Author Topic: Actor Writer Director Harold Ramis of Caddyshack Ghostbusters Groundhog Day Dies  (Read 14450 times)

Offline Aloysius J. Gleek

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VIDEO
[youtube=425,350]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVCGAry7N-o&noredirect=1[/youtube]
VIDEO|1:47
Harold Ramis's Many Roles The film critic A. O. Scott discusses the career
of the actor and director Harold Ramis, who died Monday. He is best known
for his impact on comedy.





"Tu doives entendre je t'aime."
(and you know who I am...)


Cowboy Curtis (Laurence Fishburne)
and Pee-wee in the 1990 episode
"Camping Out"

Offline Aloysius J. Gleek

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http://www.vulture.com/2014/02/edelstein-on-harold-ramis-19442014.html


Edelstein on
Harold Ramis:
A Rock in a
Sea of Loons

By David Edelstein
Today at 5:47 PM



Ramis, on the set of Groundhog Day


Harold Ramis, the co-star of Ghostbusters and director of Caddyshack and Groundhog Day, was a famously menschy and stable guy in a sea of loons —some of them not so menschy or at the very least troubled, needy, and subject to unending insecurities. You could argue that said stability contributed to his less-than-electric presence onscreen, and he would actually have been the first to agree. Ramis said he realized one night while performing at Chicago’s Second Stage that he could never compete for laughs with John Belushi — a whirlwind, a force, a man who followed his demons. What Ramis followed was in some ways more mysterious. The ones who cultivate an inner calm while others are dropping around them might well have the tougher job. He was a straight man on and off the screen. But oh, what timing.

He began by penning jokes for Playboy, then moved into the world of the National Lampoon, where he worked on its short-lived but beloved Radio Hour beside some of the most iconoclastic writers in comedy — Doug Kenney, Henry Beard, Michael O’Donoghue, and eventually fellow Chicagoan John Hughes[/color]. That led to Second City with Gilda Radner and Belushi and a stint at SCTV and then co-writing the seminal slob comedy of (maybe) all time, Animal House. His first feature as director, Caddyshack, was a mess (loathed by co-writer Kenney, who would fall off a cliff and die while in the throes of his dismay at the producers’ editing choices), but one that somehow cohered and became a monster hit. Ramis had learned from Ivan Reitman (the director of Meatballs, Stripes, and Ghostbusters, all of which he co-wrote) to cast clown princes and let them find their own rhythm. In other ways, though, he was the opposite of Reitman, known in some quarters for his nastiness. Ramis kept himself centered so that others could bounce off the walls.

I’m guessing his Buddhist leanings helped give Groundhog Day its easy tempo and core of emotional truth: the yearning to go back in time — again and again and again — and get things “right.” What Murray’s character finally learns is the Zen ideal: to live in the present moment but with a kind of 20/20 hindsight. The film is — with 20/20 hindsight — one of the best of the ‘90s, underrated in its day the way virtually all mainstream Hollywood comedies are. And how many directors can say that they have redefined a holiday for all time? On February 2, many of us still wake up hoping to hear "I’ve Got You, Babe" and Frankie Yankovic’s "Pennsylvania Polka."

Ramis had an awful time on Groundhog Day with Murray, with whom he’d worked on Caddyshack, Stripes, and, most famously, as Egon the thick-lensed brain in Ghostbusters and the underrated Ghostbusters II. During a Q&A with me while promoting his lone noir, The Ice Harvest (sardonic but not a comedy), he said that Murray had become impossible even by Murray’s standard. They didn’t speak again until shortly before his death, when the two reconciled. He was, I guess, someone you don’t want to let go without thanks.

At our Q&A, I mentioned how much I loved Groundhog Day and National Lampoon’s Vacation and Analyze This, and waggled my hand to suggest I thought Analyze That wasn’t up to snuff. He looked enormously hurt. “What? You didn’t like Analyze That ?” he asked, with heartbreaking ingenuousness. “Huh.” I know that no one likes to hear that any of their movies aren’t up to snuff, but it occurred to me a minute too late that Ramis was one of those people who put his heart into everything.

