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Small-Gauge StorytellingDiscovering the Amateur Fiction Film$
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Ryan Shand and Ian Craven

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780748656349

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748656349.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 31 May 2020

. The Fragile Magic of the Home: Amateur Domestic Comedies and the Intimate Geography of Childhood

. The Fragile Magic of the Home: Amateur Domestic Comedies and the Intimate Geography of Childhood

Chapter:
(p.260) 12. The Fragile Magic of the Home: Amateur Domestic Comedies and the Intimate Geography of Childhood
Source:
Small-Gauge Storytelling
Author(s):

Karen Lury

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748656349.003.0013

This chapter explores a range of amateur fiction films located in the Scottish Screen Archive that might be characterised as ‘domestic comedies’, a sub-genre originally devised by Horace Newcomb, in his analysis of television comedy programming. Newcomb suggests that within domestic comedy, qualities such as warmth, familiar relationships, moral growth and audience inclusiveness predominate. Specific focus is given to the placing and activity of children within these works, using models drawn both from the study of children’s literature and children’s geography. Characteristic comic tension is seen to play around the protagonists’ occupation of particular ‘spaces’ within and just outside the home. In many instances, the films provide a ‘stage’ for the apparently un-staged behaviour of the child in a manner reminiscent of François Truffaut’s direction of children (several films are reminiscent for example, of the famous sequence in which a baby apparently plunges from a balcony in L‘argent de poche [1976]) and as such, the films serve to expose the reality of domestic tensions and anxieties that belie their otherwise considerable and delicate charm.

Keywords:   Family films, Children’s geography, Domestic comedies

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