Sunday, August 27, 2017

The Total Film-Maker: Jerry Lewis (1926-2017)

When it comes to a cinephilic appreciation of comedy, who better represented it than The Total Film-Maker, Le Roi du Crazy, the Nutty Professor? Jerry Lewis was a totem in the hall of cinephilia and with good reason. No one worked harder to create an entirely unique style of filmmaking that no one else could come close to matching—to the ire of some but to the adoration of a select few. While his collabrators—Dean Martin, Hal Wallis, Frank Tashlin, and Martin Scorsese among others—are equally legendary, it is impossible to take one's eyes off Jerry and what he did, breaking the rules in order to get the funniest of laughs. To celebrate the passing of one of the last titans of Classical Hollywood (even though he never seemed to fit it), Jaime Christley of The Village Voice and Slant Magazine joins Peter to discuss elements of what made this filmmaker so unique and why they still can't stop laughing at his gags.

0:00-3:53 Opening
3:53-32:05 Discussing Jerry Lewis
32:48-36:08 Sponsorship Section
36:56-48:39 Jerry and the Critics
48:39-1:07:48 Favorite Jerry Moments
1:08:56-1:10:51 Close / Outtake

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Notes and Links from the Conversation
—Read Jaime Christley on Slant. Follow him on Twitter.
—Read Jerry Lewis's The Total Film-Maker
—Dave Kehr's Jerry Obituary
—Listen to Jerry Lewis on Fresh Air with Terry Gross
—Read about one of the Martin and Lewis Reconciliations
—Shawn Levy briefly discusses Jerry's many production companies in his biography
—About the Video Assist and Jerry Lewis
—The myth that the Golden Age of Silent Comedy was largely improvised in part comes from Kevin Brownlow's The Parade's Gone By (Historian Rob King has in part disputed this)
—Dave Kehr on Jerry's Boeing Boeing
—Jonathan Rosenbaum on Hardly Working
—Chris Fujiwara's book on Jerry
—B. Kite's "The Jerriad"
—Dana Polan's "Being and Nuttiness: Jerry Lewis and the French"
—Scott Bukatman discusses Jerry in The Poetics of Slumberland. He has also written on The Nutty Professor.
Not mentioned on the podcast, but Gilles Deleuze also wrote about Jerry Lewis!
—Films from the Top 3s: The Nutty Professor, Three on a Couch, The Errand Boy, Hardly Working, The Ladies Man, and Artists & Models

Theme Music: “Forward” by Northbound

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