In Casablanca, the Fundamental Things Apply

One of the greatest movie directors of all time held that you should never notice the director. “He should be invisible,” said Billy Wilder, noting that he’d been taught this lesson by his mentor, Ernst Lubitsch, who directed Ninotchka from a script co-written by Wilder. “You should notice the characters,” Wilder insisted. What about the extravagantly showy mode that became known as German Expressionism? Even Lubitsch had made films along these lines back in Europe. Wilder scoffed....

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