Sunday, October 14, 2012

Marx Brothers' A Day At The Races—'Examination'

Here is the examination scene from A Day at the Races, a 1937 Marx Brothers film, made during what is persuasively called the Golden Age of Hollywood. Common to all of their films it has a particular kind of comedy that you will not see today; it's an art-form that has been lost. The Golden Age, which ended in the early 1960s, had as its focus the human and his struggle for identity and survival, thus explaining its universal appeal; it generally had a linear narrative and had a classical beginning, middle and end. Even comedies had some sort of resolution instead of ambiguity, all-too-common in many of today's films. It is important to note that obtuseness and ambiguity does not necessarily translate to depth of thought or profundity of ideas; it can also mean that the writer and/or director has no inkling what he's trying to say,