28
Mar 02

Billy Wilder

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Billy Wilder died today. Some people say that he and Kubrick had plans to make an X-rated Hollywood porn movie with Julie Andrews lined up to play the lead. Whether it’s true or not, it’s the kind of myth he inspired just by being his own self. Billy Wilder was a deliciously nasty old man, and maybe the strongest writing talent Hollywood ever got lucky enough to call its own. I plan on watching Sabrina again (yes, the ORIGINAL, silly!) but maybe not Double Indemnity—it’s too tight a noose. What does this have to do with pop music? BW’s life is proof that great popular art isn’t necessarily about formal innovation (even if he did cut his teeth in the 20s on a French neo-Realist film that cast non-actor Parisians on their day off)—sometimes it’s about the delight of a contraption that works just right.

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