The many, many, many faces of Bill Murray
THE ART OF BEING BILL by Ezra Croft and Jennifer Raiser. Published by Race Point Publishing. 176 pages. $25 retail.
For those unfamiliar with it, The Murray Affair is a traveling art show devoted entirely to visual impressions of Bill Murray. Now, its curator Ezra Croft has joined forces with author Jennifer Raiser to preserve it in print.
By no means a biography, The Art of Being Bill is a unique – to say the very least– tribute to the talents of Bill Murray. It’s all Bill, all the time … and who knew he was the subject of so much attention and interpretation?
The images range from the inspired to the bizarre, and just about everything in-between. Not all of them are meant to invoke laughter. Then again, nor were all of Murray’s movies. No matter how abstract or unusual the image, it’s always unmistakably Bill Murray.
There’s also a selection of Murray’s movies evidently most important to the authors, as well as biographical and career tidbits, although there’s only a brief mention of “Saturday Night Live” (which, to be fair, did launch his career) and no mention at all of Ghostbusters II (1989) or his flashy cameo in Little Shop of Horrors (1986) – and never mind such obscurities as Loose Shoes (1980) or Nothing Lasts Forever (1984).
Regarding the section on Scrooged (1988) – which some people love, and others (including yours truly) don’t – the director is misidentified as “Frank” Donner (it was Richard), although Murray’s character was named “Frank Cross.”
It’s not easy to observe The Art of Being Bill in a completely objective fashion. If you’re a Bill Murray fan, you’ll love it. If not, you’ll probably wonder what the fuss is all about. Nevertheless, there’s something to be said about truth in advertising: This volume is absolutely, exactly what its title implies.
The Art of Being Bill will be released Oct. 9. For more information, visit the website.
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