Vespasiano

De Duva (The Dove)

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If for nothing else but its hysterical use of "faux-Swedish", George Coe's 1968 short, De Duve, is a classic parody of the films of Ingmar Bergmann. Fortunately, the language is the least of it. It has one other claim to fame: this was the film debut of the great Madeline Kahn who, as was almost always the case with the hillarious Miss Kahn, manages to steal the one brief scene in which she is featured.

Here's to smiles of a Summer night!

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Thanks, V! I loved that short when it first came out. I saw it in a short festival, years ago, hysterical. It took me a minute the first time to realize that they were completely faking the Swedish, but they do it so well. I thought about this piece when I was doing improv years ago and had to "be Swedish." Damned Duva!

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I have mixed feelings about parodies and spoofs. For the most part, especially when they are parodying an excellent film or book, I don't like to watch them, no matter how funny they are; I feel as if they're spitting at something I might value.

But I loved this parody. I, unfortunately, practically grew up on many of Ingmar Bergman's films, and, therefore, absorbed a lot of his malevolent and depressing sense-of-life. If Bergman's view of things is representative of the Swedish outlook on the universe, then it doesn't surprise me when I hear that Sweden has one of the highest suicide rates in the world. It also didn't surprise me when I heard that Bergman's work received alot of funding from the Swedish government; how many people in the world, really, would pay to see his movies? The basic message of Bergman's films is nothing but bleakness and dread. His films deserve to be parodied and made fun of. "De Duva" does an excellent job of that.

I like what one comedian said about Ingmar Bergman versus Walt Disney: "And look at Ingmar Bergman. A cinematic genius, maybe, but can you see going to Bergmanland? where all the rides are three hours long! and they're depressing! and everybody dies!"

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Thanks, V! I loved that short when it first came out. I saw it in a short festival, years ago, hysterical. It took me a minute the first time to realize that they were completely faking the Swedish, but they do it so well. I thought about this piece when I was doing improv years ago and had to "be Swedish." Damned Duva!

:)

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I have mixed feelings about parodies and spoofs. For the most part, especially when they are parodying an excellent film or book, I don't like to watch them, no matter how funny they are; I feel as if they're spitting at something I might value.

I understand where you're coming from here -- the only parodies that work for me are (1) those that reflect a generosity of spirit firmly rooted in a true but good-humored love of the original source as opposed to those that shout the author's cynical contempt for that source (the difference is incredibly subtle it seems to me, and very hard to pull off) and (2) those that simply highlight the self-parodistic nature of the original source. De Duva is essentially one of the latter.

But I loved this parody. I, unfortunately, practically grew up on many of Ingmar Bergman's films, and, therefore, absorbed a lot of his malevolent and depressing sense-of-life. . . . The basic message of Bergman's films is nothing but bleakness and dread. His films deserve to be parodied and made fun of. "De Duva" does an excellent job of that.

I agree! I've often said that my favorite Bergman film is the first half only of Fannie and Alexander -- there is a voluptuous, hot-colored, indoor warmth and joyful tone about it that stands in direct opposition to the almost completely sunless Swedish winter outside. Of course, this first half turns out to be is an utterly cynical set up for the bleak and ugly second half of the film which is simply awful.

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I've often said that my favorite Bergman film is the first half only of Fannie and Alexander -- there is a voluptuous, hot-colored, indoor warmth and joyful tone about it that stands in direct opposition to the almost completely sunless Swedish winter outside. Of course, this first half turns out to be is an utterly cynical set up for the bleak and ugly second half of the film which is simply awful.
My favorite Ingmar Bergman film is "Love and Death", especially the moving reverie on "wheat!"

:)

(yeah, I know, but Woody's homage here was much funnier than his unintentionally groan-weary "Interiors")

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I've often said that my favorite Bergman film is the first half only of Fannie and Alexander -- there is a voluptuous, hot-colored, indoor warmth and joyful tone about it that stands in direct opposition to the almost completely sunless Swedish winter outside. Of course, this first half turns out to be is an utterly cynical set up for the bleak and ugly second half of the film which is simply awful.
My favorite Ingmar Bergman film is "Love and Death", especially the moving reverie on "wheat!"

:)

(yeah, I know, but Woody's homage here was much funnier than his unintentionally groan-weary "Interiors")

(Keaton): Wheat . . . (Hershey): Wheat . . . (Keaton): Wheat . . . (Hershey): Wheat . . ., etc., etc., etc. LOL.

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To Vespasiano: I agree with your distinguishing between parodies that are actually loving tributes to a certain genre or artist versus parodies that only slam what they are parodying. In the first category I would put Mel Brooks' parodies. I find Blazing Saddles very funny (especially "Now what in the wide, wide world of sports is a'goin' on here?!"), but I don't get the feeling that it is attacking the Western form. Young Frankenstein, through laughter, actually helps one remember with fondness those great, classic, mythic and atmospheric horror films of the 1930's and '40's. And I really get a kick out of High Anxiety, a loving spoof of Alfred Hitchcock's films (I love the Psycho-style shower scene: "Here! Here's your stupid paper!!"); it's even dedicated to the "Master of Suspense". I think he would have loved it. (All three movies, by the way, like "De Duva", have Madeleine Kahn in them.)

Other parodies I find hilarious are those by Woody Allen in the early years of his film career, especially Take the Money and Run, which is a parody of prison films such as I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang, and Love and Death (which Alann has mentioned), which parodies not only Ingmar Bergman but Russian literature (such as War and Peace) and really pokes fun at pretentious philosophizing. The first movie, which is made like a documentary, tells the story of Virgil Starkwell, a completely inept and incompetent criminal. During one bank-robbing attempt, Virgil and his gang arrive at a teller's window at the same time another gang arrives at another window. Virgil says: "Okay--let's do this democratically. How many of you would like their gang to rob the bank?" There's a round of applause. "Okay--how many would like our gang to rob the bank?" There may be one or two people clapping. Virgil and his gang leave. During another attempt, he hands the teller a note saying: "Act naturally. I am pointing a gun at you." The teller reads it as: "Apt naturally. I am pointing a gub at you." There then follows a polite debate on what the note really says, which, of course, allows time for the police to arrive. Another thing I like is when later in the film Virgil is a member of a chain gang, the narrator, detailing the harsh conditions of the prisoners' existence, says: "The men are given one hot meal a day: a bowl of steam." The movie's full of gags like that. So is Love and Death. I especially love Woody's narration at the beginning when he's talking about his childhood and all the people he remembers. One person he talks about is an old freed serf who lived down the road. He owned a piece of land, which he was very proud of. Then we see the old former serf reach in his coat and pull out a dirt clod. He holds it up in the air, saying: "And someday, I will build on it!" And then there's the scene with Woody going through basic training in the Russian army, which is getting ready to go fight Napolean. At one point, after some drilling, he is told to stand at attention. The drill instructor is black! He says to Woody: "You are the worst soldier I have ever seen! What's wrong with you? You love Russia, don't you?" He tells him to run in place. "One, two! One, two! One, two!" Woody: "Three's next if you're having trouble." And then there's the early nineteenth-century equivalent of the boot camp venereal disease education film: a "hygiene play"!! Absolutely hilarious.

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And of course, don't forget Old Nahampkin!

It seems we share a similar sense of humor, Jim!!

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Is that Old Nahampkin with his "wonderful laugh"? ("God, he was repulsive.") Hilarious!!

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