Obituaries

WE’RE WAVING AT GENE WILDER

By • Aug 30th, 2016 •

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Gene Wilder first amused and impressed me in a wonderful sequence in BONNIE AND CLYDE in 1967. He provided what was to be the last burst of ‘fun’ in the movie before things went terribly downhill for Clyde Barrow and his gang.

Many years ago, Wilder visited The School of Visual Arts for a Q & A, and was asked, as the only major comic actor who had worked with both Woody Allen and Mel Brooks, what the difference was between the two directors’ styles. Woody Allen’s approach to a gag, he explained, was like looking through the telescopic sites of a rifle, taking careful aim, and hitting the bulls-eye. Mel Brooks, on the other hand, would fire a shot-gun at the target, spreading buckshot all over the area – some would hit the target, others would just go wild. The comparison seemed apt. He was friendly and generous with the students, and it was a pleasure having him there for the event.

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