Culture

Remembering Harold Ramis: Caddyshack, Animal House, Ghostbusters Genius

Bill Murray, Harold Ramis, and Dan Aykroyd in ‘Ghostbusters’/Still © 1984 Columbia Pictures

Editor's note: Today, first and foremost in our roundup, we're mourning the death of brilliant writer, director, comic Harold Ramis.

A piece of America's childhood died this weekend with Harold Ramis, star of "Ghostbusters" and director of memorable comedies including "Caddyshack" and "Groundhog Day." For a hilarious career recap, listen to this recording of Ramis in dialogue with fellow comedian David Cross at a 2009 event at the Museum of the Moving Image. And of course no post on this subject would be complete without fellow Ghostbuster Bill Murray's response to the tragic news: "He earned his keep on this planet. God bless him."

While we're on the subject of loss, a train accident that occurred last week on the set of the new Greg Allman biopic "Midnight Rider" resulted in the death of 2nd AC (Second Assistant Camera) Sarah Jones, aged twenty-seven. I learned of the news via an emotionally arresting essay that questions the frequent risks film crews take in their eagerness to get the perfect shot.

Internet movie giant Netflix has experienced bandwidth throttling lately, thanks to struggles with internet service providers who basically see the company as an enormous freeloader. However, this week Netflix finally struck a deal with Comcast agreeing to pay up -- a development that probably means higher membership fees and a tougher market for other online video services. But hey, at least you'll still be able to binge on "Sherlock" and "Orange Is the New Black" without leaving the house or interacting with a human!

Here's a deal I like better: In response to a suggestion posted via Twitter, Amtrak is kicking off a new on-train residency program for serious writers who are looking for a quiet place to sit down and work for long stretches, and see a bit of countryside as a bonus. The plan's still in development, so you can't apply just yet, but it sounds like this could be the best thing to happen to cross-country transport since the invention of the inflatable neck pillow.

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