Redux: Film Is Death at Work



Every week, the editors of The Paris Review lift the paywall on a selection of interviews, stories, poems, and more from the magazine’s archive. You can have these unlocked pieces delivered straight to your inbox every Sunday by signing up for the Redux newsletter.

Billy Wilder.

This week at The Paris Review, we’re watching some flicks, some pictures, some movies. Read on for Billy Wilder’s Art of Screenwriting interview, Hernan Diaz’s short story “The Stay,” and Chase Twichell’s poem “Bad Movie, Bad Audience.”

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Billy Wilder, The Art of Screenwriting No. 1
Issue no. 138 (Spring 1996)

I used stars wherever I could in Sunset Boulevard … The picture industry was only fifty or sixty years old, so some of the original people were still around. Because old Hollywood was dead, these people weren’t exactly busy. They had the time, got some money, a little recognition. They were delighted to do it.



The Stay
By Hernan Diaz
Issue no. 227 (Winter 2018)

I decided to go to the movies. I didn’t really care what was playing; I just wanted the sense of relief when the lights fade out and the world dissolves, the slight confusion when they are turned back up and it reassembles itself.



Bad Movie, Bad Audience
By Chase Twichell
Issue no. 124 (Fall 1992)

… In our ears the turbo revs,
the cheekbone cracks,
a stocking slithers to the floor.
Cocteau said film is death at work.
Out of the twilight a small voice
hisses shut up, just shut the fuck up.


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