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Richard Lester, An Appreciation

January 19, 2016

Just reblogging this for Richard Lester’s birthday.

conradbrunstrom

kinnear

Sometimes wonder why Richard Lester doesn’t have the critical esteem he deserves.  Robert Altman was rightly regarded as a pioneer, but Richard Lester… not so much.  Yet the best of Richard Lester offers a kind of deracination that is as humane as it is inventive.  The best Richard Lester movies put us in the right and proper situation of not knowing where to look.

Just as Altman movies repay repeated viewing because we’re not sure who we should be listening to – Lester movies, more visually, crowd the screen with detail which may or may not be relevant.  Like Pieter Bruegel  (or, more accurately, Auden’s poem about Pieter Bruegel), the peasantry always threatens to overwhelm the main players.

Hard Day’s Night (which I prefer by its French title – Quatre Garcons dans Le Vent) is about how ordinary people can be plucked from a crowd and remain of it.  Though…

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