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Sweet & Sour: films by Billy Wilder

5 July - 5 September 2018

The legendary screenwriter and Hollywood director Billy Wilder was a brilliant word artist. His Oscar-winning classics are brimming with irresistible and cynical humour: incredibly funny, bold and incisive. From 5 July Eye presents a comprehensive programme on Wilder’s films, most of them comedies with a dark edge.

 ‘I’m a writer, but then nobody’s perfect’. Billy Wilder’s epitaph references one of the most famous one-liners in film history. Funny into death, Billy Wilder was one of Hollywood’s greatest filmmakers of the twentieth century, though he preferred to regard himself foremost as a writer. In his films he combined sprightly humour and a cynical view of life like no other. I.A.L. Diamond, one of Wilder’s regular co-scriptwriters, once described his films as a mix of ‘sweet and sour’.

Wilder won Oscars for The Lost Weekend (1945), Sunset Boulevard and The Apartment (1960). He also made stars of Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe and his alter ego Jack Lemmon.

taking a swipe at hollywood

Billy Wilder persistently tested the limits of censorship in his films and never shied away from controversy. Double Indemnity (1944) was the first film to tell the story from the perspective of a murderer. Wilder took a swipe at Hollywood in Sunset Boulevard and got away with cross-dressing in Some Like It Hot. In Ace in the Hole (1951) he pilloried the yellow press.

unparalleled

Billy Wilder (1906–2002) grew up as a Jewish kid in Vienna and went to Berlin as a young and budding journalist. There he also made his first forays into film. When Hitler seized power in 1993 he took refuge in the United States, where he found work in Hollywood writing screenplays for filmmakers like Ernst Lubitsch and Howard Hawks. From 1942 he became a director himself, though he also continued to write the scripts for his films, something unparalleled in Hollywood. Among his co-screenwriters were Charles Brackett (fourteen films) and I.A.L. Diamond (twelve films). In addition to his unrivalled sense of humour, Wilder introduced a European sensibility that would change Hollywood forever.

film programme

From 5 July Eye will be distributing three of Wilder’s films to cinemas across the country: the film noir classic Double Indemnity (1944), the Oscar-winning alcoholism drama The Lost Weekend and his most personal film Ace in the Hole (1951). Eye’s programme includes all the great classics from Wilder’s oeuvre, such as Sunset Boulevard and a new restoration of The Apartment that premiered this year in the Cannes Classics section. A new 4K restoration of Some Like it Hot is expected to premiere at Eye this September.

Wilder’s early years as a screenwriter are highlighted by films like Ninotchka (Ernst Lubitsch, 1939) and Ball of Fire (Howard Hawks, 1941). Films from his later period include the cult film The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970) and Fedora (1978), a film inspired by Sunset Boulevard.

The film programme is enhanced by introductions and specials exploring themes from Wilder’s films, such as the influence of censorship on Wilder’s films. Also featured in the programme are screenings to live music, including the silent film Menschen am Sonntag (1929, screenplay by Billy Wilder) which was restored by Eye. New digital restorations of a number of his films will also be offered, as well as unique 35mm prints from Eye’s own collection and the UCLA Film & Television Archive.

Agenda

Thursday, 19 Jul 2018

  • 14:00
    19 Jul 2018
    film

    Double Indemnity

    Billy Wilder, US 1944

    A film noir masterpiece involving an insurance agent, a femme...

  • 16:30
    19 Jul 2018
    film

    Ball of Fire

    Howard Hawks, US 1941

    Billy Wilder wrote the exquisite script for this comedy full of...

  • 19:00
    19 Jul 2018
    film

    The Apartment

    Billy Wilder, US 1960

    A sharp comedy about the mores of the American business community...

Friday, 20 Jul 2018

  • 14:15
    20 Jul 2018
    film

    Ace in the Hole

    Billy Wilder, US 1951

    An uncompromising attack on the manipulative role of the media in...

  • 16:45
    20 Jul 2018
    film

    The Major and the Minor

    Billy Wilder, US 1942

    Billy Wilder’s irrestistible directorial debut stars Ginger Rogers and Ray Milland in a comedy...

  • 19:00
    20 Jul 2018
    film

    Double Indemnity

    Billy Wilder, US 1944

    A film noir masterpiece involving an insurance agent, a femme...

    With introduction by Rick de Gier (VPRO Cinema)

Saturday, 21 Jul 2018

  • 11:00
    21 Jul 2018
    film

    Double Indemnity

    Billy Wilder, US 1944

    A film noir masterpiece involving an insurance agent, a femme...

