Sunday, November 12, 2006

This Sunday's New York Times Magazine ("The Movie Issue") is one of the better collections I've read recently. Highlights include:

  • How to Be Funny. Ten comedians address various situations. For instance, Teri Garr explains "How to Be Directed by a Comedy Nonlegend," and Paul Rudd describes "How to Be Funny When You Are Incredibly Good-Looking."
  • On a Desert Island.... Twenty-two comedians pick the five comedy DVDs they'd most like to have with them if they were stranded on a desert island. (It is unspecified whether or not there would also be a DVD player.)
    • Top vote-getters: This Is Spinal Tap (4); Dumb and Dumber (3); and Dr. Strangelove (3). Seven more were tied at 2. (No one voted for Robin Hood: Men in Tights.)
    • Mine would be, off the top of my head (which is to say, don't hold me to this): The Big Lebowski; Caddyshack; History of the World: Part I; Monty Python and the Holy Grail; and This Is Spinal Tap. (Honorable mentions to Airplane, Dumb and Dumber, Happy Gilmore, Snatch, and about half a dozen others.)
  • The Shape-Shifter. A 3,000-word profile of Christopher Guest.
  • A Wild and Uncrazy Guy. A 5,000-word profile of Will Ferrell. (Translation: the Magazine thinks that Will Ferrell is 1.66 times as good as Christopher Guest.)
  • Funny Money. Why there have been so many Hollywood comedies lately. (Short answer: because they cost so little that they're much more likely to be profitable. Though "little," clearly, is relative.)

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