He kept his life — the last part of which was spent in Chicago — on an even, Buddhist keel while devising parables that expressed his more innate belief: that the world was absurd and cruel and ridiculous. It has been the religion of Jewish comics at least since Moses saw his tribe worship false idols and smashed the Ten Commandments and then looked back up Mount Sinai and said, Oy. But in all those parables — from National Lampoon’s Vacation to Ghostbusters II to Groundhog Day to Multiplicity and lesser films — Ramis could right humanity’s overturned ship in ways that never seemed cheap. He brought an orderly frame to unruly passions. He upended us with laughter and kept us grounded.

"Tu doives entendre je t'aime."
(and you know who I am...)


Cowboy Curtis (Laurence Fishburne)
and Pee-wee in the 1990 episode
"Camping Out"

Offline CellarDweller

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good thoughts and prayers to his family.


Tell him when l come up to him and ask to play the record, l'm gonna say: ''Voulez-vous jouer ce disque?''
'Voulez-vous, will you kiss my dick?'
Will you play my record? One-track mind!

Offline Aloysius J. Gleek

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What I, Ned Ryerson,
Learned From Harold Ramis



http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/culturebox/2014/02/harold_ramis_stephen_tobolowsky_remembers_the_groundhog_day_director.html

Remembering Harold Ramis
What he taught me about comedy
on the set of Groundhog Day.


By Stephen Tobolowsky
(AKA 'Ned Ryerson' in Groundhog Day )
FEB. 25 2014 3:32 PM



Actor Stephen Tobolowsky as 'Ned Ryerson' in Groundhog Day.



Harold Ramis knew what it took to make something funny.


I didn’t know Harold Ramis well. Our main point of contact was that we worked together for a few weeks in 1992 on the movie Groundhog Day. However, that was no ordinary film. The experience was like walking on a rope bridge in the Himalayas. Every gust of wind was memorable. I would like to share the essential shapes I saw and the impression he made on me.

I met Harold when I tried out for Groundhog Day. He didn’t watch my audition. He auditioned with me! He grabbed a script, stood up, and played Phil Connors, the weatherman Bill Murray would make iconic. And Harold was good! He said he thought it would help put the actors at ease to read with a fellow actor rather than a casting assistant.

As he talked to me about the movie, I noticed something in his expression that, as I look back, was an essential characteristic. Whatever he said, whatever he did, he looked like he was trying to suppress a smile. It was as if laughter was always trying to escape. It didn’t matter if Bill Murray and I were shooting our street scene, or the weather had blown in, attempting to ruin our schedule, or if Harold was trying to settle some conflict on the set; he always seemed on the verge of laughing.

He taught me a lot about comedic directing in those few weeks. I asked him if he thought I was a bit over-the-top in my characterization as Ned Ryerson, the obnoxious insurance salesman forever accosting Phil Connors. Harold smiled and shook his head, “No, Stephen, in comedy you have the stew—and you have the spice in the stew. Bill is the stew. He has to play it straight. You’re the spice. Have fun!”

When the scene called for Bill to punch me out on the corner, I went to Harold and asked if there was anything he wanted me to do. He leaned in and whispered with that half-smile, “Do whatever you want. I’m setting the camera up wide. No close-ups. Comedy only happens when there is a relationship. We’ll see both you and Bill at the same time. Comedy lives in the two shot.”

At one break Harold came up to me for no reason at all. He looked off into the distance and ruminated, “You know, Stephen, it’s impossible to become a professional actor. It’s too hard for anyone to do it on their own. Everyone who has made it has had at least four heroes that helped them. They come from nowhere. They come when you least expect them. But they are there.” Harold didn’t know it, but he was one of my four.

