This course will examine how the "auteur theory" applies to the genre of comedy films. We will explore how humor works in film, the history of comedic films, cross-cultural differences and various forms of comedy. Among the directors and stars to be studied will be Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, the Marx Brothers, Woody Allen, Mel Brooks, Frederico Fellini, Chantal Akerman, Roberto Benigni, Nanni Moretti, Monty Python and others.
Readings will include texts on genre, comedy and film theory. Students will keep a weekly journal. There will be two short papers and a final paper.