Richard Lester Pauline Kael - Essay

Pauline Kael

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

There is a sequence of a girl dancing in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum but the director, Richard Lester, breaks it up so much with camera and editing that we can't see the dance, only flashes of parts of her body, and we can't even tell if the girl can dance because the movement is almost totally supplied by his means. This technique is a good one for concealing the ineptitude of performers, but Lester's short-term camera magic keeps cutting into and away from the comedians …, who never get a chance to develop a routine or to bring off a number. What are we being distracted from?…

[Seeing] the result, we get the sense that Lester thinks it would be too banal...

(The entire section is 421 words.)