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Best foes, best friends: Richard Lewis, Larry David and the love between them

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Best foes, best friends: Richard Lewis, Larry David and the love between them

Richard Lewis’ shtick was both morose and personal.

The comedian, who died Tuesday at age 76, had stand-up specials with names like “I’m in Pain” and “I’m Exhausted,” and his memoir from 2000 is titled “The Other Great Depression.” He usually dressed in all black and would speak self-deprecatingly and candidly about relationships, therapy and addiction. He’s credited with coining the phrase “from hell” (as in “cat from hell” or “date from hell”) and his sets included a lot of ranting and yelling at no one in particular.

But when Lewis appeared on HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” there was a focus to his ire: his lifelong friend, and the series’ star and creator, Larry David. From the first episode of the show, when Lewis’ version of himself screams at David’s heightened version of himself for not liking his girlfriend, the men are the bickering old marrieds that the show deserved.

For the record:

6:19 p.m. Feb. 28, 2024Richard Lewis said he would retire from stand-up, not acting, when he revealed his Parkinson’s diagnosis in 2023.

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In fact, even after Lewis announced in 2023 that he had Parkinson’s disease and would retire from stand-up, he still appeared in “Curb’s” final season. Fittingly, in the third episode, “Vertical Drop, Horizontal Tug,” which aired Feb. 18, they argued over David’s objection to Lewis making him the benefactor in his will. (HBO confirmed that he will appear in three more episodes.)

Richard Lewis, left, and Larry David in Episode 3 of the final season of HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”

(John Johnson / HBO)

“Richard and I were born three days apart in the same hospital and for most of my life he’s been like a brother to me,” David said in a statement released by HBO on Wednesday. “He had that rare combination of being the funniest person and also the sweetest. But today he made me sob and for that I’ll never forgive him.”

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The Times spoke with both Lewis and David ahead of the premiere of “Curb’s” final season, with the former promising that all of the bickering did come from a place of love.

“We have this profound affection for one another and respect for our craft,” Lewis said in the interview. “And we’ve always been there for one another. Some of my idiosyncratic things in my behavior that he picks up on — and he has ever since we were adolescents; he really has remembered most of the juicy ones and has put them into the show.”

Offscreen, David learned to choose his battles. When they were younger, Lewis said that David teased him about his penchant for black clothing, but that “now he totally accepts it.” However, Lewis added, “No matter where we are, if I say something that he thinks he’s catched me in saying something idiotic or improperly, he’ll nail me for it “

Richard Lewis, dressed all in black, holds a golf club and stands next to a golf cart.

Richard Lewis in a typical all-black outfit on “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”

(John Johnson / HBO)

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“We do try to catch each other all the time in real life,” Lewis said. “It’s some kind of game we play. I guess we’re unusual best friends.”

Lewis said that the real and fictitious versions of themselves “sort of blurs.” He came home one day after shooting “Curb” and told his wife, Joyce Lapinsky, that he wasn’t sure what he’d filmed, but it involved yelling and hurling a chopstick at David. She responded, “Didn’t you once [actually] throw a chopstick at him?”

Series executive producer and frequent director Jeff Schaffer told The Times ahead of “Curb’s” season premiere: “We have a lot of fun in scenes with Richard because, I think, there’s literally no restrictions.”

And David noted, “Because we’re such old friends, I can say anything I want to him and vice versa. So there’s a certain freedom that comes with that. … Anything I say to him on the show, I would say to him in life. I think I treat him worse in life.”

But Lewis also knew how to use this in his favor.

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“If I’m going to say something hopefully funny but also serious, I don’t stare directly into his eyes,” Lewis said. “Because if I do, he’ll laugh.”

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Movie Reviews

Humane (2024) – Review | Dystopian Family Thriller | Heaven of Horror

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Humane (2024) – Review | Dystopian Family Thriller | Heaven of Horror

How to reduce the population in a humane way

In Humane, which takes place in one single afternoon, but based on events that have happened over decades, a family is forced to deal with an ecological collapse. Basically, we need to reduce Earth’s population now, so the question becomes; How can we do that as a society in a humane way?

