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Richard Wallace

The Comic Mockumentary

My current research is a study of the comic mockumentary, utilising close textual analysis as a means of understanding the way comedy functions within the genre. As well as a detailed reading of the work of Christopher Guest (Waiting for Guffman, Best in Show, A Mighty Wind), my thesis will focus on debates surrounding notions of comic performance, and the link between fiction and the real in mockumentary texts. The former will be addressed in a study of the rock mockumentary, particularly A Hard Day’s Night and This is Spinal Tap, which will be discussed in relation to those texts (notably Pennebaker’s Dylan film Dont Look Back, the Maysles’ film of The Beatles first US Tour and Martin Scorsese’s The Last Waltz) which these mockumentaries take as their inspiration. The latter will be addressed in a section examining British political mockumentaries, including Party Animals and The Thick of It, and their relationship with the New Labour government and the satirical tradition in British television comedy.


Spinal Tap

This is Spinal Tap