  • 14:00
    21 Jul 2018
    film

    Sunset Boulevard

    Billy Wilder, US 1950

    Hollywood is not all glitter and glamour. The star system can...

  • 19:00
    21 Jul 2018
    film

    The Apartment

    Billy Wilder, US 1960

    A sharp comedy about the mores of the American business community...

  • 21:30
    21 Jul 2018
    film

    Ace in the Hole

    Billy Wilder, US 1951

    An uncompromising attack on the manipulative role of the media in...

Sunday, 22 Jul 2018

Monday, 23 Jul 2018

  • 11:30
    23 Jul 2018
    film

    The Apartment

    Billy Wilder, US 1960

    A sharp comedy about the mores of the American business community...

  • 14:00
    23 Jul 2018
    film

    Ace in the Hole

    Billy Wilder, US 1951

    An uncompromising attack on the manipulative role of the media in...

  • 16:30
    23 Jul 2018
    film

    Sunset Boulevard

    Billy Wilder, US 1950

    Hollywood is not all glitter and glamour. The star system can...

  • 19:00
    23 Jul 2018
    film

    The Lost Weekend

    Billy Wilder, US 1945

    Ray Milland was never better than as Don Birnam, a New York author...

Tuesday, 24 Jul 2018

Wednesday, 25 Jul 2018

  • 11:00
    25 Jul 2018
    film

    The Lost Weekend

    Billy Wilder, US 1945

    Ray Milland was never better than as Don Birnam, a New York author...

  • 12:45
    25 Jul 2018
    film

    Double Indemnity

    Billy Wilder, US 1944

    A film noir masterpiece involving an insurance agent, a femme...

  • 19:00
    25 Jul 2018
    film

    Love in the Afternoon

    Billy Wilder, US 1957

    Arch cynic Billy Wilder was a master at delivering the light touch...

  • 21:00
    25 Jul 2018
    film

    Ace in the Hole

    Billy Wilder, US 1951

    An uncompromising attack on the manipulative role of the media in...

Thursday, 26 Jul 2018

  • 14:00
    26 Jul 2018
    film

    The Apartment

    Billy Wilder, US 1960

    A sharp comedy about the mores of the American business community...

  • 16:45
    26 Jul 2018
    film

    Bluebeard's Eighth Wife

    Ernst Lubitsch, US 1938

    Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett co-scripted this sophisticated...

  • 19:00
    26 Jul 2018
    film

    The Lost Weekend

    Billy Wilder, US 1945

    Ray Milland was never better than as Don Birnam, a New York author...

Friday, 27 Jul 2018

  • 14:00
    27 Jul 2018
    film

    The Seven Year Itch

    Billy Wilder, US 1955

    Wilder’s first comedy with Marilyn Monroe is full of juicy...

  • 16:30
    27 Jul 2018
    film

    Ace in the Hole

    Billy Wilder, US 1951

    An uncompromising attack on the manipulative role of the media in...

  • 19:00
    27 Jul 2018
    film

    Double Indemnity

    Billy Wilder, US 1944

    A film noir masterpiece involving an insurance agent, a femme...

Saturday, 28 Jul 2018

  • 11:30
    28 Jul 2018
    film

    Double Indemnity

    Billy Wilder, US 1944

    A film noir masterpiece involving an insurance agent, a femme...

  • 14:00
    28 Jul 2018
    film

    Sabrina

    Billy Wilder, US 1954

    A romantic comedy about chauffeur's daughter and unhappy...

  • 16:30
    28 Jul 2018
    film

    The Apartment

    Billy Wilder, US 1960

    A sharp comedy about the mores of the American business community...

Sunday, 29 Jul 2018

  • 11:00
    29 Jul 2018
    film

    Sunset Boulevard

    Billy Wilder, US 1950

    Hollywood is not all glitter and glamour. The star system can...

  • 14:00
    29 Jul 2018
    film

    Ninotchka

    Ernst Lubitsch, US 1939

    Ninotchka, with Greta Garbo in the comical title role and Ernst Lubitsch in the director’s...

  • 16:30
    29 Jul 2018
    film

    The Lost Weekend

    Billy Wilder, US 1945

    Ray Milland was never better than as Don Birnam, a New York author...

Monday, 30 Jul 2018

Tuesday, 31 Jul 2018

  • 14:00
    31 Jul 2018
    film

    Double Indemnity

    Billy Wilder, US 1944

    A film noir masterpiece involving an insurance agent, a femme...

  • 16:30
    31 Jul 2018
    film

    Ace in the Hole

    Billy Wilder, US 1951

    An uncompromising attack on the manipulative role of the media in...

