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The Weekend Report

Weekend Estimates 2017-08-20 at 9.55.27 AM

The debut of the larkish The Hitman’s Bodyguard led the weekend with an estimated $21.7 million during an overall summer slump. The session’s other national release, Logan Lucky – Steven Soderbergh’s latest heist caper – charted third with $8 million.

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Jerry Lewis: The Day the Clown Disappeared

day the clown cried

I had multiple discussions with Lewis. The first couldn’t have been funnier or more fruitful. Emboldened by the initial discussion, I suggested including footage from “The Day the Clown Cried,” as Orson Welles had his unfinished “The Other Side of the Wind “when he was honored by the American Film Institute. I waded in as delicately as possible, knowing his sensitivity to the issue, as well as the fact he controlled the material. There probably was no diplomatic way of suggesting it.

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Irene Cho: A Force of Nature

Irene Cho

Irene Cho, founder and producer of Daily Buzz, passed away on Thursday, August 17 after suffering a stroke. Her sister, Sunny, says that Irene had returned from South Korea the previous week and was about to embark on a three-week journey to Burma. She was 46.

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Friday Box Office Estimates

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The DVD Wrapup: Latin Lover, After the Storm, Bluebeard, Meantime, Hickok and more

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The Weekend Report

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Friday Box Office Estimates

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NY Times

“Scripted television is enormously expensive, so any commitment to it must be sincere. From shooting on location to taking out insurance to paying actors, crew members, directors and writers, it is impossible to dive in without allocating plenty of cash, while also being patient enough to weather blows at a time when it is increasingly difficult to land a signature hit.”
Apple, Facebook, Google To Join Teeming Ranks Of Teevee Content Makers

“Two of Lynch’s films —  The Elephant Man and The Straight Story — are explicitly about approaching and accepting death, both bookended by a camera moving towards or away from an extended view of stars and the night sky. Here, it’s clouds passing over the moon, nicely rhyming with Big Ed’s skies. Now closer to the end of his life than the beginning, Lynch’s recurring preoccupation has now become turbo-charged by the active aging and death of significant members of his cast, one of his recurring subjects now made sorrowfully real.”
Vadim Rizov On The Race To Concluding “Twin Peaks: The Return”

NY Times

“A mercurial personality who could flip from naked neediness to towering rage, Mr. Lewis seemed to contain multitudes, and he explored all of them. His ultimate object of contemplation was his own contradictory self, and he turned his obsession with fragmentation, discontinuity and the limits of language into a spectacle that enchanted children, disturbed adults and fascinated postmodernist critics.”
And Once More, Not To Be Missed, Dave Kehr‘s Definitive NYT Obit For Jerry Lewis

“Jerry Lewis, the comedian, comic actor, filmmaker, inventor and philanthropist who was a defining, contentious figure in both American show business and art, died at LOCATION TK, of CAUSE TK. He was AGE TK.”
Glenn Kenny Pulls His “Prewrite” Obit From The MSN Movies Morgue

“Logan Lucky isn’t just filled with the iconography of what’s now considered the Trump-voting white working-class South. It’s a caricature of others’ idea of it, laying it on thick: Just look at Jimmy’s outfits, which layer the signifiers of ‘rural’ and ‘trash’ to the point of ridiculousness.”
Anne Helen Petersen, Brilliant, On The Genre And Coding Subversiveness Of Logan Lucky


“Yet the preeminence of Rotten Tomatoes comes, I would argue, with a downside… It works like this… Here’s the downside… It’s a phenomenon that I’ve witnessed, anecdotally, over and over again… What happens if you’re a critic who breaks ranks? … The sting of the pressure to conform is omnipresent… The issue isn’t just knee-jerk condemnation; it’s also knee-jerk adulation… Let’s be clear: This is not a conspiracy — by Rotten Tomatoes or anyone else.”
Owen Gleiberman Pads Out 1,400 Words About Rotten Tomatoes

Jerry Lewis On The Ladies Man And Video Assist (2012, 4’36”)

