The Genius of Billy Wilder

Possibly one of the most unassuming cinematic geniuses of the 20th century, Billy Wilder had the face of a plump little elf or cherub. But impish charms aside, Wilder’s contributions to film noir gave the genre some of its most iconic moments. Among them is Gloria Swanson’s creeptastic obliteration of the fourth wall in 1950’s Sunset Boulevard when she announced maniacally to the camera (and Mr. DeMille) that she was ready for her close-up. Lesser known to the masses is that Wilder also directed frothier, yet no less iconic fair, including 1955’s The Seven Year Itch, which featured a cooing Marilyn Monroe standing on a subway grate as her skirt blew up around her. This Thursday at the Bowers Museum, screenwriter and film expert Dr. Michael Berlin will discuss Wilder’s body of work using an interactive presentation of film clips, interviews and archival footage. Check it out, and get a close-up look at the work of a master.
Thu., April 8, 1:30 p.m., 2010

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