  • 19:00
    31 Jul 2018
    film

    The Apartment

    Billy Wilder, US 1960

    A sharp comedy about the mores of the American business community...

Wednesday, 1 Aug 2018

  • 11:00
    1 Aug 2018
    film

    The Lost Weekend

    Billy Wilder, US 1945

    Ray Milland was never better than as Don Birnam, a New York author...

  • 19:00
    1 Aug 2018
    film

    Ace in the Hole

    Billy Wilder, US 1951

    An uncompromising attack on the manipulative role of the media in...

Thursday, 2 Aug 2018

  • 11:00
    2 Aug 2018
    film

    Ninotchka

    Ernst Lubitsch, US 1939

    Ninotchka, with Greta Garbo in the comical title role and Ernst Lubitsch in the director’s...

Friday, 3 Aug 2018

  • 16:30
    3 Aug 2018
    film

    Stalag 17

    Billy Wilder, US 1953

    A spirited comedy about a spy in a German POW camp. Humour and...

  • 19:00
    3 Aug 2018
    film

    Sabrina

    Billy Wilder, US 1954

    A romantic comedy about chauffeur's daughter and unhappy...

Saturday, 4 Aug 2018

  • 19:00
    4 Aug 2018
    film

    Sunset Boulevard

    Billy Wilder, US 1950

    Hollywood is not all glitter and glamour. The star system can...

Sunday, 5 Aug 2018

Monday, 6 Aug 2018

Tuesday, 7 Aug 2018

  • 14:00
    7 Aug 2018
    film

    Sunset Boulevard

    Billy Wilder, US 1950

    Hollywood is not all glitter and glamour. The star system can...

  • 16:30
    7 Aug 2018
    film

    Fedora

    Billy Wilder, DU/FR 1978

    As in Wilder’s Sunset Boulevard, Fedora features a faded star (Hildegard Knef) who...

  • 19:00
    7 Aug 2018
    film

    The Apartment

    Billy Wilder, US 1960

    A sharp comedy about the mores of the American business community...

Wednesday, 8 Aug 2018

Thursday, 9 Aug 2018

  • 14:00
    9 Aug 2018
    film

    The Apartment

    Billy Wilder, US 1960

    A sharp comedy about the mores of the American business community...

  • 19:00
    9 Aug 2018
    film

    Ace in the Hole

    Billy Wilder, US 1951

    An uncompromising attack on the manipulative role of the media in...

Friday, 10 Aug 2018

Saturday, 11 Aug 2018

  • 19:00
    11 Aug 2018
    film

    The Apartment

    Billy Wilder, US 1960

    A sharp comedy about the mores of the American business community...

Sunday, 12 Aug 2018

  • 11:00
    12 Aug 2018
    film

    The Seven Year Itch

    Billy Wilder, US 1955

    Wilder’s first comedy with Marilyn Monroe is full of juicy...

  • 16:00
    12 Aug 2018
    film

    Sabrina

    Billy Wilder, US 1954

    A romantic comedy about chauffeur's daughter and unhappy...

  • 19:00
    12 Aug 2018
    film

    One, Two, Three

    Billy Wilder, US 1961

    Prepare for a rapid fire of jokes, great one-liners and ...

Monday, 13 Aug 2018

Tuesday, 14 Aug 2018

  • 14:00
    14 Aug 2018
    film

    Sunset Boulevard

    Billy Wilder, US 1950

    Hollywood is not all glitter and glamour. The star system can...

Wednesday, 15 Aug 2018

  • 11:00
    15 Aug 2018
    film

    Stalag 17

    Billy Wilder, US 1953

    A spirited comedy about a spy in a German POW camp. Humour and...

  • 19:00
    15 Aug 2018
    film

    The Lost Weekend

    Billy Wilder, US 1945

    Ray Milland was never better than as Don Birnam, a New York author...

Thursday, 16 Aug 2018

  • 14:00
    16 Aug 2018
    film

    The Apartment

    Billy Wilder, US 1960

    A sharp comedy about the mores of the American business community...

  • 16:30
    16 Aug 2018
    film

    Kiss Me, Stupid

    Billy Wilder, US 1964

    The Catholic Church’s Legion of Decency immediately condemned the...

  • 19:15
    16 Aug 2018
    film

    Double Indemnity

    Billy Wilder, US 1944

    A film noir masterpiece involving an insurance agent, a femme...

Friday, 17 Aug 2018

Saturday, 18 Aug 2018

  • 14:00
    18 Aug 2018
    film

    Sabrina

    Billy Wilder, US 1954

    A romantic comedy about chauffeur's daughter and unhappy...

