A bad patch of writer’s block and distractions have been my nemesis this week. This is another re-worked story.
Eight years ago, noted Hollywood writer/director, Billy Wilder, died at the age of 95. Wilder is known for films such as “Sunset Blvd,” “Witness for the Prosecution,” “Sabrina,” and “Double Indemnity.” His films often featured sharp, witty dialog, and were sometimes criticized for a somewhat bleak portrait of life.
In a morbid tribute to the director, a devoted fan in Britain was found dead in a swimming pool just this week. The man wore an expensive, tailored suit, but the pool held only a few soggy bills, an exiguous amount of money. There were few clues about how the man came to be in the pool.
The man’s death was briefly categorized as unexplained and assumed to be accidental, until a message from the deceased was found among his possessions. The man had a vast collection of journals, and in each, he signed his name as Joe Gillis, a character from the Wilder film “Sunset Blvd.” The suicide note quoted this famous Wilder film, and is reprinted, in part, below:
“Well, this is where you came in, back at that pool again, the one I always wanted. It’s dawn now and they must have photographed me a thousand times. Then they got a couple of pruning hooks from the garden and fished me out… ever so gently. Funny, how gentle people get with you once you’re dead.”
Sunset Blvd is probably my favorite Wilder film, and when I wrote this, I hadn’t yet been to Hollywood. Since I wrote this, I have visited that strange land, and now understand that this movie is almost a sad, macabre, documentary. There’s so many shattered dreams and painful horror seething just under the glitzy surface. It’s a very surreal place, so familiar on one hand (because so much of it has been filmed from so many angles), and so very foreign on the other hand.
I am assessing, too, this endeavor, and what I’ve learned from the concerted effort of my goal to carry-out the posting schedule. I’ve learned many things, I hope to share them with you soon.
exiguous / EX – eh – juw – us / scanty in amount, meager