using the arrow buttons.
by clicking on the page.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider when zoomed-in.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field, and select "This Issue" or "All Issues"
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
displays sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays a slider of thumbnails. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse the full archive.
about your subscription?
Lions Roar : July 2009
SHAMBHALA SUN JULY 2009 38 realism. It turns out, great filmmaking is a way of seeing things clearly. The essence of comedy is seeing things clearly when others do not, and playing with the disparity between what people perceive and reality. Harold does that so well because he, like oliver stone, who describes himself as a practicing Buddhist, is willing to entertain dia- metrically opposite ideas at the same time to get to the truth.” After college, Ramis said, he “drifted.” He spent some time in san francisco, then went to graduate school, lasting only two weeks. He worked in a psychiatric ward for seven months, got married, moved back to Chicago, drove a cab, and worked as a substitute teacher. Around the same time, he started freelance writing for the Chicago Daily News, and enrolled in acting work- shops at second City, the improvisational comedy troupe that launched the careers of stars such as John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, Mike Myers, Martin short, and Gilda Radner. Meanwhile, on a lark, he grabbed the name of an editor off the masthead of Chicago-based Playboy magazine and talked his way into an interview, landing a job as a writer for the Party Jokes section. He became editor of the page, and later broadened his scope to include celebrity Q&As. But then his acting career kicked in. As coincidence, or karma, would have it, his Daily News editor had a connection with the di- rector of second City, and wrangled him an audition. Now he was working forty hours a week at Playboy and six nights a week at sec- ond City. His first wife, Anne Plotkin, noticed they didn’t have a life together, so Ramis quit it all and the couple traveled. It was 1970. “When I look back on it,” he said, breaking into a grin, “every time I consider the incredible synchronicity of what happened, and how it happened, and who I met and when, I smile because it still amazes me. It’s about karma, isn’t it? I read karma as cause and effect, triggering a chain of causation.” If the start of his film career could be traced to one person, place or thing, it would be the hefty manifestation of John Be- lushi. first, when Ramis chose not to return to second City after his travels, Belushi was hired to replace him. Later, Belushi, by then a rising star, got the call to go to New york for National Lampoon’s first stage show, Lemmings. He was allowed to tap whomever he wanted to be part of the company. Ramis had become known as a consummate straight man, and was among those called. That led to him being asked to write a treatment for a possible Lam- poon film, to be directed by John Landis and produced by Ivan Reitman. He worked on it with National Lampoon editors Doug Kenny and Chris Miller, and while he served as head writer for the Tv version of second City, the three toiled on the script. The film became Animal House, considered the spearhead of the gross-out genre. since its release in 1978, the film has garnered an estimated $140 million in ticket, video, and DvD sales. In 2001, the Library of Congress deemed the film “cultur- ally significant” and selected it for preservation in the National film Registry. It also introduced into our cultural zeitgeist such phrases as “food fight” and “toga, toga!” “When we were writing Animal House, we thought we were writ- ing the funniest movie in history—we were that arrogant,” Ramis recalled. Asked if that might sound a tad egotistical, he quipped, “Well, I always say false modesty is better than no modesty at all.” four Ramis films—Animal House, Caddyshack, Ghostbusters, and Groundhog Day—are on the American film Institute’s “100 years, 100 Left: the Dalai Lama greets Ramis after His Holiness’ public talk at Chicago’s Millennium Park in May, 2007. Ramis helped produce cultural events during the visit. Right: with his wife, Erica Mann Ramis. Opposite: on the set of the film Multiplicity. PHoToLEfT:JEssICATAMPAsPHoToGRAPHy What’s your favorite Buddhist moment in a non-Buddhist movie? Let us know at www.shambhalasun.com/sunspace.