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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Life Lessons for Writers: Billy Wilder

600full-billy-wilderWhen we read about great writers’ lives all the milestones to success are clearly marked in the story: the first glimmer of talent, the years of struggle in which he or she perfected the craft, the first break, and finally success, whether it’s slow, in fits and starts or seemingly overnight. Reading all this from the outside, it’s easy to forget that what looks like a cohesive narrative may not have felt like a sure thing from the inside. It sure as hell doesn’t feel like our own careers are shaping up in any discernible way, a fact that’s discouraging. So I bring you a new feature to inspire: life lessons we can take away from famous writers’ life stories. We already have plenty of tips about the actual writing, it’s the psychological struggle where we could use some guidance. Today I start with one of my favorite filmmakers of all time, Billy Wilder.

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