The Running Jumping & Standing Still Film (1959) is a 11 min short by Richard Lester. Supposedly one of his first films, The Running Jumping is basically one sight gag after another, cleverly crafted yet somewhat rudimentary; obviously it was produced as an experiment. Lester's use of droll antics and irony predated what would manifest itself in A Hard Day's Night, although Lester had already developed a certain style in preceding films. Nevertheless, what ignited Lester's career was soon to come, however, as funny as it seems, The Running Jumping billed an actor who would garner more stardom than Lester himself: Peter Sellers. Peter Sellers is featured as a sly Nimrod who prances around a field and soon engages in a duel with a muscleman. This is a far cry from a serious role as Chance the Gardener, however Sellers still is riot and it is appropriate considering that The Running Jumping was made at the height of a postmodern British Slapstick movement. Other hilarities in the film include a frustrated photographer at his wits' end, a family of buffoons dragging an English kite, and the absurd yet cliched boxer signaling a fool into his direction. Although a fun trip, The Running Jumping is not a good introduction to Lester's oeuvre. If you can try to find that rare copy of Hard Day's Night with Running Jumping tagged on at the end: that's how I saw it. Then give How I Won The War, Help, and The Forum a chance.
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