Mike Nichols has bowed

Mike Nichols 

The director of the Winner of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and many other masterpieces died Wednesday of heart failure. He leaves us a flawless filmography and cinema is in mourning

Coo-coo-coo-choo. Simon and Garfunkel were in tears. Mrs. Robinson is in mourning. Mike Nichols has died. Heart failure, doctors say. The heart was perhaps not the body that the director was using the most. He had wit, vivacity, a wry humor. "Wanting to make art cinema, it's like playing Mozart on the harmonica." The phrase sets the tone. We did not do it to Mike Nichols. He was born in 1931 in Berlin under the name Michael Igor Peschkowsky


His parents were Russian Jews. At age seven, he moved to New York. The only words he knows are then: "I do not speak English" and "Be nice to me." He learned the language in eight days. Following that he will prove the handle to perfection. In 1957, he joined the Elaine May petulant with which it forms a comedy duo that makes sparks

He was nicknamed "Mr. New York. "He went through the Actors Studio, directs Broadway plays including Barefoot in the Park by Neil Simon and The Knack. In 1966, he jumped behind the camera to direct Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? "He demands to turn black and white. The actress gets an Oscar. The following year, this is the winner, magical film where the hero sleeps with the mother of his girlfriend we understand: this is Anne Bancroft


For the role of Benjamin Braddock, Robert Redford Nichols auditioned. He asked the question he addressed to all applicants: "What do you do when a girl rejects you?" Answer: "I do not know, it never happened to me." Nichols chose Dustin Hoffman, despite his age, and launched his career. In 1971, he directed Carnal Knowledge, a delightful misogyny with Jack Nicholson in top form. Mike Nichols employs a whole bunch of stuff (characters addressing the audience) which will inspire eg Woody Allen. Not ungrateful, it compared Nichols to George Sanders in Eve. It was a compliment

Mike Nichols wanders vaguely fits Joseph Heller (Catch 22) and Robert Merle (The Day of the Dolphin). He had perhaps been too successful, too young. The experience of failure it feels weird. This does not prevent him from living the posh Upper East Side, have a house in Connecticut, raising pure bloods Arab and collecting the paintings of Balthus. He does not sleep. A sleeping pill makes half crazy. This is the time where he meets the famous presenter Diane Sawyer will become his fourth wife. Thunderbolt in the Concorde

The wedding back in the saddle. Working Girl rocks the house. Nichols does not make a mountain. "You know why Working Girl work? Because of the makeup. "This wisdom enabled him to zigzag Beckett (for him, Waiting for Godot was a comedy) in La Cage aux Folles which he signed a remake, filming werewolves (Wolf) and the presidents of the United States (Primary Colors) . It is possible to see in a contemporary version of Closer is said carnal pleasure with emails and mobile phones

His latest film, Charlie Wilson's War was a brilliant variation on the US intervention in Afghanistan. In 2013, he had mounted on the boards of Pinter's Betrayal starring Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz. That's it. Mike Nichols bowed. It's the ultimate joke. Benjamin Braddock crying driving his red convertible Alfa. Hello, Darkness, my old friend
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