Shaun Of The Dead: Sociological & Emotional Impact

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Shaun of the Dead: Sociological & Emotional Impact


"Shaun of the Dead," by the British writer-director Edgar Wright, may put some viewers in mind of the quip Dorothy Parker delivered when she heard that Calvin Coolidge had died. In this case, a horde of staggering, slack-jawed zombies has taken over North London in the course of a weekend. But, considering the usual brain-dead expressions of the neighborhood's working stiffs, skate punks and pub customers, how could anyone tell?

Rozen (pp. 33-34) mentions in the affectionately playful tradition of such comedies as "From Dusk Till Dawn" and "Bubba Ho-tep," "Shaun of the Dead" arrives as perhaps the first bona fide "rom zom com," or romantic zombie comedy. The film's co-writer Simon Pegg stars as the title character, a 29-year-old arrested adolescent who is being dragged kicking and screaming into adulthood. His girlfriend, Liz (Kate Ashfield), wants him to spend less time drinking at the local pub and playing video games with his roommate, Ed (Nick Frost); his stepfather, Philip (the sublime Bill Nighy), wants him to be more devoted to his indulgent mother (Penelope Wilton); and Shaun's job managing an insolent sales staff at an appliance store is going nowhere. Shaun is dying a slow death, which is why it takes him a little while to realize that his friends and neighbors are doing things such as eating live flesh (Rozen, pp. 33-34). Once it sinks in that they're not merely suffering from wicked hangovers, Shaun and Ed fly -- well, meander, actually -- into action. The fact that saving the day involves camping out at the pub is purely coincidence, of course.

Comedy Films: A Discussion on How Comedic Films Impact Sociologically and Emotionally

Comedy Films are "make 'em laugh" films designed to elicit laughter from the audience. Comedies are light-hearted dramas, crafted to amuse, entertain, and provoke enjoyment. The comedy genre humorously exaggerates the situation, the language, action, and characters. Comedies observe the deficiencies, foibles, and frustrations of life, providing merriment and a momentary escape from day-to-day life. They usually have happy endings, although the humor may have a serious or pessimistic side.

More than a few readers will be surprised to find a symposium in the pages of The Intercollegiate Review dedicated to the work of a contemporary filmmaker. Among conservatives of a certain vintage, the custom has long been to denounce popular culture, and all its works and ways, in a defense of traditional art forms and of permanent standards of excellence. True culture is a matter of cultivation, of becoming familiar with "the best which has been thought and said," as Matthew Arnold put it. Such high cultivation must view with disdain the low diversions of the demos, and movies are the pre-eminent American--and therefore, the pre-eminent democratic--art form.

It is certainly true that contemporary Hollywood films are dominated by technological spectacle and coarse titillation. Films of this sort contribute only to what has been called the deculturation of their audiences. The "art house" productions of self-described purists, on the other hand, frequently ...
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