Shocked But Connected
Notes on Laughter
Why do funny movies make us laugh? In this thoughtful essay, by turns stimulating and meditative, distinguished filmmaker and Yale professor Michael Roemer shares his musings on what causes us to chortle, snort, and guffaw when we watch antics onscreen or onstage. Roemer keeps us chuckling as he dissects punchy one-liners, Shakespearean plays, and everything in-between. Incorporating theories from such great thinkers as Sigmund Freud, Charles Baudelaire, Henri-Louis Bergson, and Soren Kierkegaard with the work of classic comedians like Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, and the Marx Brothers, Roemer examines the purpose of comedy in our lives and in society. Shocked But Connected provides a serious reflection on a lighthearted subject.
Michael Roemer is a distinguished filmmaker, writing and directing films such as Nothing But a Man; Pilgrim, Farewell; and the award-winning documentaries Dying and Cortile Cascino. From 1971 to the present, he has taught filmmaking and aesthetics at Yale University, where he is professor emeritus today.