Thursday, 18 May 2017

Slapstick Studies - TCM Presents Painfully Funny: Slapstick in the Movies - Completion Reflection

Between August and October 2016 I undertook the TCM Presents Painfully Funny: Slapstick in the Movies MOOC as part of my postgraduate MTA portfolio and I successfully completed and passed the course.

My Certificate of Completion

In 2015 I had undertaken TCM Presents Into the Darkness: Investigating Film Noir, a highly thorough and informative online offering which I had immensely enjoyed. The instructor Richard Ls Edwards was even kind enough to message me and thank me about the completion reflection I wrote on my experiences of undertaking the course and the points I had raised regarding where I felt the course was lacking. 

However, I found my experience with Painfully Funny to be even more lacking and I believe there are two reasons for this...

  1. Painfully Funny was too brief both in length and in content; it was severely lacking the thorough depth of its film noir counterpart
  2. Being an avid slapstick fan, I already knew a great deal about slapstick cinema; especially early slapstick cinema.

In terms of providing a overview of the development and evolution of slapstick cinema in accordance with the slapstick season film programming TCM broadcast alongside the MOOC's duration, the course did a very good job of acting as a companion piece. However, for someone who, as with Investigating Film Noir, can not access TCM, the experience of taking the course on its own was immensely underwhelming. 

At the conclusion of Investigating Film Noir, I felt as though my knowledge of cinema and particularly so of film noir had been greatly nourished and I even went so far as to compare the experience of undertaking Investigating Film Noir to undertaking a full-length learning module as part of my BA (Hons) in Film and Screen Studies. 

Ultimately, like this completion reflection, Painfully Funny felt painfully short and agonisingly underwhelming because there is so much more it could have offered. I only hope the next TCM Presents offering about Hitchcock will make up for the deficiencies of Painfully Funny

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