Ernst Lubitsch, the great author of Hollywood comedy and pioneer
of such genres as thesophisticated romantic comedy, the musical,
and the screwball comedy, is a relatively overlooked figure in
mainstream film theory. In this collection, renowned world thinkers
and philosophers position Lubitsch as the premium director of
subversive cinema, reflecting on his attitude toward love and
politics which correspond to contemporary issues.Followers of the
Hegelian, Marxist, Freudian, Lacanian, and Deleuzian traditions
discuss thephilosophical, political, and ethical dimensions of
Lubitsch's late Hollywood work. They focus on love as stealing, the
ethics of style, and comedy in times of austerity in the director's
masterpiece, "Trouble in Paradise" (1932); answer the question of
why comedy is always polygamous; discuss links between masochism,
melancholia, and ideology in "Ninotchka"(1939); celebrate the
ethical gesture of comedy in "To Be or Not to Be" (1942); and
promote the revolutionary comic spirit of Lubitsch's last
directorial effort, "Cluny Brown" (1946). These essays' witty,
subversive, and provocative approaches highlight Lubitsch's unique
understanding of love, sex, comedy, and politics and idiosyncratic
conception of totalitarian"nightmares" and capitalistic "paradise,"
countering the non-dialectic and politically correct discourse of
mainstream and independent cinema today.
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