There are some people who can literally get away with anything — say anything, do anything — and people will let them. Other people attempt a mildly dirty joke and bring total silence down on a party. Mel Brooks is not only a member of the first group, he is its lifetime president. At its best, his comedy operates in areas so far removed from taste that (to coin his own expression) it rises below vulgarity. ”Blazing Saddles” is like that. -Roger Ebert, from his review of “Blazing Saddles”
Mike and I attended another outdoor movie last weekend, this time a screening of Blazing Saddles at Oscars Outdoors, a summer movie series presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. This is our second experience with Oscars Outdoors and, to date, we can only say great things about it. It’s affordable at only $5/ticket (and Mike’s ticket was only $3 because he’s a student), parking is free in a nearby gated lot, crowds are completely manageable, the screen is beautiful and large, the sound is fantastic, and there are now indoor restrooms. We had to drive to Hollywood during rush-hour on a Friday evening (ugh!) but, you know, that’s not the Academy’s fault.
The other bonus is that producers, editors, and other crew members from these films take part in a brief Q&A just before the movie begins. The quote, above, from Roger Ebert was read as an intro to this session, and it was riveting to hear about how Mel Brooks approached the film (and how Hollywood bigwigs almost didn’t green-light it at all) from folks who know firsthand.
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