Thursday, December 16, 2010

Farewell Jean and Blake

Why does it always seem like the end of the year brings a spate of passings? Yesterday we had conflicting "is he or isn't he dead?" reports about Eurotrash filmmaker Jean Rollin (he is, apparently) while today brought news that Blake Edwards is gone.

Despite being a huge Eurotrash fan, I am a definite neophyte when it comes to Rollin's work. I can honestly say that the only one of his films I know for a fact I've sat through is ZOMBIE LAKE. And I always thought it was a Jess Franco flick. Hell, even after seeing it I think it's a Jess Franco flick.

Ironically, the latest update to the ER website features a handful of Jean Rollin reviews from the pen of Louis Fowler (including FASCINATION and REQUIEM FOR A VAMPIRE), though not everybody on our crack staff feels as fondly about the man.

I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for the man, though. After our daughter was born in June 2007, the first film my wife and I sat down and watched with her was the aforementioned ZOMBIE LAKE. That's me holding her next to the on-screen menu to commemorate the event. Hey, what can I say – she was a week old and we took pictures of her doing everything!

The passing of Blake Edwards definitely means a lot more in our house, though. I was a HUGE fan of his Pink Panther flicks as a kid and they provided me with hours and hours of laughs both in the theater and via countless viewings on TV. I also remember all the controversy and outrage that accompanied the release of his flick SOB and the earth-shattering news that Maria from THE SOUND OF MUSIC was going to show her boobs.

In other manly endeavors, Edwards wrote and directed 10 and created PETER GUNN and MR. LUCKY. Nice.

For my wife, though, this is the man who made OPERATION PETTICOAT (a perennial fave whenever it shows up on TCM) and THE GREAT RACE, not to mention BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S and probably a few other classics I missed while I was watching RE-ANIMATOR for the 27th time.

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