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Harold Ramis on Harold Ramis.

by Eric Kohn
June 19, 2009 3:59 AM
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I've spoken to Harold Ramis on a couple of occasions in recent years and have always found him insightful in a warm and fuzzy way. Chatting with the guy, his humble philosopher vibe grows infectious. It's like second nature to him. I've had discussions with Ramis about Buddhism and his interests in the teachings of Rabbi Irwin Kula, then shifted gears to discuss Ghostbusters, and the conversational strand remains equally stimulating.

Let's face it: As a director, he's had a rocky career, but a fascinating one. While I would rather forget my experience watching his latest feature, Year One, the premise — and, of course, the man behind it — were compelling enough that I eagerly took the opportunity to interview Ramis for New York's Vulture blog. I'm en route to the Nantucket Film Festival this weekend, where Ramis is receiving a screenwriting award, and hope to follow up with him while I'm there. But the conversation we had the other day was pretty satisfying by itself.

Along with Year One, we also touched on the Ghostbusters sequel that's in development and the new game, which I had the chance to play last night on my Wii. Although I hit a snag after an hour or so, in general the experience successfully engendered a rush of nostalgia, as it allowed me to get completely submerged in the universe of the first two movies. Ramis and his colleagues voiced the original characters, and the game truly feels like it could have been made in mid 1980's, when it's set. The writing is particularly strong in an old-school way and littered with nifty NYC references. The gameplay is great in the company of other Ghostbusters fans: There's something delightfully geeky about playing in two player mode, waving a Wii remote alongside your buddy and wondering what'll happen if the two of you cross the streams.

Now, if you'll excuse me — my PKE meter's off the hook.

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