Billy Wilder is often credited as one of the golden age of film's most diverse and greatest directors -- he was, after all, nominated for several fistfuls of Academy Awards for films like Sunset Boulevard, The Apartment and more. To celebrate his staggering repertoire, the Mayan is kicking off a Billy Wilder Film Festival tomorrow night, screening one Billy Wilder film every Tuesday throughout the month. Which ones? Why, we will tell you.
Since there are only four Tuesdays in the month of June, the fest is missing a few of our favorites, including Double Indemnity, Ace in the Hole, The Lost Weekend and Sunset Boulevard, but that's because its more geared towards Wilder's comedy, not his drama. Wilder was a director who covered a lot of ground, so it's easy to see why they'd narrow down the selections -- even if, in our humble opinion the best films were left out.
All showtimes at 7:00/9:30 p.m.
June 7 - Sabrina Most people don't remember Humphrey Bogart as the comedy type, but this film starring Audrey Hepburn and William Holden at his side is anything but serious. In this '50s-style romantic comedy, Sabrina, played by Hepburn, is infatuated with David Larrabee (Holden), but he hardly notices her because she's so young. But when she returns from an extended stay in Paris, she comes back a full-fledged woman and David starts to take notice. Too bad his brother Linus (Bogart) does too. A wacky love triangle follows.
June 14 - The Seven Year Itch The Seven Year Itch contains one of the most famous scenes in all of cinema -- Mariliyn Monroe's magical rising skirt. It's also a slightly weird movie about Richard Sherman, who sends his wife and kid to the country for the Summer so he can, ahem, scratch the bachelor itch, which makes the timing of Marilyn Monroe's character moving in upstairs rather useful. So it's kind of a film that celebrates adultery -- but you'll have to watch it all the way through to see if Sherman keeps his pants on.
June 21 - Some Like it Hot You've always wanted to see Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon in drag, right? Well here you go. When the two musicians witness the St. Valentine's Day Massacre, they need to find a way out of the city fast -- so they take a job in an all-girl band heading to Florida. That's no big deal until both start falling for the aptly named Sugar Kane (played by Marilyn Monroe), but they can't act on their adoration because they're still in disguise. So what do they do? One of them double-cross-dresses as a millionaire to win Kane while the other has to fend of his own suitors. Comedy gold.
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June 28 - The Apartment The Apartment is another comedy, this time starring Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine and Fred MacMurray. The film netted Wilder Academy Awards for Best Picture and Director in 1961. And it's another one with a rather strange plot: Bud Baxter (Lemmon) is a small-time clerk at an insurance company who needs a way up the corporate ladder -- so he starts lending his apartment out to high-level executives as a place to take their mistresses. Comedy and drama both ensue when Baxter eventually has a serious problem he needs to solve.