Jerry And Me

Jerry And Me


Reviewed by: Andrew Robertson

One of the most compelling moments in Jerry And Me is seeing how Western films were redubbed - John Wayne, the Duke himself, kissed the girl, and goes through the door - out of sight, but not out of earshot he states, clearly, "There is no God but Allah".

Mehrnaz Saeedvafa writes, produces, directs, admits that near the end she was unsure what to do with this film and shows us her lecturing in Chicago - film studies, particularly Jerry Lewis, the films she loved as a child. In there as well is archive footage of Iran's many cinemas, the neon-glow like casinos before, the post-revolutionary husks. Disaster and catastrophe, marriage proposals and death threats, and through it all Jerry Lewis.

There's talk of "cinema insurrection", of New Islamic Cinema, of the Mossadr coup of '53, of the Islamic revolution - footage of one of the Shah's parades, the century changed from the Islamic 14th to the Persion 26th, vast floats and processionals to mark 2500 years of Persian rule. In the cinemas they call out in the dark at the couple kissing on screen "Leave her alone, you're killing her!" Through it all, Jerry Lewis, Saeedvafa's family, emigration, peregrination - every time she tries to make a feature film, revolution breaks out. She discovers Dean, the other half of Martin & Lewis, she finds herself before Dean at the university, unable to speak, to ask -

Returning again to being unable to finish this film - this is an autobiographical film about someone's love, and love is the right word, a love of film. Of Jerry's smile and his pratfalls, his craft and his catalogue, of bygone bygone eras. If nothing else it's a timely reminder as to Lewis' efforts - overlooked behind Eddie Murphy remakes remains a comic genius. Intimate, personal, touching, this is technically excellent and entertaining to boot.

Reviewed on: 25 Jun 2012
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Autobiographical musings on history, gender, ethnicity and cultural identity as understood through the director's connection with comedian Jerry Lewis.

Director: Mehrnaz Saeedvafa

Starring: Mehrnaz Saeedvafa, Jerry Lewis, Dean Martin

Year: 2012

Runtime: 38 minutes

Country: US


EIFF 2012
Glasgow 2013

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