, which the world has ever seen, combining comedy and a real fright perfectly. Strangelove, or, “How I learned to stop worrying and love the bomb”, tells the story of what could happen if the US nuclear programmer went wrong. Based around the fears of many Americans, and much of the Western World, at the height of the cold war, a US air force general, who is the only one who has the codes to launch and bring back a fleet of planes carrying nuclear weapons, goes mad, and orders his entire fleet to attack the Soviet Union. As the story unfolds we see the pure exceptional talents of Sellers in three characters, the bumbling British RAF pilot, Lionel Mandrake, the worried and hysterical US President, and the former, (perhaps still), Nazi weapon specialist, Dr. Strangelove.
In Bergson’s view Comedy is a social gesture designed to promote organic health in the social body. Laughter, by ridiculing social outsiders, effects in those laughed at a desire to purge themselves of unsocial traits. Comedy attempts to return to life those half-alive people on society’s fringes whose “failure” to adapt themselves impairs social well-being.
Dr. Strangelove is part of the vast collection of Stanley Kubrick’s greatest films about the cold war and nuclear scare, which the world has ever seen, combining comedy and a real fright perfectly so Bergson’s theory can de directly applied to the film Strangelove, or, “How I learned to stop worrying and love the bomb”, which tells the story of what could happen if the US nuclear programmer went wrong. Although the script, based on a serious novel called Red Alert, was adapted perfectly for the funny and sharp style Kubrick was aiming for, balancing moments of serious action and tension, with the laugh out loud moments following straight after. It is hard not to laugh at the fantastic film which Kubrick has produced. Whilst it may be more than 50 years old, and the cold war has come to an end many years ago, Dr. Strangelove still impacts on audiences today, in the same way it did in 1964. A fantastically funny, brilliantly acted, and exceptionally directed story, which only the master team of Sellers, Scott and Kubrick could achieve. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, more commonly known as Dr. Strangelove, is a 1964 political satire black comedy film that satirizes the Cold War fears of a nuclear conflict between the Soviet Union and the United States. The telephone conversation in which a military member talked to Dimitri and told him about hydrogen bomb was full of fun and comedy. Therefore, this movie is considered comic or as a comedy movie according to Bergson.

According to Freud, understanding of joke technique is essential for understanding jokes and their relation to the unconscious, however, these techniques are what make a joke. Freud’s theory can apply to the movie Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. Although its tone is puzzling, unsettling: a surreal comedy of errors played out with a deadly straight face for much of the duration. Famously attentive to detail, Stanley Kubrick studs the screen with such tiny jokes; slow-burning time bombs that explode only on repeated viewings.
Everyone is drunk on testosterone (there’s only one woman, a Playboy model-turned-“secretary”): the nutso officer who orders the attack, with his fixation on “precious bodily fluids”; the Soviet Premier, partying in a Moscow brothel as the world faces extinction; George C Scott’s Pentagon General, creaming himself at the thought that, in the post-Doomsday bunker, there will be 10 nubile females for every man. The dim-witted, Texan-accented cowboy, who captains what he calls the “nuclear” charge, is a strangely familiar figure.
In the throes of a traumatic divorce, Peter Sellers is extraordinary, in a triple-threat performance, as the bald, ineffectual American president, the mad scientist with an uncontrollable bionic hand, and the clipped RAF officer who tries to save the day, but hasn’t got the right change for the phone and finds that the White House won’t reverse the charges.
The amazing War Room set, with its huge circular conference table intended to suggest a poker game, comes courtesy of the great production designer Ken Adam, who squeezed the assignment in between Dr. and Goldfinger.
Bergson’s laughter theory as well as Freud theory (Jokes and Their Relation to the Unconscious) can applied to the movie Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. Kubrick’s most perfectly realized film, simply because his cynical vision of the progress of technology and human stupidity is wedded with comedy, carried numerous similarities as well as contrast with movie A Chinese Odyssey (1995).
