it’s not all jerry lewis, people

January 6, 2011

our DVD collection is divided into 14 genres which at first glance should seem as if there’s a place for everything but in reality the genres are like large umbrellas with myriad subcategories–espercially when we’re talking about our comedy genre.

“comedy”   –when we see that genre label on a DVD case,  we tend to think funny ha ha, but if you look a bit deeper you realize that there are many, many subcategories and not all of them of the belly laugh variety.

dark comedy deals with serious and sometimes  taboo subjects like murder, suicide, domestic violence, crime and many others in a light or satirical way often times with the goal of making the audience uncomfortable or to think seriously about the topic, while at the same time providing amusement.

fargo starring frances mcdormand, and william h. macy is a dark comedy in which macy, a struggling car salesman pays two men (peter stormare and steve buscemi) to kidnap his wife, so that he can swindle the ransom money from his father-in-law.   the american film institute has selected it as one the 100 best comedic films of all time.

now, i liked fargo, but it is most definitely a dark comedy, if not just for it’s general subject matter then at least for it’s memorable scene with stormare disposing of buscemi’s body by employing a wood chipper.

we rely on our vendor midwest tapes to supply us with genre information because they assign genres and categories based on information gathered from reviews.  this is good for several reasons, one because it allows us to be consistent when we order replacement copies, as well as the fact that their genre assignments are less subjective than they would be if i were assigning all of them myself.  and of course from a purely workflow perspective it’s the most efficient use of staff time.

we recognize that there will be disagreement about the assignments of genre occasionally.  when you or a customer come across a genre assignment that appears to be incorrect, please fill out a technology report.  circulation services staff and i will investigate and change the genre if needed.

posting by jim whose two most fav dark comedies are, the big lebowski, and i love you to death.


2 Responses to “it’s not all jerry lewis, people”

  1. siloak Says:

    Fargo remains one of the most disturbing movies I have ever seen, probably because the bad guys were so creepily ordinary. MC

  2. Jim McCluskey Says:

    @siloak, i agree with you completely, on the other extreme are the two brothers marlon and harlan in “I love you to death” played by Keanu and William Hurt. to them murder for money isn’t big deal, and they would be oh so creepy, if they weren’t so incredibly stupid. their inability to finish Kevin Kline with a handgun while he’s passed out from an earlier attempt to overdose him on sleeping pills is one of the best moments of the film.

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