IMC Feature – Modern Comedy

Contemporary comedy film is in decline.  Big budget studios are reluctant to provide major financial backing due to poor overseas performance – the “lost in translation” effect.  Some funny films have fallen out of favor due to shifts in cultural sensitivity.  Academia has long ignored the craft of cinematic comedy (an interesting thesis on the topic here).  When choosing to, the concentration is often limited to the canon of Chaplin/Keaton/Marx and other pioneers, with a focus on the foundations of comedy in the medium but rarely progressing into modern works.  The recent explosion of television/streaming content has pushed the majority of comedic talent towards the more lucrative, small-screen arena.  Given these formidable challenges, it seems all the more important to highlight achievements of this genre, films that have provided endless ill-advised watercooler reenactments, quote fodder, and intellectual maturity stunting milestones.  To that end, the IMC brings you the best contemporary comedy films in our collection, starting in 1970 because that is this author’s arbitrary dividing point.  But if you want a pseudo-cultural-generational definition, it’s something about post-60s social commentary in 70s cultural ennui, combined with a paradigm shift in censorship, and the U.S. film rating system of 1968.

Modern comedy films – 1970+