February 24th, 2014

white dress back

IN MEMORIAM: Harold Ramis

As the poets have mournfully sung,
Death takes the innocent young,
The rolling-in-money,
The screamingly-funny,
And those who are very well hung.
--W. H. Auden

Weird as it sounds, Ghostbusters changed my life. I was all art movies until then. But when Bill Murray pulled the tablecloth from under the table set with china and crystal, I learned to love anarchic comedy. I even loved Animal House, which had struck me at first as sheer vulgarity -- nothing more than vomit humor. It's actually a lot more than that.

Later, with movies like Analyze This and Groundhog Day, Ramis explored deeper, more spiritually significant themes. But he always remained hilarious. Groundhog Day may well be his masterpiece, but I also loved the sly, wicked humor -- and psychological insight -- of Analyze This.

See you on the other side, Harold.

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