Since the theatrical release of “A Groundhog Day”, many fans of the cult comedy have been wondering: how long has the hero, played by Bill Murray, been stuck in this infernal time loop? Start of answer…
It’s a question that has plagued Groundhog fans for more than a quarter of a century: how long has Phil Connors, the unsympathetic weatherman played by Bill Murray, has been stuck in the time loop of cult comedy?
The Fantastic Mr. Murray, a documentary broadcast this Sunday evening on Arte and is available until March 1 on Arte. tv, delivers an initial response. We share it with you this Wednesday, February 2, which is a perfect occasion, since it is… groundhog day!
“It’s great fun that everyone wonders about it, it’s like a guessing game. How long does it take to sculpt on ice? Or to learn to play the piano? I’ll leave you to your calculators” launches first, teasing, Danny Rubin, the screenwriter of Groundhog Day.
“it doesn’t matter” he continues. “In my mind, it had to be longer than a human life because that’s the experience, and I designed it that way. There was no need to conform to it. But it was my vision.”
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End of the debate, from the mouth of the person who had the original idea for this brilliant story? Not really! “From what Harold Ramis told me, the time that Phil Connors is supposed to spend in Punxsutawney is 10,000 years” reveals Stephen Tobolowsky, who plays in Groundhog Day Ned Ryerson, Phil’s former classmate.
“10,000 years, because Harold Ramis, who practiced Buddhism, told me that one of the teachings of Buddhism is that it takes 10,000 years to bring a soul to perfection”, he concludes. For the late director and screenwriter of the cult film, it was, therefore, necessary for the cynical Phil to metamorphose and become a good person.