“Jerry Lewis was also a radical democrat whose conception of the audience was as total as his identification with the art of filmmaking: he understood the lifelong reproached child, the repressed imp, the inner free person cowering in fear and cringing with embarrassment, as the more or less eternal counterpart of employees and family people of any age everywhere.The terrors that he unleashed upon the haughty and the famous, and the pure exuberance that he unleashed in moments of secret abandon, were acts of collective liberation.”
Richard Brody On Mr. Levitch

“Jerry Lewis was a master. He was a giant. He was an innovator. He was a great entertainer. He was a great artist. And he was a remarkable man. I had the honor of working with him, and it was an experience I’ll always treasure. He was, truly, one of our greats.”
Martin Scorsese’s Statement

Godard On Jerry Lewis On “Dick Cavett” (1980)

the wrap

“Editor’s Note: A spokesperson for Joss Whedon provided the following response, ‘While this account includes inaccuracies and misrepresentations which can be harmful to their family, Joss is not commenting, out of concern for his children and out of respect for his ex-wife.'”
The Wrap Publishes “Guest Blog” On Joss Whedon By Kai Cole, His Ex-Wife Of 16 Years

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Quote Unquotesee all »

“I suddenly couldn’t say anything about some of the movies. They were just so terrible, and I’d already written about so many terrible movies. I love writing about movies when I can discover something in them – when I can get something out of them that I can share with people. The week I quit, I hadn’t planned on it. But I wrote up a couple of movies, and I read what I’d written, and it was just incredibly depressing. I thought, I’ve got nothing to share from this. One of them was of that movie with Woody Allen and Bette Midler, Scenes From a Mall. I couldn’t write another bad review of Bette Midler. I thought she was so brilliant, and when I saw her in that terrible production of ‘Gypsy’ on television, my heart sank. And I’d already panned her in Beaches. How can you go on panning people in picture after picture when you know they were great just a few years before? You have so much emotional investment in praising people that when you have to pan the same people a few years later, it tears your spirits apart.”
~ Pauline Kael On Quitting

“My father was a Jerome. My daughter’s middle name is Jerome. But my most vexing and vexed relationship with a Jerome was with Jerome Levitch, the subject of my first book under his stage and screen name, Jerry Lewis.

I have a lot of strong and complex feelings about the man, who passed away today in Las Vegas at age 91. Suffice to say he was a brilliant talent, an immense humanitarian, a difficult boss/interview, and a quixotic sort of genius, as often inspired as insipid, as often tender as caustic.

I wrote all about it in my 1996 book, “King of Comedy,” which is available on Kindle. With all due humility, it’s kinda definitive — the good and the bad — even though it’s two decades old. My favorite review, and one I begged St. Martin’s (unsuccessfully) to put on the paperback jacket, came from “Screw” magazine, which called it “A remarkably fair portrait of a great American asshole.”

Jerry and I met twice while I was working on the book and spoke/wrote to each other perhaps a dozen times. Like many of his relationships with the press and his partners/subordinates, it ended badly, with Jerry hollering profanities at me in the cabin of his yacht in San Diego. I wrote about it in the epilogue to my book, and over the years I’ve had the scene quoted back to me by Steve Martin, Harry Shearer, Paul Provenza and Penn Jillette. Tom Hanks once told me that he had a dinner with Paul Reiser and Martin Short at which Short spent the night imitating Jerry throwing me off the boat.

Jerry was a lot of things: father, husband, chum, businessman, philanthropist, artist, innovator, clown, tyrant. He was at various times in his life the highest-ever-paid performer on TV, in movies, and on Broadway. He raised BILLIONS for charity, invented filmmaking techniques, made perhaps a dozen classic comedies, turned in a terrific dramatic performance in Martin Scorsese’s “The King of Comedy,” and left the world altered and even enhanced with his time and his work in it.

That’s an estimable achievement and one worth pausing to commemorate.

#RIP to Le Roi du Crazy

~ Biographer Shawn Levy on Jerry Lewis on Facebook