Institute of Art Design + Technology
Dún Laoghaire

Oisin McKeogh 

BA [Hons] Film + Television Production

Oisin McKeogh is a writer/director based in Clare and Dublin. He is interested in comedic stories that explore the darker side of the human condition - having worked on short fiction films, documentaries, spec commercials and music videos during his time at the NFS, he has developed a well rounded skill set and is looking forward to further honing his style.

Oisin wants to use the medium of film to entertain others while making sense of our shared existence.

Tough Love - NFS Grad Film

Tough Love is Oisin's graduation project - it's a dark comedy exploring themes of motherhood and control.

After accidentally killing one of her clients, a recently divorced housewife turned dominatrix must figure out what to do next - all while dealing with her manipulative teenage son...

Humour in Despair: An Analysis of Dark Comedy Through Suffering in Case Studies of Samuel Beckett, Charlie Kaufman and Jacques Tati

ABSTRACT: This dissertation is an exploration of how humour can be created and extracted from themes of human despair and suffering. Through case studies of the films Playtime (1967), Synecdoche, New York (2008), and the play Endgame, I analyse the varying degrees of ‘bleakness’ within each comedy to show how works that differ tonally can still create humour by incorporating similar themes of despair. Endgame by Samuel Beckett utilises a cynical outlook and many absurd elements to allow audiences to laugh at the awful, inhumane suffering of protagonist Hamm. Charlie Kaufman creates a surreal off-kilter reality in Synecdoche, New York, enabling an audience to detach themselves and find comedy within the endless suffering the protagonist Caden undergoes. The futuristic, playful city Jacques Tati devised for Playtime contributes to the light tone and provides moments of physical comedy throughout, but existential despair and separation from the self still plague the lead character of Mr. Hulot. What generally allows an audience to laugh at terrible things is a level of relatability with enough of a comic distance to separate the audience member from their existence. Feelings of superiority or relief also engage an audience by allowing them to assess their situation in contrast to the characters in the story, as the natural human instinct to deflect from our problems is brought about by laughing at others.
Overall this dissertation offers a look at the complex relationship between humour, despair and human existence in literature and film by shedding light on how three tonally different works navigate balancing existential themes with comedic elements.