By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

David Lowery On Music

“Daniel Hart, who’s written the score to all of my films, has a band called Dark Rooms. And while we were doing the score for ‘Pete’s Dragon,’ he was also beginning to record songs for his next record with his band. He played that song for me one morning and I just became obsessed with it. I couldn’t stop listening to it; I was just driving around LA listening to it constantly, and it was right in early days of developing the project. The script existed, but we were just starting to put the pieces together, and I went into the script and just wrote the song into the script. It became the emotional centerpiece of the movie. It felt exactly the way I want the movie to feel.

“There’s sort of a hopeless longing to his vocals in this song. It’s very, very sad, and we feel this sense of desperately reaching out for something you can’t quite grab. Those emotions are what this movie was all about. I felt that he had already accomplished what I wanted to do with this movie with that song, and the best thing I could do was to just, you know, borrow it, and let the song lend those qualities to the movie at key moments.There’s a lot going on there. It’s as rich and as beautiful and transportive as any film I could ever hope to make. Once we had that song in there, Daniel knew that the score would be incredibly vital. He felt that the rest of the score should play upon that song. So every piece of score begins with an element from that song. Whether it’s a little piece of the strings, or a little bit of the vocals, every piece of the score is based on that song. And from there it goes off into completely different directions.”
~ David Lowery On Music

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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