Gregory Monro, writer and director, presents an insight to Jerry Lewis, filmmaker and actor, with the film Jerry Lewis The Man Behind The Clown at Prescott Film Festival (PFF). The title fits the complex talent and childlike nature of Lewis. The film brings an insight to the comedian, filmmaker, and his ability to bring pleasure to his audience.
Capturing the early days of the 1950 and 1960s with personal clips brings laughter to the audience at PFF. His work with Dean Martin, a partnership develops after bar incident, capture the gentleman and childhood fun. When this partnership comes to an end, Lewis took on a new direction.
He steps into behind the scenes role of filmmaking. Lewis takes time to learn all areas of filmmaking: directing, acting, camera, and production. His films included The Bellboy, The Ladies Man, and much more.
Lewis took direction and acting to a serious level by creating “Jerry’s Noisy Toy.” This invention changed filmmaking forever. His ability to frame a film, create films years ahead of their time, and direction of this film is groundbreaking. He states, “If you think talking to me is easy, you’re crazy,” about directing himself.
The personal interviews with Sean Hayes, an actor who played Lewis a TV biopic, Pierre Etaix, a French clown, and Martin Scorsese are personal. The interview brings complexity to the clown face. Lewis was not only an American comedian but internationally honored as an extraordinary filmmaker. Monro’s film shows Lewis as many Americans see him, the childhood comedian, and the international view, an exceptional filmmaker.
Often misunderstood and criticized for his work, but he brings brilliance to entertainment with laughter, art, and innovation to film. Lewis says, “If you give love to your audience they will give it back.”He was always a child. Lewis states, “I have always been 5.” You could see this in his comedy personality.
Lewis, a humanitarian, actor, comedian, influence in film, a child, and man is in this film. He never lost his childhood spirit. This brought pleasure to his audiences enjoying his films.
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