A Chinese Odyssey is a two-part 1995 Hong Kong fantasy-comedy film directed by Jeffrey Lau and starring Stephen Chow.The first part is titled A Chinese Odyssey Part One: Pandora’s Box while the second one is called A Chinese Odyssey Part Two: Cinderella. The film is very loosely based on the Wu Cheng’en novel Journey to the West. Both parts of this movie are full of comedy, fun and humor just like that of movie Dr. Strangelove.
The first part of “A Chinese Odyssey,” titled “Pandora’s Box” is very loosely based on the Chinese classical novel Journey to the West. It also incorporates elements of slapstick comedy and wuxia revolving around the central theme of a love story.
Jeffrey Lau directed this lavish send-up of the classic novel Journey to the West, which recounts the introduction of Buddhism into China. In part one, the Monkey King (the hilarious Stephen Chow), who was banished from heaven for trying to eat his master, the Longevity Monk, finds himself reincarnated five hundred years later as a clumsy bandit named Joker. Chow’s blend of martial arts mastery and slapstick comedy make this a bawdy, action-filled romp.
The second half of Chow’s Odyssey has some more touching moments, but overall it’s still the crazy, wonderful extravaganza of the first one. Odyssey Part 2, this movie is less focused and all over the place. Joker lands 500 years in the past, and finds out he will become Monkey King. He falls in love with a new female character, throwing out the old ones. There is a briefly funny body swapping plotline that quickly goes nowhere, and then a small action scene at the end with Joker becoming Monkey King. The ending is bittersweet, but this movie has enough flair to be enjoyable enough for a viewing.
The other perfect half of a Chinese ultra-masterpiece. Bolder (and sometimes more free-flow retarded) than the first in terms of jokes, it also promises and delivers on even more brilliant action (cue the monkeys and the bulls) and a thought-provoking meditation on the everlasting cycle of struggles and sacrifices. This represents the excellent adaptation of the famous monkey king story with a perfect balance of humor, action, fantasy and romance.
Like Dr. Strangelove this movie Chinese Odyssey is not only full of fun and joy it also deals with love. At first, really funny and fun. Then it gets more complicated, and deals with destined love, plus having a higher purpose and having a higher path in life it also deals with all sorts of things like time travel, reincarnation, the old gods and goddesses, god and buddha. Complex and just mind-blowing.
A more plot based device is used here to get things running right out of the gate. It’s here that Chow leapfrogs further in the Joker, evolving to his destined role, but with a story that moves much faster and has far more intriguing consequences. Overlying themes of unrequited love and sacrifice along with witty dialogue make this film a must for any film lover. It has all the necessary elements for a very good romantic story. Not to mention, it has great action and great jokes. And most importantly, it has the MONKEY KING! An excellent ending, very touching and a lot of classic cheesy lines in it.
Stephen Chow as the Monkey King was brilliant as the story honestly redeems his character in Chinese high fantasy style. The intricate story follows crazy timelines while not losing focus. Filmed during the Golden Age of Stephen Chow’s career, this film is chock-full of non-stop slapstick humor, Hong Kong pop-culture references, self-parody, puns, and satiric songs. It is funny, quirky, clever, action packed and deeply romantic. It deviates greatly from the original story in terms of plot, but it stays remarkably true to it in terms of heart and meaning.
The movie is a milestone of Stephen from making pure comedy to delivering messages through his movies. This movie is said to carry a deep philosophical messages. But it is still a very mastery comedy with a complete story and some points to inspire us to think. This movie is a masterpiece of not only Stephen Chow but also of all times.it is more than a movie which makes you laugh for two hours and later forget everything. The story is very complete, and Stephen Chow’s acting is wonderful. There are classic scenes that may make you cry and think. The movie is made not only to make us laugh, but also to bring out a message, of love, of life, or whatever we can make out from this movie.
In contrast to Dr. Strangelove this movie Chinese Odyssey also carried some flaws including the script however is all over the place. There’s no clear sense of direction, conflict or stake. Director Jeffrey Lau tries to bring the random jokes of the old days back, but 99 percent of them fall flat. A million flaws aside, the movie is not without moments. It’s a story about life and love, only told in a poor way. Just ruin by some bad jokes. Still true love never dies.

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