Cinema: Mulhousien William Wyler in the spotlight, in 2022

His immense career was notably rewarded with three Oscars for best director and a Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival: William Wyler will be honored throughout 2022, in Mulhouse.

One of his greatest masterpieces, Ben-Hur, released in 1959, is a benchmark for moviegoers of all generations and still holds a record today, with no less than 11 Oscars won in the categories. the most prestigious… But, if moviegoers from around the world like those of the Cité du Bollwerk salute the career of William Wyler, few know that he was born in Mulhouse in 1902, before crossing the Atlantic 20 years later to start the immense career that we know him. “Many are not aware of it, but William Wyler was one of the most famous figures of cinema and he was born in Mulhouse, recalls the mayor of Mulhouse, Michèle Lutz. Mulhousiens often have complexes, we don’t say enough when we have things that deserve to be known! “

Many events

Hence the idea of ​​a year dedicated to the filmmaker in 2022, which marks the 120th anniversary of the birth and the 100th anniversary of the director’s career, who died in 1981. “The Wyler Year is a unifying project with many partners, a project that creates synergies and for which we have already planned a dozen events”, explains Anne-Catherine Goetz, Deputy Mayor for Culture. From January, college students from Wolf College will make a short film and a photo exhibition with their teacher, also director, Olivier Arnold. In April, the Motàmot festival will have the theme of “writing and cinema”, while the dark rooms of Mulhouse will offer a Wyler cycle from May.

“He loved his hometown very much”

From June, the Maison du patrimoine Edouard-Boeglin will publish a heritage trail booklet, while two exhibitions will be offered at the Historical Museum and at La Filature, as part of Microfolies. On July 2, the Motoco artists will offer an evening of which only they have the secret, on the theme “Electro peplum”, while the Automobile Museum is planning a special Ben-Hur evening at the end of July. The Mulhouse Symphony Orchestra and the Conservatory will also be there, from September, with concerts organized as part of this Wyler Year, which will also see the release, along with a presentation, of Jean Walker’s book. , Wyler specialist, in December. “I think my father would have greatly appreciated this initiative, because he loved his hometown very much”, greets Catherine Wyler, the director’s daughter, who will be present in Mulhouse with part of her family on July 1, on the occasion of the inauguration of a monumental fresco.

Bio express: “He called himself Wackes!” “

  • July 1, 1902 : birth of Willliam Wyler, rue de Zurich in Mulhouse.
  • 1922 : at the request of Carl Laemmle, founder of Universal Studios and cousin of his mother, William Wyler arrives in the United States, to work in the cinema.
  • From the 1930s, he stands out as an essential filmmaker in Hollywood.
  • 1942 : he gets his first Oscar (best director and best film) for Mrs Miniver.
  • 1959 : release of the Ben-Hur peplum, which won 11 Oscars
  • September 1979 : last visit to Mulhouse, where he meets the then mayor, Emile Muller. “He came back very regularly to Mulhouse and spoke Alsatian until the end of his life, he called himself Wackes”, laughs Jean Walker, specialist from Mulhouse of William Wyler.

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