Download A Foreign Affair: Billy Wilder's American Films by Gerd Gemünden PDF

By Gerd Gemünden

With six Academy Awards, 4 entries at the American movie Institute s record of a hundred maximum American video clips, and extra titles at the nationwide historical sign in of vintage movies deemed valuable of maintenance than the other director, Billy Wilder counts as essentially the most complete filmmakers ever to paintings in Hollywood. movie historians and critics, in addition to his colleagues, have constantly celebrated Wilder as an American grasp from the vintage studio period. but how American is Billy Wilder, the Jewish émigré from significant Europe? to check Wilder s paintings is to check the transforming of numerous wealthy and sundry cultural sensibilities, formed by means of his adventure of displacement. This booklet underscores those complexities, unpacking underlying contradictions the place earlier commentators sometimes smoothed them out. Wilder emerges as an artist with roots in sensationalist journalism and the area of leisure in addition to with an expertise of literary tradition and the avant-garde, positive factors that bring about efficient and sometimes hugely unique confrontations among low and high.

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Additional info for A Foreign Affair: Billy Wilder's American Films

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Robert Horton, 17. See Billy Wilder, “Man sah überall nur Taschentücher,” (Magazin) 18 February 1994. Cameron Crowe, Conversations with Wilder 19. Quoted in: Volker Kühn, “Nachwort,” in Menschliches Treibgut, Friedrich Hollaender, , trans. Stefan Weidle (Bonn: Weidle, 1995), 348. ” —Billy Wilder1 Insurance salesman Walter Neff’s (Fred MacMurray) second visit to the Dietrichson home in Los Feliz ends abruptly when Neff catches on to Phyllis Dietrichson’s (Barbara Stanwyck) plan to take out accident insurance unbeknownst to her husband and then arrange for his “accidental” death.

Diamond—gender-bending in Some Like It Hot, wifeswapping in Kiss Me, Stupid, prostitution in Irma La Douce, and adultery in Avanti! A central pleasure of all these films is the highly controlled audacity that has accounted for their longevity; they still excite and irritate today. Reading for Exile Billy Wilder has been regarded primarily an American director, and not without justification. He gained his international reputation as a screenwriter and director in Hollywood, and with the single exception of Mauvaise Graine, he wrote and directed all his films in English, primarily as Hollywood productions.

Both in Europe and in America, Wilder was committed to straddling the divide between high and low, and his penchant for Vienese schmaltz, which formed the ingredient of many of his Ufa scripts, did not contradict his interest in the Bauhaus or the writings of Arthur Schnitzler. The tension between insider and outsider is indeed central for Wilder’s work, not only in the biographical terms outlined in the previous section, but in his professional selfunderstanding. The outsider Wilder gained insider status only because he had the training and work ethic to contribute to the American film industry.

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