THE COMPARATIST SUBLIME RUPERT AND BEAUTIFUL LENNY: AESTHETICS AND TEMPORALITY IN SCORSESE'S THE KING OF COMEDYAND FOSSE'S LENNY Nikita Nankov Being announces itself in the imperative. [. . J But being is not meaning. (Jean-François Lyotard1) The development of the culture industry has led to the predominance of the effect, the obvious touch, and the technical detail over the work itself--which once expressed an idea, but was liquidated together with the idea. (Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer 9) At the beginning of The King of Comedy (1983), a film directed by Martin Scorsese, there is a key scene, which, however, seems so trivial that it hardly attracts attention: Jerry Langford (Jerry Lewis), a talk-show host, tries to get rid of Rupert Pupkin (Robert De Niro), a pushy, aspiring stand-up comic who wants to become a guest on Jerry's TV show. Let us give an ear to Jerry's hackneyed recipe for how to become a star: [T]his is a crazy business but it's not unlike any other business. There are ground rules. And you don't just walk on to a network show without experience. [. . .] You've got to start at the bottom. [. . .] It looks
The Comparatist – University of North Carolina Press
Published: Oct 3, 2004
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