Wednesday, July 12, 2017


When I picked up The Tao Of Bill Murray by Gavin Edwards, I wasn't expecting much, but it turned out the be fairly entertaining.

It's actually two and a half books.  It starts with a thirty-page biography of the subject.  The lengthy central section offers chapters after chapter of Murray's encounters with others, often strangers.  The third part is a title by title discussion of his filmography, which is more intriguing and varied than any other SNL veteran.

Also of note are the many excellent illustrations by R. Sikoryak, all drawings of Bill Murray in different styles and situations.

The main point is Bill Murray not only improvises in his movies, he does so in real life.  He's always open for an adventure, and many folks have run into him and felt the magic.

He's the definition of what it is to be in the moment, and makes himself and others happy with his wit, openness, charm, kindness and spontaneity.

Of course, being a rich and famous insulates him a bit.  Others tend to be happy to see him, and he always has his money to fall back on.  But as the book shows, he seems to have been this way from the start, and even to this day he's capable of living a simple life, and having fun with people who don't even know him.

Sure, there's an aspect of fan worship about the book.  But I suppose there's a reason why Bill Murray is one of the most beloved celebrities out there.


Anonymous Denver Guy said...

What's your pick for his best film in a substantial (not necessarily leading) role? There are so many I haven't seen, but of what I've seen, I have to say my favorite is Ghostbusters. In more recent (2000s) films, I'd say The Royal Tenenbaums is my favorite, bit I've missed a lot.

8:52 AM, July 13, 2017  
Blogger LAGuy said...

Ghostbusters was his biggest hit, and arguably made him the biggest star in Hollywood. Around that point, however, he took a break, not returning to major comic roles for several years.

And there's no question, for all the talent and money behind Ghostbusters, it's Bill Murray's work that makes the film--much of it improvised on the set.

But if I had to pick the quintessential Bill Murray film, I'd pick Stripes. That's the one where we get Murray's character full-on for all to see.

He's done a lot of fascinating work since, often in supporting roles--think of Kingpin or Zombieland. While I admire much of his work in more serious roles, I think his muse is mostly a comic one, and that's where he impresses me most.

The two films of his that get less attention than they deserve (and I think this book has a good discussion of them) are Quick Change and The Man Who Knew Too Little.

9:06 AM, July 13, 2017  
Anonymous Denver Guy said...

Yes, I like the "Man Who New Too Little" too (actually bought that one). I also may be the only person in America that liked his film "Osmosis Jones."

After Ghostbusters, I bet he'll be most remembered for "Groundhog Day." Everyone has seen that one, but I was surprised that my kids didn't know about "Stripes" or "Caddyshack." Maybe those are a little more dated, while we still all know smarmy weathermen on TV.

5:45 PM, July 13, 2017  

Post a Comment

<< Home

web page hit counter