Student or Learner
In this sentence:
"In these movies the humor was built on distance, an off-beat, indeed at times absurd humor".
What does "on distance" mean here?
Is it meaning "taking some distance from waht is narrated"?
It's difficult to determine the meaning without more context.
From what you wrote here, I would say that "the humor was built on distance" means that the humor was created to be very extreme, or very far (i.e. distant) from normal life. Does that make sense with the rest of the story?