2 items from 2017
'The Pink Panther' with Peter Sellers: Blake Edwards' 1963 comedy hit and its many sequels revolve around one of the most iconic film characters of the 20th century: clueless, thick-accented Inspector Clouseau – in some quarters surely deemed politically incorrect, or 'insensitive,' despite the lack of brown face make-up à la Sellers' clueless Indian guest in Edwards' 'The Party.' 'The Pink Panther' movies  There were a total of eight big-screen Pink Panther movies co-written and directed by Blake Edwards, most of them starring Peter Sellers – even after his death in 1980. Edwards was also one of the producers of every (direct) Pink Panther sequel, from A Shot in the Dark to Curse of the Pink Panther. Despite its iconic lead character, the last three movies in the Pink Panther franchise were box office bombs. Two of these, The Trail of the Pink Panther and Curse of the Pink Panther, were co-written by Edwards' son, »
Containing multitudes is a time-honored cinematic tradition.
Sure, featuring a single actor as more than one character in your movie smells a bit like a gimmick—but at the end of the day, it’s an efficient and often effective means of showcasing the versatility of a performer. And that can hardly be faulted. We caught a whiff of it with Split this year, though McAvoy might be disqualified for being a Legion of One rather than a cast with a shared face. Personally, I had no idea the trend cast such a wide-reaching historical net — I’d stupidly assumed it was something made possible by the advent of modern makeup and digital tech. Again, stupidly.
Be it gimmick or something more nuanced (or both!) — it’s particularly fascinating that it has such a long standing history as a marketing device. Film quality aside, the main draw is often the performative tour-de-force itself. Some »
- Meg Shields
2 items from 2017
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