Friday, May 18, 2007

Funny pathos vs cheap trick pathos- Ralph has remorse

If there's one thing I can't tolerate in movies and TV it's fake forced contrived pathos.

Animation features and some live action directors use the cheapest methods to make you cry. Sad music, gloomy staging, a certain cutting technique and contrived story points. ET for Christs's sake.

Disney had the best method: shoot or torture your Mom. What kid won't cry if they see the main character's Mother get gunned down? What a dirty trick to play on kids!

Using cheap tricks like these gets you critical acclaim: "Wow that cartoon made me cry! It must be brilliant! Much better than those shitty little funny cartoons that make you feel good."

I purposely made a cartoon that used some filmic tricks to make people cry just to show that it's not hard to do it.
And I didn't have to shoot anyone's Mom either. I made people cry over the fact that Stimpy couldn't fart for a second time. I went out of my way to make the story have the most preposterous plot events in it-everything to undermine the seriousness of Stimpy's depression.

Besides the mood tricks, I relied heavily on Stimpy and Ren's acting-the drawings of their expressions and their interactions. A lot of films will ignore this part of the pathos recipe. They rely on the filmic tricks and contrived story points.

I'm all for funny pathos. Jackie Gleason was a master at funny pathos. He would soften his character by showing Kramden in remorse after he spent the rest of the show being a complete asshole-like every real guy!

Remorse is the funniest man emotion. All men do bad things, even good men. But the sign of a good man is that he feels guilty about it afterwards and that's when man is at his most vulnerable and funniest.

Jackie Gleason doesn't need sleazy films tricks to get his pathos across. He does it all with his great acting. He makes you laugh at the same time you have a lump in your throat.

"Pardon My Glove" (1956)