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This is the two men. Also now Charlie Brackett working with Billy Wilder. Also a man who’s more famous because he became a director as well. Together they wrote Sunset Boulevard. If you look at this poster, you can see Billy Wilder’s name on the bottom in the middle — very big letters. You can’t see Charles Brackett’s name. He’s not part of that poster, even though he co-wrote this very important film and then also in his diary he had this funny line about how he noticed when his own daughter eloped, he thought the trade papers would say that Billy Wilder was upset because his collaborator’s daughter had disappeared. He already knew that they weren’t going to remember his name. Which is terrible because he had an Oscar for writing the very first version of Titanic. Not the James Cameron one that most people know of today, but the very first. So the man was an Oscar-winning screenplay writer and yet does not appear in too many histories because the directors he co-wrote with overtook that fame.
A Note About This Presentation
A clip from my keynote speech at the 10th Screenwriters´(hi)Stories Seminar for the interdisciplinary Graduation Program in “Education, Art, and History of Culture”, in Mackenzie Presbyterian University, at São Paulo, SP, Brazil, focused on the topic “Why Researching Screenwriters (has Always) Mattered.” I was especially pleased with the passion these young scholars have toward screenwriting and it’s importance in transmitting culture across the man-made borders of our world.
To understand the world we have to understand its stories and to understand the world’s stories we must understand the world’s storytellers. A century ago and longer those people would have been the novelists of any particular country but since the invention of film, the storytellers who reach the most people with their ideas and their lessons have been the screenwriters. My teaching philosophy is that: Words matter, Writers matter, and Women writers matte, r so women writers are my focus because they have been the far less researched and yet they are over half the population. We cannot tell the stories of the people until we know what stories the mothers have passed down to their children. Those are the stories that last. Now is the time to research screenwriters of all cultures and the stories they tell because people are finally recognizing the work of writers and appreciating how their favorite stories took shape on the page long before they were cast, or filmed, or edited. But also because streaming services make the stories of many cultures now available to a much wider world than ever before.
Many thanks to Glaucia Davino for the invitation.
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