Hot tip: You need to pay attention to everything being said in the background during the opening credits!

Of course, there isn’t anything humane about having to eliminate a large percentage of the population. And yet, money can help, so a new euthanasia program has been made. Basically, you can volunteer to be “put down!

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A very different take on the euthanasia plot here >

Your family will be by your side as you say goodbye to them and they will also get a pretty penny for your sacrifice. Clearly, this scheme leads to mostly poor people and immigrants signing up, as they can then help their children and grandchildren to a better life.

That’s why it’s such a shock when a recently retired newsman – who has plenty of wealth to last a few lifetimes – invites his four grown children to dinner to announce that he has enlisted for the euthanasia program.

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Of course, nothing is as simple as described in the commercials constantly playing on TV to enlist volunteers. So, when the father’s plan goes wrong, full-blown chaos erupts among the four siblings, and they end up fighting each other to survive.

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The week’s bestselling books, April 28

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The week’s bestselling books, April 28

Hardcover fiction

1. James by Percival Everett (Doubleday: $28) An action-packed reimagining of “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.” 5

2. The Women by Kristin Hannah (St. Martin’s Press: $30) An intimate portrait of coming of age in a dangerous time and an epic tale of a nation divided. 11

3. Table for Two by Amor Towles (Viking: $32) A collection of stories from the author of “The Lincoln Highway.” 3

4. The Familiar by Leigh Bardugo (Flatiron Books: $30) A magic-infused novel set in the Spanish Golden Age. 2

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5. The Hunter by Tana French (Viking: $32) A taut tale of retribution and family set in the Irish countryside. 7

6. Martyr! by Kaveh Akbar (Knopf: $28) An orphaned son of Iranian immigrants embarks on a search for a family secret. 12

7. The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store by James McBride (Riverhead: $28) The discovery of a skeleton in Pottstown, Pa., opens out to a story of integration and community. 37

8. Until August by Gabriel García Márquez, Anne McLean (Transl.) (Knopf: $22) The Nobel Prize winner’s rediscovered novel. 6

9. A Calamity of Souls by David Baldacci (Grand Central: $30) A courtroom drama set in 1968 southern Virginia from the bestselling author. 1

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10. North Woods by Daniel Mason (Random House: $28) A sweeping historical tale focused on a single house in the New England woods. 24

Hardcover nonfiction

1. Somehow by Anne Lamott (Riverhead Books: $22) A joyful celebration of love from the bestselling author. 2

2. Knife by Salman Rushdie (Random House: $28) The renowned writer’s searing account of the 2022 attempt on his life. 1

3. An Unfinished Love Story by Doris Kearns Goodwin (Simon & Schuster: $35) The historian weaves together memoir and history in recounting the journey she and her husband embarked upon in the last years of his life. 1

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4. The Age of Magical Overthinking by Amanda Montell (Atria/One Signal Publishers: $29) A look at our cognitive biases and the power, disadvantages and highlights of magical thinking. 2

5. The Creative Act by Rick Rubin (Penguin: $32) The music producer’s guidance on how to be a creative person. 66

6. The Wide Wide Sea by Hampton Sides (Doubleday: $35) An epic account of Capt. James Cook’s final voyage. 2

7. The Wager by David Grann (Doubleday: $30) The story of the shipwreck of an 18th century British warship and a mutiny among the survivors. 50

8. The Anxious Generation by Jonathan Haidt (Penguin Press: $30) An investigation into the collapse of youth mental health and a plan for a healthier, freer childhood. 4

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9. Grief Is for People by Sloane Crosley (MCD: $27) A deeply moving and suspenseful portrait of friendship and loss. 6

10. Age of Revolutions by Fareed Zakaria (W.W. Norton & Co.: $30) Inside the eras and movements that have shaken norms while shaping the modern world. 3

