Billy, How Did You Do It?
Very excited to realize that the Masters of Cinema Blu-ray of THE LOST WEEKEND has the best extra you’re ever likely to find. This is NOT my essay — it’s Volker Schloendorff and Gilsea Grischow’s Billy, How Did You Do It?, a three-part interview with Billy Wilder in a swivel chair. (Wilder’s reaction when he finally saw the film: “Never interview a man in a swivel chair.”)
There’s about three and a half hours of it, I think. My VHS recording of it from the BBC, which I inherited from my friend Lawrie Knight, vanished some time ago, and the DVD release was an incomprehensibly truncated edit (from which all trace of LOST WEEKEND had been expunged), so I’m very glad to own it again.
It’s not perfect — it cuts off at the height of Wilder’s career, thereby deleting the years of arguable decline, in which there are a lot of good films, and/or interesting ones. I adore THE PRIVATE LIFE OF SHERLOCK HOLMES. Others may prefer ONE TWO THREE or KISS ME STUPID, but they’ll find no mention of them here. BUT — the stuff on THE APARTMENT, DOUBLE INDEMNITY and the debt to Lubitsch is priceless for Wilderites.