Friday, March 10, 2006

Man on the Moon, Andy Kaufman, Jim Carrey, REM



I just watched Man on the Moon(1999) a few days back. This Milos Forman directed, Jim Carrey film is a must watch for Carrey's sometimes manically faithfull presentation of Andy Kaufman's life. Kaufman as my google search tells me was a very talented man who was far ahead of his times. I got to know of Andy Kaufman due to the movie. Kaufman's endeavour was to be a step ahead of what his audiences expected. This also later became a trait the house expected out of him and Kaufman had to consistently outmanuever his audiences. At a show in a school in the mid-west US he actually read out F.Scott Fitzgerald's, The Great Gatsby to a screaming crowd which wanted him to mimic the Lithunianian character,Latka, he essayed in the TV show, Taxi. At the end of the book which Kaufman continued reading with a straight face, there were about ten people left in the audience and they were fast asleep. The other remarkable aspects of Kaufman was his impersonation of Elvis Presley and the fact that he was the first inter-gender wreastling champion!


Kaufman died young at the age of 35 due to some rare form of cancer. This bit in the movie is brought out very poignantly and with the irony that goes about most comedians, as to everyone thinks Andy is pulling another fast on on them. Courtney Love as his wife is very pretty, she does the usual caring and crying not much else. However, the movie does hint at the nature of relationship between the couple. The movie is rather short in my opinion but in that 90 minutes, it involves you in Kaufman's antics, his refusal to be categorised as a stand up comic. Kaufman prefered to call himself an artist, a song and dance man which was where one of famous avtar's Tony Clifton was born. Below is a picture of Andy Kaufman as Tony Clifton.




A web site dedicated to Andy Kaufman tells me that,

he was "referred to by many as a dadaistic comedian, (who) took comedy and performance art to the edges of irrationality and blurred the dividing line between reality and imagination".


Andy kaufman quote from the internet:

"While all the other kids were out playing ball and stuff, I used to stay in my room and imagine that there was a camera in the wall. And I used to really believe that I was putting on a television show and that it was going out to somewhere in the world."


Irony: When Kaufman is dying of cancer,he is told about a miracle healer in Phillipines. At the healer's clinic Kaufman realizes that there is no healing it is all a show, just like his art.


In a 1992 album,Automatic for the People,REM pays a homage to Andy in the song Man on the Moon.

The Lyrics:

Mott the Hoople and the Game of Life. Yeah, yeah,
yeah, yeah

Andy Kaufman in the wrestling match. Yeah, yeah,
yeah, yeah

Monopoly, twenty one, checkers, and chess. Yeah,
yeah, yeah, yeah

Mister Fred Blassie in a breakfast mess. Yeah, yeah,
yeah, yeah

Let's play Twister, let's play Risk. Yeah, yeah,
yeah, yeah

See you in heaven if you make the list. Yeah, yeah,
yeah, yeah


Hey Andy, did you hear about this one? Tell me, are
you locked in the punch?

Hey Andy, are you goofing on Elvis? Hey baby, are we
losing touch?

If you believed they put a man on the moon, man on
the moon

If you believe there's nothing up my sleeve, then
nothing is cool


Moses went walking with the staff of wood. Yeah,
yeah, yeah, yeah

Newton got beaned by the apple good. Yeah, yeah,
yeah, yeah

Egypt was troubled by the horrible asp. Yeah, yeah,
yeah, yeah

Mister Charles Darwin had the gall to ask. Yeah,
yeah, yeah, yeah


Hey Andy, did you hear about this one? Tell me, are
you locked in the punch?

Hey Andy, are you goofing on Elvis? Hey baby, are
you having fun?

If you believed they put a man on the moon, man on
the moon

If you believe there's nothing up my sleeve, then
nothing is cool


Here's a little agit for the never-believer. Yeah,
yeah, yeah, yeah

Here's a little ghost for the offering. Yeah, yeah,
yeah, yeah

Here's a truck stop instead of Saint Peter's. Yeah,
yeah, yeah, yeah

Mister Andy Kaufman's gone wrestling (wrestling
bears). Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah


Hey Andy, did you hear about this one? Tell me, are
you locked in the punch?

Hey Andy, are you goofing on Elvis? Hey baby, are we
losing touch?

If you believed they put a man on the moon, man on
the moon

If you believe there's nothing up my sleeve, then
nothing is cool

If you believed they put a man on the moon, man on
the moon

If you believe there's nothing up my sleeve, then
nothing is cool

If you believed they put a man on the moon, man on
the moon

If you believe there's nothing up my sleeve, then
nothing is cool

If you believed they put a man on the moon, man on
the moon

If you believe there's nothing up my sleeve, then
nothing is cool




Jim Carrey in my opinion is one of those genuises floating around Hollywood, thankfully once in a while he gives mindblowing cinema to savour. Past examples of his virtousity are The Truman Show and The Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind. My personal favorites are The Mask, Liar Liar, Ace Ventura.

2 comments:

aya said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
xanjukta said...

i remember seeing the movie long ago...i remember liking it too. and i remember mentioning it when people were discussing Jim Carrey...traditional response has been "Man on the Moon"...huh?
"The Majestic"...huh? Poor Carrey, a victim of his own making...all that is expected of him is facial histrionics, i mean he is good at that, but must remember he has other talents too.