Miscellaneous (한 + EN)

코미디의 왕 The King of Comedy

2020-11-05 09:59

20th Century Fox; Retrieved from The Ringer

Could Rupert Pupkin succeed today? Would he be different at all, in a modern context?

Scorsese: I don’t see how. And why should he be? There are so many Ruperts around us. There’s so much dilution, and democratizing of what quality is, for better or for worse.

— Abrams, S. (June 27, 2016). Martin Scorsese on The King of Comedy’s modern relevance: “There are so many Ruperts around us.” Vanity Fair.

In the early 80s, I got the chance to work with Jerry on The King of Comedy. By that time, he had become a legend in movies and on the late night television talk show circuit, which was a world unto itself – one that I loved and that I was paying homage to in the picture. It was a world in which professionals such as Jack Paar and Johnny Carson and regular guests like Don Rickles and Jerry used all of their performing skills, the sense of timing and rhythm that they’d honed throughout the years to the finest point, to create a feeling of relaxation and intimacy with their audiences. We were looking at the other side of the equation, namely the people in the audience who took the intimacy literally, and the very thin line between love and hatred that could develop when they learned that it was all just a beautiful illusion. I remember Jerry telling us many stories about his own experiences, one of which we incorporated into the picture.

— Scorsese, M. (September 1, 2017). Martin Scorsese on Jerry Lewis: 'It was like watching a virtuoso pianist at the keyboard.' The Guardian.

... This invigorating sense of possibility ... is the great gift of Americanness. ... “according to his ability or achievement” is the tempering phrase, a shrewd bit of expectations management. A “better and richer life” is promised, but for most people this won’t be a rich person’s life. “Opportunity for each” is promised, but within the bounds of each person’s ability; the reality is, some people will realize the American Dream more stupendously and significantly than others. ... The American Dream was now almost by definition unattainable, a moving target that eluded people’s grasp; nothing was ever enough. It compelled Americans to set unmeetable goals for themselves and then consider themselves failures when these goals, inevitably, went unmet.

— Kamp, D. (March 5, 2009). Rethinking the American Dream. Vanity Fair.

It is about selling the Dream, regardless of whether it results in success or failure—and about the enactment of an ideology that hovers at the edges of any discourse about American morality. It is the potential of great ambition, rather than of great talent, that drives these hopefuls and inspires their fans. William Hung's devotion to his new vocation evokes the famous words of Florence Foster Jenkins: “Some may say that I couldn't sing,” she allowed, “but no one can say that I didn't sing” (Peters 23).

— Meizel, K. (2009). Making the dream a reality (show): the celebration of failure in American Idol. Popular Music and Society, 32(4), 475-488. doi: 10.1080/03007760802217725


<코미디의 왕>의 루퍼트 펍킨이 무서운 이유가 있다면, 아메리칸 드림이라는 미국적 에토스를 적나라하게 보여주기 때문이라고 답하겠다. 역설적으로, <코미디의 왕>의 루퍼트 펍킨에 연민할 구석이 있다면, 아메리칸 드림이라는 미국적 에토스를 적나라하게 보여주기 때문이라고 답하겠다. 무엇이든—내가 원한다면—될 수 있다고 믿는 것. 그 기저에 깔린 정서는 미래에 대한 확신도 있겠지만 불능에 대한 거절도 있을 것이다. 전자는 멋지다고 생각하지만, 후자는 다소 위태로워 보인다. 왜냐하면 모든 변화는 자신이 극복할 수 없는 문제가 있음을 인지할 때 시작하기 때문이다. 행복회로를 돌리는 사무원들이 조직을 바꿀 수 없는 것처럼, 그러한 절망을 동반하지 않는 변화는 대체로 진화가 아닌 퇴화로 귀결되기 마련이다.