Movies

John Cleese’s favorite John Cleese joke

John Cleese says the best joke he ever wrote was inadvertently cut out of the film Life of Brian due to “camera angles.”
In the film Cleese’s character says, “There are two things you have to know about the meaning of life. The first is that people are not wearing enough hats. The second is that there are several paths to enlightenment but they all involve a lot of work, time, and concentration. Unfortunately people get bogged down by things that don’t really matter and concentrate on them above all else.”
At this point one of the listeners says, “Wait… What was that thing again about the hats?”

Movies for the seeing impaired

Jodi: Sometimes your facial expressions don’t match the situation. At all.
Me: Oh, no, they are always correct expressions. We are just out-of-sync.
***
Seeing a movie at the Capitol theater a week or so ago. The movie starts. WB logo comes on screen. A woman’s voice says, “LOGO, CENTER SCREEN.” It is a strange choice, I think, esthetically. The voice reads the text appearing on screen. “In space, survival is impossible.”
The voice starts to describe the action on screen. People float in space. One dances to music. One is frustrated. I am pleased the voice will be explaining facial expressions as we go.

The film stops cold. The blackness of space is replaced with the blackness of nothing. Two completely different blacknesses.
Someone says, “They are fixing the sound. It was playing the soundtrack for the visually impaired headsets.”
The film begins again at the beginning.

I watch the film regretting what could have been. As the film passed the previous stopping point I am left to wonder what the narrator would say. Probably information to enrich my moviegoing experience. In space narration is possible, but optional and limited.

***
By the way, I prefer the version of Charles Chaplin’s “Gold Rush” that he re-released after sound came in. Chaplin narrates the silent film all the way through. Critics revile this version. I love it.

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Hats off to Michael O’Donoghue

Michael O’Donoghue semi-famously said:

Making people laugh is the lowest form of humor.

He also said:

A kangaroo walks into a bar. He tells the bartender, “Blood is the lipstick of all wounds.”
The bartender does not know how he said this, or why.

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