A week ago yesterday, writer and movie director Quentin Tarantino attended a rally against police brutality in New York. As he was the most famous person there, his remarks were widely reported – some of them. The part where he referred to specific instances of police misconduct as “murders,” and the police who perpetrated them as “murderers,” is now famous. His description,  during the same event, of the recent murder of a cop as “a tragedy” has been less broadly quote...

Billy Wilder's Œuvre Total, Part 3

Every writer, I think, has a natural triptych to their writing, whether they know it or not;  never mind whether they admit it or not.  And — never mind finding it or not - looking for Billy Wilder’s is one of the things that makes him endure.  Look at this, from his childhood.  When asked if he got his sense of humor from trying to make his mother laugh: She was a very tough laugh.  My father was a rather easy laugh.  My father had kind of everyday humor.  He, for...

Billy Wilder's Œuvre Total, Part 5

           One of the wonderful things about the written conversation is each party gets to do it alone.  They can get their thoughts down on paper in as organized (and hopefully as entertaining) a fashion as possible.  Well, one of the horrible things about the written conversation is each party has to do it alone.  It isn’t really a conversation at all;  at least not a fluid one.  (Christ, you’re thinking, now where’s he going with this?...