Attention, banana peel! – Such a well-intentioned, but pointless warning in the Slapstick comedy, because in this film genre, things are turned delightfully against people. But Slapstick is also the defeat of failure by a comedian. The film tells the story of this unusual movie genre: It spans from looking at its masters Chaplin and Keaton to Tati, the last great "silent" Comedian, and to its more recent rebirth within the animated film.
Slapstick was the ideal genre during the silent film era. It is an attitude by which the gloomy world and their failures can become more bearable. We all represent a little of those souls who stumble and fall. Our laughter reflects our own fear of chaos.
This documentary tells the story of a comic genre that found its way from the stage to the big screen during the silent film era. Frenchman Max Linder was one of the early international stars, way before America discovered the genre for itself. Later, Buster Keaton's dark hypnotic gaze, Harold Lloyd's wild follies and Charlie Chaplin's poetic loser-poses write film history. The introduction of film sound seemed to mark the turning point, or an abrupt end for this magnificent art form that charmed so many people. But Laurel & Hardy’s speedy chases and Frenchman Jacques Tati’s form of Slapstick keep the genre alive during this time. And the journey continues; Slapstick is not yet dead. In fact, it climbs to new heights as part of the animation industry: Physical limits of the performer do no longer exist, and the characters fall delightfully into any disaster. But at the same time, these characters remind us of the great masters of Slapstick and a time when everything began.