Thursday, October 9, 2014

Jerry Lewis, Filmmaking Master


It's always fun watching Jerry Lewis trying to contain his comic demon, as he does here in his lecture at USC in 1967.



He took his filmmaking classes very seriously. There is a series of transcripts of his lectures collected in a book called "The Total Filmmaker" that is full of all kinds of practical advice for filmmakers. At the time he was going out into academia and teaching filmmaking there were not many in-roads for young filmmakers to actually have movies made, so his hard-won advice was even more needed than than it is now.

Jerry Lewis was a clown onscreen (and sometimes worse than a clown in offscreen interviews) but he was a true filmmaking innovator and, almost as much as anyone else, he was able to create his own filmmaking art out of his own timing, energy and intelligence.

Here's a more recent clip as a bookend to the earlier clip. Here, a reflective Lewis seem to fill with emotion as he gives advice to future generations. He says, "there's so much good stuff that comes from doing good work."


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