How Would Lubitsch Do It?

Ninotchka-01Last week I wrote about Billy Wilder’s life and how it can inspire us to get through some of the emotional obstacles we face as writers. One of the things I admire about Wilder was his ability to continually learn from the masters, in his case, from his mentor Ernst Lubitsch. Every Wilder fan has heard about the famous Lubitsch touch, but what did Wilder mean by it? Here’s a great video in which Billy Wilder himself explains it:

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Random Thoughts on the Manic Pixie Dream Girl

Lately, Zooey Deschanel has gotten a lot of flak for being girlishly cute or “adorkable”. Some have even nominated her as the reigning queen bee of all Manic Pixie Dream Girls, a term that Nathan Rabin defined as a madcap film heroine who serves to inspire the hero to shake himself out of his funk, embrace life’s mysteries and get on with his life. She is a wacky, enchanting gossamer creature and figures such as Katharine Hepburn in “Bringing Up Baby” and Ruth Gordon in “Harold and Maude” have been pegged as such. The MPDG is accused of being a passive agent of the hero’s desire, a plot device more than a character, a tendency that has earned it general scorn. (What female archetype in mainstream movies isn’t, though?) She plays at being a pretty, wacky, free spirit solely to attract male attention. Worst of all, she is accused of blunting her power by being forever child-like, even infantile.

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