I have been looking at the use of sound in Laurel & Hardy films – There are certain parallels with peripheral issues within contemporary art theory that are of notable relevance; these concern the comedic as a seditious and critical device, and ‘failure’ as performative intervention. This failure can be the lack of musical or technical virtuosity, the fumbled legerdemain, or the ontological failure of the sonic simulacrum. It can be the bad performance or the refusal to make an event ‘event-full’.
Two particular films of note are ‘Liberty’ and ‘Wrong Again’, both 1929. These are restored black and white silent films with music and sound effects from their original release. The sound effects are not solely used to realistically(?) support filmed action, but to enhance narrativity.