There ain’t no sanity clause during June’s ‘Carnival of Mayhem’
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Earlier this year, archaeologists in Iraq discovered a 3500-year-old tablet full of riddles. They are, uh, not exactly thigh-slappers. Not all comedy survives the test of time: a good pratfall might be funny until the end of the world, but the hilarious particulars of wordplay can fade fast.
And yet the Marx Brothers, at the height of their vaudeville popularity just in time for ‘the talkies’, remain indisputably hilarious. The Astor presents three double features of classics spanning 1932 to 1941, from their anarchic films for Paramount to their slightly-more-traditional stories for MGM.
The occasional odd rhythms, crackles, and silences make the Marx Brothers feel ahead of their time – and of the technology we used to capture their genius.