Archive for Robert Downey (a prince)

Release the Sr. cut!

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , on December 9, 2022 by dcairns

SR. just dropped on Netflix, Chris Smith’s documentary about Robert Downey Jr. and Sr. It’s excellent. My lone quibble is that it does that thing of putting sad music on an actual real thing to try to make it sadder. It’s already sad! Music doesn’t make it sadder, it just makes us feel manipulated. I hope the shade of Albert Maysles descends on me with snarling fangs if I ever do that. Although I wish to make clear that this wish applies to future infractions rather than any I may have committed in the past.

It’s a relief to report that Cat Stevens’ Father and Son, which plays in the trailer, is not perpetrated in the film. There’s another Cat Stevens song, but that’s fine. It seems to be a rule of trailers that they behave in the most on-the-nose and hackneyed manner imaginable. This was not always so. Taking a leaf or two from Downey’s own approach to advertising might be an idea.

But there I go, grumbling about a really beautiful and touching documentary. What a disagreeable old man I have become. Unlike Sr., whose sister describes him as “innocent.” This description might baffle those who know him only from his hilarious and visionary work, but it FITS. The Sr. we see is continually enchanted by life. When he sees a thing, his joy is not blunted by any sense of familiarity, any feeling that this is much like some other things he’s already seen. This is a New Thing. Amazing! He’s like a dog on a walk. Everything is a thrill.

Part of what the film documents is Sr.’s making his own version of the documentary. We see bits, and we see him shooting and cutting it. As his life comes to an end from Parkinson’s (“Charlie Parkinson’s Disease”), it gives him a positive focus and keeps him going.

What is not certain at present is whether the Sr. version of SR. is going to be released. It must! I imagine it will. It exists, and is a potential revenue stream for Netflix. I can see how it might confuse things to release two versions of the film at once. There is a possibility that it isn’t very good (the man was dying). However, my response to that is




I just want to see it. Clearly Sr. would want people to see it, although making it was obviously the important thing for him. We get a glimpse of an earlier documentary he made, RITTENHOUSE SQUARE, his last completed film, and it looks EXCELLENT. Sr.’s sense of life and his amazement at it comes through in every shot. He puts images together musically and poetically. So I think there’s a strong chance that Sr.’s SR. will prove every bit as good as, maybe better than, Smith’s SR. But that doesn’t matter. It just should be seen.

As should the other films of Robert Downey (a prince). I still have lots to catch up on.

A shame SR. doesn’t find room for a recounting of the practical joke that got SR. dishononourably discharged from the US army, perhaps the greatest practical joke in human history.

The Little Picture

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , , on January 3, 2013 by dcairns


Robert Downey (Snr) gets the once-over from The Forgotten, over The Daily Notebook today. Why are the images so tiny? I don’t know! I guess when you deal with Downey, you invite the random and peculiar into your existence.

Also, here is a limerick about LAURA, and here is another limerick about LAURA.