The French film journal Cahiers du Cinema published a special issue in Christmas 1967 / January 1968, devoting about 1/3 of the issue to Jerry. There are five articles about Jerry, and I have translated these in the manner that I previously translated Robert Benayoun's book on Jerry, Bonjour, Monsieur Lewis. (See General Chat, Benayoun's book on Jerry) Below is the first article, which is practically identical with Chapter 14 of Benayoun's book, with some minor corrections/improvements in the translation. The other four articles will appear in the coming days and weeks as well as photos (I hope!). Again I would ask you not to re-post these translations or any part of them elsewhere. Please keep in mind - I am not a professional translator and I don't even know French! Comments and helpful critiques are most welcome!
Great interview. Jerry was always the one to speak his mind. When he talks about his childhood and said it felt good to be the center of attention, whether they laughed at or with him is telling. That desire probably came from the neglect he would feel at home . That stayed with him.
And has anyone been interviewed about movie critics as much as Jerry have?
Today I am presenting you 2 articles, both on Jerry's technique, or as the French critics saw it. These are pretty dense, what I call "highfalutin" articles, what Shawn Levy in his biography of Jerry referred to as "theoretical treatises". I think Jerry would have strongly disagreed with much of this content (remember that Jerry said in the interview that the French critics were reading things into his films that he did not consciously put there, they analyzed him too deeply), but you can decide for yourselves. Because of the theoretical and analytical language, the translations were especially difficult, so I apologize for the hazy and stiff texts.
Below is the last article from the special issue of Cahiers du Cinema - a short Lewisian lexicon. The articles on Jerry continued with a filmography, which I have not included, and a short biography that contains the usual errors, e.g. they got Dean Martin's birthday wrong again, or that Patti sang with Tommy Dorsey when it was Jimmy, and they even got Gary Lewis' birth year wrong. Biographies and filmographies of Jerry abound elsewhere on the Internet.
There will however be a final translation of an article referred to in the lexicon -- see "Women".