A SELLERS-KUBRICK POTPURRI

Above are excerpts from the BBC Arena program, “The Peter Sellers Story”, a documentary directed by Peter Lydon featuring Seller’s home movies shot with his portable cameras. These excerpts covers the year when Sellers became famous in the US and the time he spent with Stanley Kubrick, making “Lolita” and “Dr Strangelove” in England. Producer James B Harris recollects how Sellers was hired for playing the ambiguous character of Quilty and why the production was moved in England–sort of. We see Kubrick with his wife Christiane playing tennis and chatting in Seller’s pleasant home garden–this is pre-Britt Eckland I believe and thus represents the end of Sellers relatively normal period of suburban husbandhood/fatherhood stability. There are interviews with several Sellers’ friends and a clip from a 1964 ‘Steve Allen Show’ where Sellers was interviewed about how he created the character and the voice of the mad Dr Strangelove by taking inspiration from photographer Arthur Fellig, aka Weegee: a tape with Weegee’s voice studied by Sellers is included, where the photographer talks about his nickname and his work. The Weegee connection is peculiar–could the in-all-ways-maverick Kubrick have actually hired the New York photojournalist tabloid legend to be his on-set stills man? And if so, when is the Taschen coffee table book of Weegee’s stills of the’Dr. Strangelove’ shoot coming out?

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