Paperback fiction

1. The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu, Ken Liu (Transl.) (Tor: $19)

2. Just for the Summer by Abby Jimenez (Forever: $18)

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3. Dune by Frank Herbert (Ace: $18)

4. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas (Bloomsbury: $19)

5. How to End a Love Story by Yulin Kuang (Avon: $19)

6. Old God’s Time by Sebastian Barry (Penguin: $18)

7. A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles (Penguin: $18)

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8. Horse by Geraldine Brooks (Penguin: $19)

9. Weyward by Emilia Hart (St. Martin’s Griffin: $19)

10. The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah (St. Martin’s Griffin: $19)

Paperback nonfiction

1. Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton (Harper Perennial: $19)

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2. The Eater Guide to Los Angeles (Abrams Image: $20)

3. The Hundred Years’ War on Palestine by Rashid Khalidi (Picador: $20)

4. Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann (Vintage: $18)

5. All About Love by bell hooks (Morrow: $17)

6. American Prometheus by Kai Bird, Martin J. Sherwin (Vintage: $25)

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7. Just Kids by Patti Smith (Ecco: $19)

8. Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner (Vintage: $17)

9. Truth Is the Arrow, Mercy Is the Bow by Steve Almond (Zando: $18)

10. Once Upon a Tome by Oliver Darkshire (W.W. Norton & Co.: $18)

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There’s Still Tomorrow (2023) – Movie Review

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There’s Still Tomorrow (2023) – Movie Review

There’s Still Tomorrow, 2023.

Directed by Paola Cortellesi.
Starring Paola Cortellesi, Valerio Mastandrea, Romana Maggiora Vergano, Emanuela Fanelli, Giorgio Colangeli, and Vinicio Marchioni.

SYNOPSIS:

Trying to escape from the patriarchy in the Italian post-war society, Delia plots an act of rebellion against her violent husband.

Italian Cinema has had its share of triumphs over the years with the likes of Federico Fellini and Roberto Rossellini helping to define European Cinema of the mid 1900s. There’s Still Tomorrow from Star and Director Paola Cortellesi, proves that there is still plenty of life left in Italian Cinema. It has earned rave reviews and proven to be the most successful film of 2023 in Italy and the ninth highest-grossing film of all time there.

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Set in Rome in 1946, it follows Delia (Cortellisi), caught in a loveless marriage, struggling to put food on the table. Delia cares for their three young children and is also expected to tend to her bedridden father-in-law.  The Rome we follow is far from the more glamorous one we tend to see now, more like something in Rome Open City, with the effects of the war apparent, with a sizable US military presence still in place.

It has rightly earned plaudits and the way Cortellisi has balanced the period elements with neorealism is worth singling out. On paper this shouldn’t work, feeling often like a drama lifted straight from the era but also with a striking, contemporary edge to it, buoyed by some of the musical choices. The likes of Jon Spencer Blues Explosion and Outkast helping to lend it a ferocious energy and give it a sense of purpose. As far as debuts go this is incredibly ambitious but it never succumbs to striving for too much, miraculously finding balance throughout.

While the action is kept largely to Delia and her family it is gripping with plenty of impressive traits from our first-time director from the use of music and dance to slow motion. Davide Leone’s cinematography is striking and perfectly captures the downbeat nature of post-war Rome.

There’s Still Tomorrow is a wonderful blend of 1940s Italian Cinema and melodrama with a distinctly modern edge to it, landing this awkward balance for the most part. It will be intriguing to see whether international audiences take to it quite as strongly but as Italian as it feels, there is a global appeal to it, of a woman trying to escape a horrendous situation and reclaim her life. It is a very impressive debut and we can only hope Paola Cortellisi directs more in future. It is an unpredictable love letter to Italian cinema and this particular era in Italian society that wears its heart on its sleeve and is hard not to be enamoured with.

Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★ ★

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Chris Connor

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=embed/playlist

 

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