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Laughter breaks the silence

A six-session course will celebrate comedy's role in silent cinema from across the globe

A scene from In the Clutches of the Gang, a Keystone Cops silent comedy directed by George Nichols and Mack Sennett
A scene from In the Clutches of the Gang, a Keystone Cops silent comedy directed by George Nichols and Mack Sennett

The business of making people laugh is no joke; it is both an art and science to make a comedy film that manages to tickle the audience's funny bone. Drawing inspiration from tthe challenge, veteran student of cinema, Jethu Mundul will be conducting an introductory course on the history of early comedy in World Cinema. He is a graduate of FTII, Pune, and has also taught film history and editing at the FTII, NID, and other Indian institutes.

Charlie Chaplin in The Kid. Pics/GETTY images, WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
Charlie Chaplin in The Kid. Pics/GETTY images, WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

The six-session course will take participants through Screwball and Slapstick styles of comedy, the Keystone Kops (silent film comedies about an incompetent police force) and Charlie Chaplin's cinema. This course is open to participants of all age groups. To ensure optimum participation and interactive learning, only 20 registrations will be accommodated. Mundul felt the course would benefit any cinephile, adding, "Cinema is a growing language, and to understand it, one must look at the history."

Jethu Mundul.
Jethu Mundul.

The course will also study cinematic attempts made in France, the United States and Great Britain, where new techniques and technologies were incorporated with the advent of sound. It will also observe experiments of early comedians like Charlie Chaplin, Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy and Marx brothers. Mundul adds that great directors like Quentin Tarantino were inspired by the films of silent era. "I chose comedy specifically, as it is the best way to connect with the younger audience," he shares.

ON: April 11, 13, 18, 20, 25 & 27, 5.30 pm onwards
AT: Somaiya Centre for Lifelong Learning, Somaiya Bhavan, above Kitab Khana, Fort.
CALL: 7045932204
COST: Rs 2,500

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