Summary and Info
With six Academy Awards, four entries on the American Film Institute s list of 100 greatest American movies, and more titles on the National Historic Register of classic films deemed worthy of preservation than any other director, Billy Wilder counts as one of the most accomplished filmmakers ever to work in Hollywood. Film historians and critics, as well as his colleagues, have consistently celebrated Wilder as an American master from the classic studio era. Yet how American is Billy Wilder, the Jewish émigré from Central Europe? To study Wilder s work is to examine the reworking of several rich and varied cultural sensibilities, shaped by his experience of displacement. This book underscores these complexities, unpacking underlying contradictions where previous commentators routinely smoothed them out. Wilder emerges as an artist with roots in sensationalist journalism and the world of entertainment as well as with an awareness of literary culture and the avant-garde, features that lead to productive and often highly original confrontations between high and low.
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