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When the World Laughs is a book about the intersection of humor, history, and culture. It explores how film comedy, one of the world's most popular movie genres, reflects the values and beliefs of those who enjoy its many forms, its most enduring characters and stories, its most entertaining routines and funniest jokes. What people laugh at in Europe, Africa, or the Far East reveals important truths about their differences and common bonds. By investigating their traditions of humor, by paying close attention to what kinds of comedy cross national boundaries or what gets lost in translation, this study leads us to a deeper understanding of each other and ourselves.

Section One begins with a survey of the theories and research that best explain how humor works. It clarifies the varieties of comic forms and styles, identifies the world's most archetypal figures of fun, and traces the history of the world's traditions of humor from earliest times to today. It also examines the techniques and aesthetics of film comedy: how movies use the world's rich repertoire of amusing stories, gags, and wit to make us laugh and think.

Section Two offers a close look at national and regional trends. It applies the concepts set forth earlier to specific films-across a broad spectrum of sub-genres, historical eras, and cultural contexts-providing an insightful comparative study of the world's great traditions of film comedy.

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Oxford University Press Inc
Data de publicació
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