Previously Played

BILLY, HOW DID YOU DO IT?

  • 1:00

$7 Member   $12.50 Regular

Introduced by VOLKER SCHLÖNDORFF

BILLY, HOW DID YOU DO IT?

(1992) “How Would Lubitsch Have Done It?” read a sign in Billy Wilder’s Hollywood office. In 1988, director Volker Schlöndorff (see The Tin Drum, September 21-27) began to wonder the same thing about Wilder himself and commenced two weeks of non-stop videotaped conversation with his friend — a virtual anecdote-a-thon conducted in English, German and back to English. The result was this 3-hour documentary that Wilder would deem “not dignified enough” — he nixed showings in his lifetime. Mr. Schlöndorff will introduce this rare screening of the complete version (a truncated home video version runs only 72 minutes and deletes all of the German in the interview!). Approx. 177 min.

REVIEWS

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“A fascinating, exhaustive series of interviews with Wilder by Volker Schlöndorff. Wilder was in his eighties at the time of filming, but his infectious energy is entirely undimmed; he swivels constantly in his chair, his hands animated throughout as he reminisces about his life and work.”
– Sight and Sound

"There are few filmmakers who don't crave being compared to him. His is a tough-minded romanticism and elegance; the lack of sentimentality has left him forever relevant as an artist."
– Cameron Crowe, Conversations with Billy Wilder

“The brightest, wittiest, most perceptive, most resourceful and most long lived film talent of his generation”
– Vincent Canby, The New York Times

“Because he wrote all the films he directed, Billy Wilder’s body of work is unparalleled in the American cinema. Nobody else’s career lasted as long.  No one else wrote and directed a more accomplished string of hits… Blending story and image with rare taste and intelligence, the refugee director learned to speak the subtle, supple language of American filmmaking perfectly, though always with an accent”
– Ed Sikov, On Sunset Boulevard: The Life and Times of Billy Wilder