My overall impression of the man will not be his enormous talent, even though his achievements will be lasting. I was struck by his courage. He was unafraid. When we were at the end of the first week of shooting, Harold shot a huge scene when Phil Connors realizes time has stopped and he is living in a world with no consequences. Bill spray-paints his room at the inn. He cuts his hair into a mohawk. He chainsaws the place in two, knowing, in the morning, all will be back to normal.

If you know anything about filmmaking, you know how difficult and expensive that scene was to shoot. It took three days. Everything that was destroyed had to be rebuilt. Paint had to be cleaned off of walls. The set had to be restored for different camera shots. Bill’s mohawk toupee cost thousands to make. Not to mention it was near the beginning of shooting, when everything a director does is scrutinized by the studios.

Harold shot the scene, looked at it, and threw it away.

He replaced it with simplicity itself. Bill is about to go to sleep. He breaks a pencil and puts the two pieces on his nightstand. Cut to: Sonny and Cher on the radio. Bill wakes up. The pencil is whole.

When I saw this in a theater filled with real people, the audience gasped. Harold understood the power of poetry and had the courage to tell the story his way.

We often have no choice in our memories. Sometimes the most trivial things remain, when other moments of seemingly great significance are forgotten. I was at a party with Harold in Malibu after the shoot. He brought his guitar and said, “I just finished writing a new song, want to hear it?” He sat under the stars and played. It was beautiful, so filled with joy. Harold looked like he was 18. He closed his eyes and his perpetual half-smile was now whole. It may have been the happiest I had ever seen him.

Fortunately, his work and talent have been preserved. It is the magic conjured by the art of film. We can always coax him to return to us through our laughter. It’s the lesson he taught me, comedy always lives in the two shot.

"Tu doives entendre je t'aime."
(and you know who I am...)


Cowboy Curtis (Laurence Fishburne)
and Pee-wee in the 1990 episode
"Camping Out"

Offline Aloysius J. Gleek

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http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20140225/tribeca/harold-ramis-fans-leave-twinkies-filled-tribute-at-ghostbusters-firehouse


Harold Ramis Fans
Leave Twinkies-Filled Tribute
at 'Ghostbusters' Firehouse

By Gustavo Solis
February 25, 2014 12:30pm





Harold Ramis fans brought flowers, Twinkies, and Crunch bars to the TribBeCa firehouse where
part of the famous flick was filmed.




Victoria Booth, 32, heard of Ramis' death last night and decided to place some flowers outside
the firehouse Tuesday morning.



TRIBECA — Harold Ramis fans honored the late comedian who brought them "Ghostbusters," "Animal House" and "Groundhog Day" with an impromptu tribute made of Twinkies and flowers on Tuesday.

The memorial sprang up Monday night at the Hook & Ladder 8 firehouse on North Moore and Varick Streets — which served as the Ghostbusters headquarters in Ramis' 1984 classic movie — after news of the 69-year-old's death. It was quickly filled with flowers, along with Twinkies, a nod to a scene in which Ramis' character Dr. Egon Spengler used the Hostess snack cake as a measurement of supernatural activity.



[youtube=425,350]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pzaQjS1JstY&noredirect=1[/youtube]



“I’ve seen [Ghostbusters] about a thousand billion jillion times,” said Victoria Booth, 32, who stopped by the firehouse about 11 a.m. Tuesday. “I can just watch over and over again.”

Booth lay down some flowers and red cutout hearts with quotes from Ghostbusters.

Others stopped by to take pictures and admire the unorthodox memorial, originally reported by Gothamist.






"Tu doives entendre je t'aime."
(and you know who I am...)


Cowboy Curtis (Laurence Fishburne)
and Pee-wee in the 1990 episode
"Camping Out"

Offline Aloysius J. Gleek

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Bump.
"Tu doives entendre je t'aime."
(and you know who I am...)


Cowboy Curtis (Laurence Fishburne)
and Pee-wee in the 1990 episode
"Camping Out"