By Juan F. Egea
In Dark Laughter, Juan F. Egea offers a outstanding in-depth research of the darkish comedy movie style in Spain, in addition to a provocative severe engagement with the assumption of nationwide cinema, the visible size of cultural specificity, and the ethics of darkish humor.
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Extra resources for Dark Laughter: Spanish Film, Comedy, and the Nation
Since the emphasis here falls on modernity’s conditions of visibility, and since what needs to be stressed is how the complex experiences of modernity are visually expressed and perceived, it is only appropriate to discuss film practices within a broader debate on nation, difference, and visuality. If modernity in Spain looks different from the way canonized centers of European modernity do, this visual difference has to do with a look whereby the modern is seen as friction in a more immediate, apparent manner.
Its motorcycle soul conjures up the same notions of freedom and urban mobility that the cochecitos in El cochecito do. The carro in it makes it a vehicle that neither announces the advent of modernization nor conveys the thrills of technological progress. This is a means of transport that circulates in the vicinity of the modern. This alone would link this constantly rattling vehicle to the motorized wheelchairs that populate El cochecito. A stronger tie—and one surely more pertinent to the focus of this chapter—is provided by the economic mechanisms that facilitate and eventually complicate its ownership.
45 Moreover, one could argue convincingly that, even in this unique and paradigmatic esperpento, the possibility exists that theory and practice match only in an incomplete or limited way. The statements in the play that have been taken as the most succinct and forceful definitions of esperpento appear in the famous scene 12. They are both uttered by the main character in the play, Max Estrella, who is drunk at that moment. ”46 Based on these two precise formulations, the theory of esperpento that the first esperpento advances may be summed up by saying that it is a relational aesthetics wherein the key concept is deformation.