– Billy Wilder – Special Entry (this ship – PP.270 – €20.00 – translation by Alberto Pesotta).
“This morning, the 34 sexiest legs in the world came down from a cup of espresso from Berlin… One of the last ones that came down was a lady of a certain age, elegant tall, with an old-fashioned hat pulled over his head, a glass-cap in his right hand and waving With his left hand, conductor movements.” Reading this Arrival at Vienna Station for Tiller Girls, described by twenty-year-old Billy Wilder, it is natural to think of the female orchestra’s train in Some Like It Hot, the film to be shot in America more than twenty years later, in 1959 .
And that’s just a little way to read these fashion articles, now republished on the twentieth anniversary of the author’s death, which occurred on March 27, 2002. They were written by young Jew Samuel Benn Berlin and Vienna between the wars. Wilder, born in Socha, near Krakow in 1906, immigrated to the United States in 1934 to escape racial laws, where he would become Billy, while his family would end up in Auschwitz.
Of course, the symbols are not directly related, but it is a matter of understanding and rediscovering the spirit that will be the soul of his works and will make him one of the great fathers of great cinematic comedies, for which he signed more than twenty films awarded with six Oscars, in addition, quotes, ranging from “Viale del Tramonto” to “When the Wife is on Vacation”, from “Sabrina” to “Irma la dolce”, from “Apartment” to “Front Page”, not to mention collaborations in dozens of film shows.
Thus we note his ironic look, if not biting humor, in investigating the world and the reality around him and above all the different personalities of people with their weaknesses. All of this sometimes puts itself to the test, as when in the 1927 long piece at the opening of the group, curated by Noah Eisenberg, he recounts his experience as a paid dancer in an elegant hotel in Berlin. The director immediately clarifies that he is not there to enjoy, but to dance, which is hot and tiring: “I dance with young and old; With dwarves and giraffes. With the beautiful and the less attractive; with sylphs and those who go to slimming herbal teas; With those who send a waiter to call me and taste a peppy tango with their eyes closed; With gorgeous mono-clad wives whose husbands can’t move a step, with awkward countrymen on a trip to the capital… It’s not an easy way to win a loaf, especially if you’re sentimental with a tender heart’.
A student in Vienna, who has a passion for table games, boxing and cinema, says Isenberg, and in order not to study law, as his father would like, he begins to work as a journalist, and thanks to his resourcefulness (`I had great impudence, I was too sure of myself and had a talent for exaggeration’ ’), and was able to enter the beautiful world and deal with and interview wonderful people. Here you can read his encounters with Asta Nielsen, the world-famous actress, or the billionaire Cornelius Vanderbilt, and many others who have taken an interest in the world of cinema from Lubitsch to von Stroheim, also noting the way that Chaplin would not have created Charlotte himself, but stole from “Billy Hurriedal, boy obscure English. Next comes Paul Whiteman, the famous conductor of the great jazz orchestra who took him with him to Berlin, where Wilder found more freedom than he had in Vienna and prepared for the longed-for relocation to the United States.
The final part of this collection of articles, beginning with a hilarious phrase ‘What It Takes to Make a Film’, with examples of Japanese or Spanish films, includes a series of reviews and news related to theater and very short films, such as a story about Marlene Dietrich being shot in An airport on the “Ship of Lost Men” on a plane famous for setting a flight record of 75 hours. It is the period before he was able to cross an ocean, during which, thanks also to his friendship with Whitman, he began as a screenwriter to collaborate with some of the directors, including Robert Siodmak and Fred Zinman. It’s the beginning of that career as a screenwriter that continued in America, achieved great success and in 1939 received her first Academy Award nomination for the film Ninotchka, played by Greta Garbo. (handle).