Recommended Reading

"The Fun Factory: The Keystone Film Company and the Emergence of Mass Culture"

by Rob King

(University of California Press, 2008, 355 pages)

Chapters include: "'The Fun Factory: Class, Comedy and Popular Culture - 1912-1914," "Funny Germans and Funny Drunks: Clowns, Class, and Ethnicity at Keystone - 1913-1915," "The Impossible Attained! 'Tillie's Punctured Romance' and the Challenge of Feature-Length Slapstick - 1914-1915," "Made for the Masses with an Appeal to the Classes: Keystone, the Triangle Film Corporation, and the Failure of Highbrow Film Culture - 1915-1917," Uproarious Inventions: Keystone Modernity and the Machine - 1915-1917" and "From Divine Venus to Bathing Beauties: Reification and Feminine Spectacle - 1916-1917."

From the publisher: From its founding in 1912, the short-lived Keystone Film Company -- home of the frantic, bumbling Kops and Mack Sennett's Bathing Beauties -- made an indelible mark on American popular culture with its high-energy comic shorts. Even as Keystone brought "lowbrown" comic traditions to the screen, the studio also played a key role in reformulating those traditions for a new, cross-class audience. In The Fun Factory, Rob King explores the dimension of that process, arguing for a new understanding of working-class sensibilities within early cinematic mass culture. Interdisciplinary in its approach, The Fun Factory offers a unique studio history that views the changing politcs of early films through the sociology of laughter. Rob King is Assistant Professor of Cinema Studies and History at the University of Toronto.

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