  • 19:00
    18 Aug 2018
    film

    One, Two, Three

    Billy Wilder, US 1961

    Prepare for a rapid fire of jokes, great one-liners and ...

Sunday, 19 Aug 2018

Monday, 20 Aug 2018

Tuesday, 21 Aug 2018

  • 19:00
    21 Aug 2018
    film

    Ace in the Hole

    Billy Wilder, US 1951

    An uncompromising attack on the manipulative role of the media in...

  • 21:15
    21 Aug 2018
    film

    Stalag 17

    Billy Wilder, US 1953

    A spirited comedy about a spy in a German POW camp. Humour and...

Wednesday, 22 Aug 2018

  • 11:00
    22 Aug 2018
    film

    Sunset Boulevard

    Billy Wilder, US 1950

    Hollywood is not all glitter and glamour. The star system can...

Thursday, 23 Aug 2018

  • 16:00
    23 Aug 2018
    film

    The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes

    Billy Wilder, GB/US 1970

    There have been numerous Sherlock Holmes adaptations for cinema...

  • 19:00
    23 Aug 2018
    film

    Fedora

    Billy Wilder, DU/FR 1978

    As in Wilder’s Sunset Boulevard, Fedora features a faded star (Hildegard Knef) who...

Friday, 24 Aug 2018

Saturday, 25 Aug 2018

Sunday, 26 Aug 2018

  • 11:00
    26 Aug 2018
    film

    Double Indemnity

    Billy Wilder, US 1944

    A film noir masterpiece involving an insurance agent, a femme...

  • 16:00
    26 Aug 2018
    film

    The Apartment

    Billy Wilder, US 1960

    A sharp comedy about the mores of the American business community...

  • 18:45
    26 Aug 2018
    film

    The Fortune Cookie

    Billy Wilder, US 1966

    Six years after The Apartment, his comedy about the mores...

Monday, 27 Aug 2018

Tuesday, 28 Aug 2018

  • 16:30
    28 Aug 2018
    film

    Sunset Boulevard

    Billy Wilder, US 1950

    Hollywood is not all glitter and glamour. The star system can...

  • 19:00
    28 Aug 2018
    film

    Kiss Me, Stupid

    Billy Wilder, US 1964

    The Catholic Church’s Legion of Decency immediately condemned the...

Wednesday, 29 Aug 2018

  • 16:30
    29 Aug 2018
    film

    The Front Page

    Billy Wilder, US 1974

    Eight years after their first performance together in ...

Thursday, 30 Aug 2018

  • 11:00
    30 Aug 2018
    film

    Sunset Boulevard

    Billy Wilder, US 1950

    Hollywood is not all glitter and glamour. The star system can...

  • 16:30
    30 Aug 2018
    film

    The Apartment

    Billy Wilder, US 1960

    A sharp comedy about the mores of the American business community...

  • 19:00
    30 Aug 2018
    film

    Stalag 17

    Billy Wilder, US 1953

    A spirited comedy about a spy in a German POW camp. Humour and...

Friday, 31 Aug 2018

  • 14:00
    31 Aug 2018
    film

    One, Two, Three

    Billy Wilder, US 1961

    Prepare for a rapid fire of jokes, great one-liners and ...

Monday, 3 Sep 2018

Tuesday, 4 Sep 2018

  • 21:15
    4 Sep 2018
    film

    The Front Page

    Billy Wilder, US 1974

    Eight years after their first performance together in ...

Wednesday, 5 Sep 2018

  • 16:30
    5 Sep 2018
    film

    Sunset Boulevard

    Billy Wilder, US 1950

    Hollywood is not all glitter and glamour. The star system can...

  • 19:00
    5 Sep 2018
    film

    Fedora

    Billy Wilder, DU/FR 1978

    As in Wilder’s Sunset Boulevard, Fedora features a faded star (Hildegard Knef) who...

Tuesday, 11 Sep 2018

  • 19:00
    11 Sep 2018
    Some Like It Hot
    film

    Some Like It Hot

    Billy Wilder, US 1959

    Mix Billy Wilder’s dry humour, the deadpan faces of Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis, the sex appeal of...

Wednesday, 12 Sep 2018

  • 19:00
    12 Sep 2018
    Some Like It Hot
    film

    Some Like It Hot

    Billy Wilder, US 1959

    Mix Billy Wilder’s dry humour, the deadpan faces of Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis, the sex appeal of...

Thursday, 13 Sep 2018

  • 19:00
    13 Sep 2018
    Some Like It Hot
    film

    Some Like It Hot

    Billy Wilder, US 1959

    Mix Billy Wilder’s dry humour, the deadpan faces of Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis, the sex appeal of...

Full program

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