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Ray Pride

By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

Dept. of Ouch: a festival's notice on a filmmaker

2054968274_d26aec4698_m.jpgOn Saturday at the Thessaloniki International Film Festival, the 48th edition, Diego Luna showed his directorial debut JC Chavez, a documentary about a Mexican boxer, and conducted an acting-directing-producing masterclass. After the departure of he and his producing partner (with Gael Garcia Bernal), Pablo Cruz, the festival issued a notice to journalists and also placed in public areas this notice, with bold red borders:
ANNOUNCEMENT:
CANCELLATION OF SCREENING OF THE FILM JC CHAVEZ, SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 24TH, 12.00, FRIDA LIAPPA
We regret to inform you that today’s (second) screening of the film JC CHAVEZ, directed by Diego Luna, is cancelled.
The responsibility for this regrettable decision lies with the film’s producer, Pablo Cruz, who attended this year’s Festival as a guest along with Diego Luna.
Mr. Cruz demanded to take the film print with him for a screening in London, despite the fact that he had been notified before the start of the Festival about the 2 screenings.
Despite the production company’s assurances that a BETA tape would be forwarded to us instead of the print, in order for the second screening to take place as programmed, the tape has not arrived in Thessaloniki at the moment of going to press. [Photo: Ray Pride.]

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“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