Oeuvre Total Part 2: Billy Wilder, Miserablist

I’ve never trusted Billy Wilder. I’m an old busybody camped at her upstairs window, giving side-eye to the salesman working the neighborhood. His suit is too neat, his hair too shiny; he’s too sure of himself, too glib, to be up to any good. He’s the kind of smooth talker I’m afraid will sell me a bill of goods.Writer/producer Michael Holland’s love of the filmmaker recently caught my eye. Wilder’s birthday falls in June, and Michael dusted off a post from his Holland Imagin...

Oeuvre Total Part 4: The World Aflame

“Nobody’s perfect.”It’s one of the great European last lines, and it hangs on one of the great American movies. But it’s not the end of the picture.As Michael Holland nimbly illustrated in Part 3 last week, that last line transports Some Like It Hot. Seconds ago, in the same shot, Joe E Brown’s smitten Osgood was finally on the getaway with the object of his affection when he got slapped with the news that Jack Lemmon wasn’t Daphne but Jerry in drag.And after all Osgood and ...

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?...