Wednesday, August 15, 2012

At Your Leisure

I was over there on that twitter today and saw that Mike Sacks had "linked" to a scene ("click" here) from what he called an "underrated Woody Allen movie," PLAY IT AGAIN, SAM. That reminded me of one of MY favorite scenes from the film ("click" here), which I tweeted back at Mr. Sacks. As I observed on twitter, it (the latter scene) is a strange combo of Jerry Lewis style slapstick and early Ricky Gervais fawning, squirming, preening awkwardness. Though come to think of it, Jerry himself specialized in fawning, squirming, preening awkwardness, so maybe it's just Jerry all the way and not a strange combo of anything and anyway Ricky Gervais probably hadn't been born yet. But here is the weird thing I JUST REMEMBERED. There used to be a guy named Richard J. Anobile who put out a series of books that were just FRAMES OF MOVIES with the dialogue printed beneath them. LOTS of frames of movies. CAN YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT I'M TELLING YOU? I don't think you can. I think you are too used to the glorious world you believe you are living in. WE DIDN'T EVEN HAVE VHS TAPES THEN. Sometimes, if we wanted to see a movie, WE WERE FORCED TO BUY A BOOK WITH LOTS OF SEQUENTIAL FRAMES FROM THE MOVIE IN IT. Do you understand how sad things used to be? We used to sit there and slowly flip through a book made of paper and glue and pretend to be watching a movie. That's what we did and we thought we were so great. And yet are we so different, you and I? I guess I don't care. You won't understand until it's too late. Old Richard J. Anobile was proud of his thoroughness. My edition of Richard J. Anobile's weirdo version of CASABLANCA has this printed on the front cover (caps theirs for a change): "THE MOST ACCURATE AND COMPLETE RECONSTRUCTION OF A FILM IN BOOK FORM: OVER 1,500 FRAME BLOW-UP PHOTOS SHOWN SEQUENTIALLY AND COUPLED WITH THE COMPLETE DIALOGUE FROM THE ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK, ALLOWS YOU TO RECAPTURE THIS FILM CLASSIC IN ITS ENTIRETY -- AT YOUR LEISURE." I also had (and have) Anobile's book versions of THE GENERAL and PSYCHO... and PLAY IT AGAIN, SAM. That one doesn't fit, does it? Nothing against PLAY IT AGAIN, SAM. But it was contemporary at the time, not "classic." Hey, remember when I told you that I went inside the actual PSYCHO house on the Universal lot? I peeled a little splinter off the front porch and put it in an envelope from the Sheraton Universal and stuck it in my copy of Richard J. Anobile's weird book version of the movie version of PSYCHO, and that is where it sits to this very day, my little splinter from the PSYCHO house, in case you're interested. You're not.