The Anatomy of Harpo Marxis a luxuriant, detailed play-by-play account of Harpo Marx's physical movements as captured on screen. Wayne Koestenbaum guides us through the thirteen Marx Brothers films, fromThe Cocoanutsin 1929 toLove Happyin 1950, to focus on Harpo's chief and yet heretofore unexplored attribute-his profound and contradictory corporeality. Koestenbaum celebrates the astonishing range of Harpo's body-its kinks, sexual multiplicities, somnolence, Jewishness, "cute" pathos, and more. In a virtuosic performance, Koestenbaum's text moves gracefully from insightful analysis to cultural critique to autobiographical musing, and provides Harpo with a host of odd bedfellows, including Walter Benjamin and Barbra Streisand.
Subjects: Film Studies
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