Monday, March 07, 2005

Lenny Bruce: Take Two

Filmmaker Fred Baker takes exception to my recent review of his film Lenny Bruce Without Tears. I may have more to say about this later, but for now I'll let his remarks stand on their own:

"Gotta say this to you man!......

I think your 7 Deadly Arts review of "Lenny Bruce Without Tears" fairly bogus in its carping about "it's not the real Lenny--the heavy Lenny" or whatever it is you're actually not saying in the review as to what is "heavier" about Lenny than depicted in my film--or whatever you think so many of his enthusiasts (your readers) think his "depth" was that they will miss seeing in my film!..That's pretty personally relative, isn't it? You know it's a film man--it's not a collage of phonograph recordings & still photographs you can listen to or look at while listening--that period was not yet a videotaping era, his club work and concerts were not on film, unfortunately.

But what I did do & faithfully tried and succeeded doing--a lot more than you seem aware of or, at least willing to give me or the film credit for--was to give it's viewers every fucking piece of live footage ever done that I could find on our very funny very persecuted friend. Of course his were guarded performances on TV-but they were his live working performances man--and brilliantly funny in their mimicry and social awareness of all of the shams going down. Ferreting out every inch of his arrest footage, courtroom footage, police photographed death footage, all unearthed in this film and this was the film to find all that. It/I made interviews with heavyweight thinking people of that era (Hentoff, Garbus, Muggeridge, Tynan) who saw into his persecution and his inate comedic genius much deeper and politically meaningful than what I think you think--but can't seem able to express in words, nor can anyone else I might say--was "heavy" about Lenny. Because what he sp[oke of was personal and each one of us felt his weight albeit can't express what that is.
I hope you are not saying, oh heaven forfend--that for you "the real Lenny" are the (tee hee)"smutty" words that he could not use on TV, or chose not to use in or outside courthouses?

I certainly hope that's not where you're at in your somewhat shallow, carping review of my film? I think you can do better than that."

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