Monday, May 18, 2015

Some Measure of Culture

Hey I recorded the Orson Welles version of MACBETH off of TCM and I was going to save it to watch with Lee Durkee but he says he's seen it recently so I went ahead and watched it and somehow it was two or three short steps to looking up Jerry Lewis in the index of Peter Bogdanovich's book of interviews with Orson Welles and Orson Welles said about Jerry Lewis, "When he goes too far, he's heaven; it's just when he doesn't go too far that he's unendurable" and I thought that was a pretty good thing to reflect on for any person, in the arts or whatever, so go ahead, reflect on it! Welles goes on to describe a particular gag ("click" here) from THE LADIES MAN that made him laugh until he was sick. You know what I found out by consulting another index? You remember that movie Orson Welles was trying to finish when he died? Well, Peter Bogdanovich was in it, and he based his character on Jerry Lewis: "Bogdanovich launched into his vivid Jerry Lewis impression, which Welles pulled apart and reconstructed by dialing it down and adding some measure of culture and refinement, before ultimately landing on a strange mix of Lewis and Noel Coward." That's from a book by Josh Karp. (I don't know why this photograph is one of the first things to come up when you search for an image of Orson Welles and Jerry Lewis together - there doesn't seem to be one of those - but it kind of looks like the boys could be in MACBETH here, ha ha ha, it all comes together.)