1st Edition

Film, Environment, Comedy Eco-Comedies on the Big Screen

By Robin L. Murray, Joseph K. Heumann Copyright 2022
    196 Pages 22 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

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    This book explores the transformative power of comedy to help connect a wider audience to films that explore environmental concerns and issues.

    This book offers a space in which to explore the complex ways environmental comedies present their eco-arguments. With an organizational structure that reveals the evolution of both eco-comedy films and theoretical approaches, this book project aims to fill a gap in ecocinema scholarship. It does so by exploring three sections arranged to highlight the breadth of eco-comedy: I. Comic Genres and the Green World: Pastoral, Anti-Pastoral, and Post-Pastoral Visions; II. Laughter, Eco-Heroes, and Evolutionary Narratives of Consumption; and III. Environmental Nostalgia, Fuel, and the Carnivalesque. Examining everything from Hollywood classics, Oscar winners, and animation to independent and international films, Murray and Heumann exemplify how the use of comedy can expose and amplify environmental issues to a wider audience than more traditional ecocinema genres and can help provide a path towards positive action and change.

    Ideal for students and scholars of film studies, ecocriticism, and environmental studies, especially those with a particular interest in ecocinema and/or ecocritical readings of popular films.

    Introduction: Defining Eco-Comedy  Part 1: Comic Genres and the Green World: Pastoral, Anti-Pastoral, and Post-Pastoral  1. The Green World and the Screwball Comedy: A Pastoral World of Play  2. Turning Romance Green: Anti- and Post-Pastoral Approaches to Love in Gendered Comedies  3. The Shape of Water (2017) and the Post-Pastoral Comic Mash-Up  Part 2: Laughter, Eco-Heroes, and Evolutionary Narratives of Consumption  4. The Dead Can’t Dance and Blood Quantum: Contrasting Indigenous Visions "Feeding" the Zombie Apocalypse  5. Turning Climate Crises into Climate Solutions in Woman at War (2018)  6. Housing, Labor, and Comic Evolutionary Narratives in Sorry to Bother You (2018)  7. Consuming Fast Fashion in The Man in the White Suit and In Fabric  Part 3: Environmental Nostalgia, Fuel, and the Carnivalesque  8. Nature Guarding "Her Treasures" in Oil Comedies: Local Hero (1983) Versus Fubar: Balls to the Wall (2010)  9. Disney and Pixar’s Cars Franchise: Comic Environmental Nostalgia Versus Simulacra  10. Conclusion: Eco-comedies in Context


    Robin L. Murray is Professor Emeritus of English (Eastern Illinois University) and continues to teach film courses.

    Joseph K. Heumann is Professor Emeritus of Communication Studies (Eastern Illinois University) and continues to teach film courses.

    "Robin L. Murray and Joseph K. Heumann have a wonderful breadth of ecomedia knowledge, and this book addresses what scholars have been talking about as an important move in the field: humor in environmental studies. Murray and Heumann offer so many great recommendations here for those of us in ecomedia."

    Bridgitte Barclay, Associate Professor of English and Environmental Studies, Aurora University, USA