The Casinca's school| Académie of Corsica

Sur les traces d'Alto, pour ne pas laisser leur histoire mourir avec eux !
In the tracks of Alto, not to let their story die with them !

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William WYLER

Mulhouse (France) 1902, the 1st of July – Beverly Hills (Califormia) 1981, the 27th of July

William WYLER was born in Mulhouse in 1902, the 1st of July, when Alsace was under german occupation. Her father is a shopkeeper and he gets an excellent education in Lausanne (Switzerland) before coming to Paris Academy to learn violin.
In 1922 he meets Carl Laemmle his mother’s cousin who was the Universal Studios' boss.
He accepts working in this company first in the advertising department, then as an assistant : he takes part of Ben Hur silent version in 1925. Between 1925 and 1927 he directs more than forty westerns “with two rolls”, then turns he progressively toward feature films. He produces yet a few more ambitious works as “Consellor at Law” but no movie that can now command her name. In 1934 he marries one of his stars, Margaret Sullavan. He gets divorced two years later.
At the same time (1935) leaves Wyler Universal. He begins a long and prolific partnership with the producer Sam Goldwyn.
Straitaway his first movie “These Three” from a Lilian Hellman’s play is a hit.
Wyler is yet placed among the American Cinema masters. This work also signals the beginning of a collaboration with the cameraman Greg Toland, which excellent work will be underline in his most next productions : Toland’s technical cleverness with Wyler’s picky art go during the years 30 and 40 to a high quality movies sequence.
The depth of field view allowed the spectator to do himself his cutting and to observe each character as he likes. This strip plans continuity and perfect staging make the price of “The best years of our Lives” which get many praises.
This practical method calls for an actors’ strict discipline and sometimes spark off tensions between the director and the star, as it happened with Bette Davis. She played some of the best parts with Wyler, but she constantly conflicted with him.
Wyler always wanted to reach perfection with a very great demand, he was dubbed “the ninety rushes' Wyler” because of the plentiful rushes he did before being content with the effect or nuance he was looking for.
Many actors complained of this tyranny on the stage, but they endly were him grateful when they received Oscars for their part in his movies.
Wyler himself received three times the Oscar for the best director : “Mrs Miniver” (1942), “The best Years of our Lives (1946), Ben Hur (1959). These three movies also received the Oscar of the best movie.
After ending Mrs Miniver -a homage to the Britannic bravery during the Blitz- Wyler joined the US Air Force Army, he was attached to a bombers’ group stationed in Great Britain. During the war shot he two documentary films dedicated to their bombing upon Germany missions : “The Memphis Belle” and “Thunderbolt” (1944). Back to civilian living as lieutenant colonel, half-hearing lost, produced he his perhaps most important movie : “The best Years of our Lives” (1946) is a heartfelt and persuasive melodrama. It’s about painful rehabilitation for three back to civilian living militaries.
Wyler has been a very big artist and one of the most creative designer of the american cinema. But his reputation declined in the sixties as a result of too much criticism, which saw in him “a repetitive attitude for the subject choices and an increasing inclination to overblown hubris”. As well as his three Oscars for the best director received he the Irving G Thalberg Memorial Price for “the work of a life”, given by the American Film Institute in 1976.



Project carried out by the 3rdA of Casinca's school pupils (2007-2008 school year) "On the tracks of Alto, not to leave their story dying with them"

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