Q1 2018

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17 Q1 2018 / CINEMONTAGE THIS QUARTER IN FILM HISTORY Celebrity Crush by Edward Landler I n The King of Comedy (1983), directed by Martin Scorsese from Newsweek film critic Paul D. Zimmerman's script, fledgling comic Rupert Pupkin wants to be a star. Obsessed with celebrity itself, he emerges from the subculture of fandom to take a shot at fame by kidnapping late night talk show host Jerry Langford. The ransom for the star's release: Pupkin must first appear on Langford's nationally televised show performing his comedy routine. Opening in New York City on February 18, 1983, The King of Comedy was greeted with anxious anticipation. Scorsese's star and winner of the Best Actor Oscar for his previous film, Raging Bull (1980), Robert DeNiro was playing Pupkin. Playing opposite him was the legendary comedian/actor/writer/director/producer/TV variety show host Jerry Lewis as Langford. Just two months later, in April when the Cannes Film Festival announced the selections for its 1983 edition, The King of Comedy was slotted for its May 7 opening night gala. (Back then, every film at Cannes was not a premiere.) For the French, the collaboration among their revered comic auteur Lewis, the rising young auteur Scorsese and the brilliant method actor DeNiro was a cinematic event of historic proportions. In Ronald Reagan's America, 35 years ago, however, the movie's satire of the media's emerging mixture of real life and entertainment struck uncomfortable notes. Despite some favorable reviews and fair box office returns in New York and Los Angeles, the picture earned less than $2 million in its first weeks of release. By the time Cannes made its selection, 20th Century-Fox was CONTINUED ON PAGE 18 The King of Comedy. 20th Century-Fox Film Corporation/ Photofest

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