>is that the sun? yes dear

>Today was one of the first sunny days around these parts in quite a while. So instead of staying indoors and watching a film, Lily and I went for a hike up a local mount.

At one point Lily had to take the dog (Aloysius Bonaventure) over to see a tree..

…and many other things for that matter.

There’s nothing quite like getting outdoors after a long, dark, soggy winter and seeing a little blue sky. Even though I have a stack of films I mean to get to, and I should really be writing my thesis anyway, I need the balance of getting away from the city, even if only for a couple of hours.

Sometimes the best work of art is life itself.

Anyhow, we saw our latest film last night – The Return of the Pink Panther (1975) – which she loved, and even my wife laughed out loud at its cornball humor, and I remembered having seeing it over and over as a kid, memorizing all of Clouseau’s lines. I have to say much of my comedic education came from watching Peter Sellers many years ago. In fact, it reminded me that, although I have a fair amount of formal education under my belt, so much of what I have learned in life, and so much of who I am, has come from watching films.

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3 Comments

Filed under family, movies

3 responses to “>is that the sun? yes dear

  1. >Nice photos, Tuck. You’re right. It was nice to have a sunny day around here for a shange.I LOOOVE Return of the Pink Panther. Not only is it one of my personal favorites but I happen to think it’s the best of the Pink Panther movies. Not necessarily because it’s the funniest (that honor probably belongs to Shot in the Dark or Strikes Again) but because a) I think it’s the best shot of the series (thanks to Geoffrey Unsworth), b) it has the best animated main title sequences and c) it balances the cornball humor with the “James Bond-like” action story perfectly. I remember noticing at one point that the opening heist sequence is like something right out of a serious caper movie. It’s not played for laughs at all. The next time see that room, though, Clouseau is there and all of those same “cool” gadgets become instruments of comedy in his hands.Also, no matter how many times I see it, there is one moment in that movie that never fails to make me laugh out loud. It’s when Clouseau is sitting next to Catherine Schell (with one half of his moustache off) and he says “Here is a-looking at you, kid.” She starts to laugh as she takes a sip of her drink causing her to choke and him to pat her on the back. They try to make it look like her character is merely laughing at the stupidity of his character, but I’m convinced that it’s just Catherine Schell laughing at Peter Sellers.Good stuff. 🙂

  2. >as it turns out, Lily has now had to see The Return of the Pink Panther a couple more times. This makes me happy. I certainly learned a great deal about comedy from films, and this one in particular.Damian,Seeing it again, I am amazed at both the level of narrative sophistication and the subtlety of Seller’s acting, especially given that in many ways it is just a goofy movie.

  3. >I guess Lily likes it eh? Are you gonna show some of the other ones too?I think you’re right about the narrative. I’ve always liked the two diferent stories (one comic and one “serious”) being told simultaneously and then coming together at the end in a very satisfying manner, with Clouseau literally stumbling onto the right answer. I also enjoy the homages to classics like Casablanca, Maltese Falcon and To Catch a Thief (at one point he actually uses the phrase “set a thief to a catch a thief”) in the film. As I’m talking about it, I actually feel like watching it again. Maybe I’ll put it in tonight.As for Sellers’ subtlety, I always thought that he was not only a comic genius but a brilliant actor as well (Being There is as good a performance as any actor has even given). Unfortunately, he was also a very disturbed individual. He believed he had no personality of his own, that he was essentially an empty “vessel” in which he poured his characters. As it turned out, I think this was a huge contributing factor to his amazing talent; it’s why he was able to disappear into his roles so completely.BTW have you ever seen the cable-TV movie The Life and Death of Peter Sellers? It’s a very revealing look into his personality (or lack thereof) and his relationships with the people in his life (including Britte Ekland, played by Charlize Theron, and Blake edwards, played by John Lithgow). It’s a good movie but the real reason to see it is it’s leading actor. In the same way that the brilliant Sellers “became” his characters so completely, the equally brilliant Geoffrey Rush “becomes” Sellers. It’s a remarkable performance and earned him both a Golden Globe and an Emmy.

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