The Running, Jumping and Standing Still Film
The Running, Jumping and Standing Still Film – 1959 | 11mins | Comedy | B&W
Having worked with Peter Sellers, Spike Milligan and Graham Stark on the anarchic TV programmes Idiot’s Weekly and A Show Called Fred, Richard Lester was the ideal choice to direct this Oscar-nominated 11 minute short, which unintentionally marked his cinematic debut. The humour may appear slightly dated today but in the late 50s this home movie would have been extraordinarily original and surreal.
Shot over two fun-filled Sunday’s in a field for just £700, using Sellers’s new hand-held Bolex 16mm camera, it boasts a series of simultaneous slapstick vignettes set to Lester’s composed music. Opening with a charwoman in a meadow scrubbing the soil, until passing rambler Spike Milligan sets up is tent on the spot – only to be interrupted by a photographer, the act includes such zany moments as 5 men flying a kite, a portrait painter, a man playing a record on a tree stump, a duel between David Lodge and Sellers, and Graham Stark getting punched on the nose by Leo McKern.