Jerry & Me Screen 4 articles

Jerry & Me

2013

Jerry & Me Poster
  • Lewis held a particular fascination [for Saeed-Vafa] because his goofy behavior would have been utterly taboo for a girl in Tehran. The movie ends with video footage of Lewis's 1996 visit to Columbia, where he was interviewed by faculty member Scott Marks; apparently Saeed-Vafa was unable to score the face time with her idol that would have made for a truly satisfying climax, but this is still a unique personal perspective on a cinematic legend.

  • It's definitely refreshing that Columbia professor Mehrnaz Saeedvafa's JERRY & ME (2012, 38 min, HDCam Video) starts with the assumption that Lewis is a distinctly American phenomenon and an apt figure for understanding US society.

  • What is most fascinating for me in Jerry and Me is the quality of something I could call fan psychoanalysis. A type of self-analysis, arrived at through (to use the classic psychoanalytic couplet) introjection of, and projection onto, a beloved object: in this case, the performances, films, image and career of Jerry Lewis.

  • By juxtaposing the Persian version of Lewis next to the original, it seems that Saeed-Vafa is reconciling two big fragments of her life—Iran and the United States. The anecdotes from Lewis films mark the rejection, disappointment and fantasies the filmmaker has had as a woman in Iran and as a woman and “foreigner” in the States. Thanks to Saeed-Vafa, it is so intriguing to see how the real transformation of a cinematic work begins after it is presumably shaped, finished and shelved forever.