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Mr Wilder and me de Jonathan Coe
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Mr Wilder and me (edició 2020)

de Jonathan Coe

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424466,817 (4.21)2
Títol:Mr Wilder and me
Autors:Jonathan Coe
Informació:London : Penguin Books, 2020.
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
Etiquetes:ouder worden, film, leven

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Mr Wilder and Me de Jonathan Coe

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What happens when what you want to give, no one really wants anymore? Fortunately, this is not a problem that Mr Coe himself needs to face, as this a perfectly imagined and executed meditation on the waning, not some much of fame, but the perceived value of your contributions. Billy Wilder attempts to make a defining, serious, film Fedora, that even he knows, the world is not interested in; times have moved on. Calista, in middle age is facing a world that no longer wants her film scores and daughters that no longer need her parenting.

This is a perfectly imagined and realised miniature of Calista's coming of age story whilst being recruited, through a series of fairly unlikely coincidences - but hey, the plots of most films hang on unlikely coincidences - to be the Greek translators of Billy Wilder and crew as they shoot Fedora in Corfu. Through Calista's eyes, Coe brings Billy Wilder, his scriptwriter I.A.L Diamond and their cast and crew vividly to life. Wilder in his artistic decline is driven by a passion to finish this one last film (which in fact turned out not to be) and is in turn, melancholy, resigned and in the main, extremely funny. The monologues on the films Jaws and Despair are memorably acerbic

You don't have to know the film Fedora to like this - myself, I have never seen it. Nor do you need to be familiar with Mr Wilder's work in general. But you do need to be able to put yourselves in the shoes of someone who is facing the prospect of what to do, when the major opportunities of life seemed to have passed by. Perhaps that's many of us. It's highly recommended ( )
  Opinionated | Apr 11, 2021 |
I had high hopes for this novel, having greatly enjoyed several of Jonathan Coe’s previous books. There was, however, a slight cloud of doubt on the horizon because there have been a couple of books by him that I disliked.

The basic premise is intriguing in itself, and takes the reader in to territory that Coe has trodden before. In his earlier novels, What a Carve Up and its sequel, Eleven, he demonstrated his enjoyment of vintage British films. He is back in similar subject matter here, although this time it is on Fedora, on of Billy Wilder’s later and lesser known films, that he hangs his story.

I am not familiar with Fedora, but I don’t know if that matters particularly – the film is really just a vector through which the characters of Billy Wilder and his associates are introduced. The book takes the form of recollections of a woman looking back upon her unexpected encounters with Billy Wilder, Having met him more or less by chance, she was engaged to act as a translator for him and his crew while they filmed on one of the Greek islands.

To be honest, I completely failed to engage with this novel, and was left wondering why I had bother ed with it. A forgettable book about a forgettable film. ( )
  Eyejaybee | Dec 3, 2020 |
For young Calista a chance meeting during a tour of the US in the 1970s leads to a friendship that changes her life. Calista is invited to dinner by a travelling companion and meets Hollywood legend Billy Wilder. Ignorant at first, she is hired to work on Wilder's comeback film, Fedora, financed by German money. This is difficult for Wilder as it brings back memories of escape from the Nazis and his desperate search for his family. The naive Calista and the world-weary Wilder both reach conclusions about their lives.
I loved this short and sharp novel. The only bits that grated were the modern-day parts which never really evolved but the rest is sublime. A fading Hollywood star director is frustrated by the way cinema has evolved into crowd-pleasing violence, the bit about Sharks In Venice is hilarious. An innocent abroad finally realises her vocation even as her heart is broken. the two bond over brie. Its Coe at his finest, the sly humour, the pathos etc. ( )
  pluckedhighbrow | Nov 23, 2020 |
With her twin daughters about to leave the family nest, Calista has to reassess her life. Before focussing on raising the girls, she had a career in the film business as a composer which started by sheer coincidence. She still can well remember the events of 1977 when she met director Billy Wilder in LA and was later invited to work as a translator during his shooting of Fedora on the Greek island of Corfu. The weeks there changed her life forever, not only can she see behind the facade of the glamourous film business, but this is also herself turning from innocent girl to adult woman.

When I first happened to read one of Jonathan Coe’s novels, I was totally flashed by his narration and wondered how this author could have gone unnoticed for such a long time. It is no surprise then that also his latest novel “Mr Wilder and Me” was a thoroughly enjoyable read for me which I relished from the first to the last line.

“This was how Mr Wilder liked to work. He liked a busy, gregarious set with lots of people watching from the sidelines: reporters, photographers, hangers-on, passers-by. It was one of the sources of his energy.“

Even though the story tells Calista’s coming-of-age story, it is much more an homage paid to one of the greatest directors of all times. Calista is a wonderful choice to observe the already elderly film maker, with her fresh and naive eye, she can watch him closely without being distracted by the name he has acquired. She is timid and shy, but also sensitive which allows her to see through his public image and understand why Fedora is especially important to him.

“We had both come to the same realization: the realization that what we had to give, nobody really wanted any more.”

His time is already over, a new generation of directors is about to take over and financing the film has been all but easy, yet, he has one last mission to accomplish which lies much more in his family history than in his artistic creativity. The film has been called old-fashioned and from the distance of four decades, one can surely say that it marks the end of an era.

Apart from the plot, it is first of all the atmosphere which is striking. No matter where and at what time of her life, Calista’s mood and often contradictory thoughts and emotions a strongly present and lead the narration. It is not the big drama or event which mark the action, but rather the slow change within the protagonist and her constant careful reassessment of herself. It is a book to read slowly and to simply enjoy. ( )
  miss.mesmerized | Nov 16, 2020 |
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La mattina d'inverno di sette anni fa mi trovavo su una scala mobile, una di quelle che, alla stazione di Green Park, portano dai binari della Piccadilly Line al livello stradale. Se le avete mai utilizzate, ricorderete quanto sono lunghe.
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