MCN Columnists
Kim Voynar

Voynaristic By Kim VoynarVoynar@moviecitynews.com

Defending Jennifer’s Body

Spoiler Warning: This column contains spoilers about the film Jennifer’s Body. Consider yourself forewarned and forearmed. Is Jennifer’s Body really as bad as some critics say, or are some folks just lime-green Jell-O over anything that has Diablo Cody‘s name attached? I thoroughly enjoyed this film from start to finish, in part because I thought I was…

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Cloudy with a Chance of Mediocrity

I realize I’m in the critical minority on this, but I wasn’t all that crazy about Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. Yes, yes, the animation was bright! And colorful! And the cheeseburgers and scoops of ice cream and giant pancakes and meatballs practically popped off the screen. It was all very exciting, I suppose. I…

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To Absent Friends

Today I’m thinking a lot about 1984 — the year, not the Orwell novel. September 8, 1984 was a life-altering day that altered the course of my life; on September 8, 1984, my best friend, Monica, committed suicide at the age of 16. I can still recall, with achingly perfect clarity, where I was when…

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Of Love, Life and Loss

What’s the meaning of a life, and a loss? Earlier today, MCN Headlines Editor Ray Pride posted a particularly tragic headline to the front page of MCN about the murders of Filipino-Canadian film critic Alexis Tioseco and his partner, Slovenian critic and programmer Nika Bohinc, in what seems to be a random house robbery. The murders have hit…

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Quote Unquotesee all »

“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

“Billy Wilder said to me, ‘Those of us who are hyphenates deserve a couple more beats,’ and I knew what he meant. As a director, you make sure a scene is not beat-heavy. You need just enough beats in the rhythm. Billy also used to say, ‘Whatever you do, is your mark. You don’t have to go out and impress someone. Let them look at your work.’”
~ Jerry Lewis