Blake Edwards: Laugh so you don’t cry

sort of Blake Edwards In 2001, after spending her life battling depression, she decided to slit her wrists while gazing out at the ocean from the beach in Malibu, California. He was holding a double-edged razor in his hand when the Great Dane began to lick his ear and the hound simultaneously dropped the ball between his teeth into his lap. His shoulder came off as he tossed it to keep the animals away. And while he was trying to save the fallen knife with a sudden movement, he stepped on it. With blood pouring from the soles of his feet, he told himself that this was not a good day to take his life and decided to go to the emergency room immediately.

The director is with actress July Andrews, whom he has been married to for forty years. fred prouser


The anecdote works as a perfect metaphor for the creative method Edwards developed in most of his television work and 36 feature films. The director, who would turn 100 last Tuesday, believed that there was almost no difference between laughter and pain, humor and terror. The protagonists of their fiction seem to wander in a cold and cruel world, whose seductive surface hides the ever-present threat of disaster and calamity, and our amusement passes through their misfortunes. This gave the filmmaker a certain reputation as a sadist, and perhaps contributed in the long run to never being included in the pantheon of great directors, despite his unparalleled sense of timing, sophisticated dialogue direction, and narrative flair. camera movement and framing.

inconsistent filmography

Of course there are more reasons. From the outset, Edwards’ catalog includes several great movies, but it’s not undeniably a masterpiece; something many attribute to the complacency he displayed as he insisted on continuing to direct the new sequels of The Pink Panther (1963) rather than focusing their efforts on more worthy films. companies.

And this is a thriller that not only combines genres, but blackmails a woman (1962); two men against the west (1971), one western; Tamarind Seed (1974), a melodrama; Víctor o Victoria (1982) is a musical—but more so it makes them collide and annihilate each other; Take the race of the century (1965), a parodic dictionary of movie genres, as an example.

rude, miserable, wrong

Moreover, Edwards devoted most of his comics to making jokes about the vulgar, miserable, and wrong long before this type of humor was generally accepted. Old women farting, gentlemen who urgently need to pee but can’t, pass through the cinema of rotting corpses in the face of people’s indifference. He likes to use exaggerated accents and racial stereotypes; The movie that introduced him, Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961), was considered xenophobic for the scenes in which Mickey Rooney appears as a Japanese character and offers a sampler of offensive stereotypes.

Finally, we must not forget that Edwards’ artistic maturity coincided with the decline of classical Hollywood, and this explains the high-profile disagreements he has had against major studios for creative control of his films. Darling Lili (1970), the First World War spy soundtrack that marked the first of seven collaborations with actress Julie Andrews, in which he married in 1969, was a huge box office failure and the director took the blame. this is due to the constant interference of the producers during their filming; and his next two films, Two Men Against the West and Diagnosis: Murder (1974), were rereleased without his consent. Disenchanted, Edwards left the United States for Gstaad, Switzerland, where he remained until 10: The Perfect Woman (1979) brought him a triumphant return. Later, his battles with the establishment inspired SOB You Are Honest Outlaws (1981), a savage satire about the hypocrisy and evil that reigns in the film industry.

Edwards created The Pink Panther, which spawned an animated series. NEIL JACOBS/AP


He had already criticized Hollywood in the great comedy El Guateque (1968) and later did it again in Murder in Beverly Hills (1988). It was a subject he knew very well because, in a way, he was born in Hollywood. His stepfather, Jack McEdward, had a long career as an assistant director, and his grandfather, J. Gordon Edwards, had had considerable success directing films in the silent era; Perhaps it was she, then, who conveyed to him his slapstick delight, the tendency to portray characters who spend their lives falling down stairs, balconies, or holes, or rolling around in a long plan like a buzzing fly beside an enclosed space. or suffer some other form of bodily harm as the camera relentlessly watches them. In any case, he would refer to other references—Leo McCarey, Howard Hawks, Ernest Lubitsch—to explain his interest in exploring the anxieties and sorrows caused by love, marriage, work, and the war between the sexes.

therapeutic effects

In any case, as time went on, Edwards’ cinema increasingly proved another influence: the influence of the psychoanalytic sessions he attended over the decades; In this sense, the director’s 10, perfect woman (1979), My Problems with Women (1983) – Lover of Love (1977), by François Truffaut-, Micki and Maude (1984) and Such a life! (1986), psychologist Dr. An impressive study of depression co-authored with Milton Wexler. Whatever the proponents of Blind Date (1987) might say, it was his last truly notable film.

Age and the chronic fatigue he claims to suffer from has put a dent in his comic sense of smell, and there’s no better proof for that than in Son of the Pink Panther (1993), the last film he directed. saga in a non-glossy way that conditions his career so much. In any case, he still had a big gag on his arm: when the Hollywood Academy gave him an honorary Oscar in 2004—the only Oscar he’d ever received—he came out in full swing in a wheelchair, and after snatching the statuette. his hands hit Jim Carrey against the stage wall. Of course, laughter and pain, humor and terror. Edwards method.

Source: Informacion

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Popular

More from author