Saturday, 17 October 2009
The Life and Death of Peter Sellers
I'd heard that The Life and Death of Peter Sellers was not for the fainthearted, but the cheerful opening titles lulled me into a forgetful sense of security.
It is full on. His life is a train wreck in slow motion. It is a tragedy. It is hard to like Sellers, which is a gutsy move for a film (you're supposed to like the protagonist).
I love most of Sellers' work. The Goon Show played a huge part in developing my off-beat sense of humour (made even more off-beat by the fact I was listening 30 years out of context).
But the life behind the laughs was a nightmare. Sellers was a boy who never grew up, who became entrapped in an industry that encourages emotional immaturity.
It's a very well-told movie, if you know Sellers and his work.
It makes me wonder: will the future enable the kind of big, but dysfunctional superstars like Sellers?
Or will the disruption that's happening in media and entertainment mean that vulnerable but gifted people like Sellers (and Michael Jackson, and many others) won't be able to insulate themselves from reality?
That's a long question. I bet the answer is even longer.