1. What Is This, A Freakout?

    WELL, IF YOU’RE HERE TODAY, you probably need a little break from all the 9/11 coverage that’s going on. Or, let’s face it, more likely you’re not here on 9/11 at all, but for some reason known only to you and God, you’re looking at older posts. But if you’re here on 9/11, no, you’re not going to get any 9/11 irreverence from the likes of me, pal. Just what kind of monster do you think I am?

    Instead you’ll get some Cliff Robertson irreverence.

    Yes, we just lost Cliff Robertson. With his passing come all the tributes about his body of work, including his Oscar-winning turn as moron-cum-genius-cum-moron Charlie Gordon in “Charly.” And rightly so. Plus, he seemed like a genuinely nice guy.


    Despite that, here, courtesy YouTube (and whoever illegally uploaded it to YouTube, probably), is a chunk of the aforementioned movie. But ignore most of it! Ignore the rape scene (which didn’t happen in the book). Ignore the subtitles!  They weren’t in the book, either! I want you to start it at the five minute mark. I’d have embedded it so it starts right there automatically, but frankly I don’t know how to. And the Ted Parsnips Web Design Team now has weekends off – goddamn unions.

    Now keep watching!  Watch it from the 5:00 mark to the 6:25 mark!

    Wasn’t that amazing?!

    I want to applaud the Academy for recognizing Robertson’s work in this film among that year’s best! Specifically this psychedelic montage, where, among other things, “Charly Baby” hops on a motorcycle and seems to be channeling either Marlon Brando in “The Wild One” or Steve McQueen in “The Great Escape” or somehow even Dennis Hopper in “Easy Rider” (a year before that film even came out!) and then does the Monkey and some other 60s dance move that simply defies description.

    Which, curiously, I remember neither from the short story nor the novel version of “Flowers for Algernon.” Huh.

    But what I do remember is watching this with the rest of my classmates during English class back in junior high sch–  Oh, pardon, me “middle school” as it’s now legally known – after we’d read the book, and all of us laughing uproariously – even the stupid kids on whom the glorious absurdity of these scenes one might assume would be lost.

    On whom the glori– Christ all mighty, that’s an awkward sentence. Maybe I was one of the stupid kids.

    Posted by on September 11, 2011, 9:00 AM.

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