Calligraphy and Islamic Culture by Annemarie Schimmel

By Annemarie Schimmel

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In classical Hollywood films, the major comedy traditions were comedian comedy and romantic comedy. While these traditions have since developed in many directions, it is useful to bear the two basic ingredients of comedian and romance comedy in mind. Comedian comedy was originally constructed around a popular comedian character that was already well known to the audience. Because the character was already established, the commercial success was more or less guaranteed. Very often, these films were variations on the theme of the imperfect integration of a comedian into the adult social order.

Weakly waving his sword, Parker next orders his men forward, and the phallic motif continues as an old goat of a Southern general soon appears, giving orders and waving his sword, engendering Johnnie’s inept imitations with a wayward saber he has found, which keeps flying off the handle. In the melodramatic scene in which his innocence of the false charges of cowardice and his virtue, as manliness, are most fully recognized, Johnnie is ultimately granted Union General Thatcher’s sword. After the South’s victory over the Union troops, made possible by Johnnie’s efforts, Johnnie delivers the captive Union General Thatcher to a Confederate general, with Annabelle and her father watching him behind a picket fence.

It is violence that Willie is now ‘man enough’ to wield, if necessary, in his and his new bride’s defence. But the gag also goes further. The comic escalation or overkill of Willie’s über-phallic arsenal ultimately focuses Our Hospitality on the ‘mechanical encrusted on the living’. For just as Keaton undermines the ‘oldness’ of the old Kentucky home with a pre-war setting for the post-war HatfieldMcCoy history and an unhistorical routing of the fledgling Rocket’s journey southward, he disrupts the sense of progress toward a newer, more benevolent social order with his focus The final scene in Our Hospitality (Joseph M.

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