Hollywood Grows Up
Thursday, October 20, 2022, 6:30 pm to 10:00 pm
Instructor: Lisa DeNight, Discussion Moderator, BMFI
Austrian screenwriter/director Billy Wilder first arrived in America in 1933, escaping the rise of fascism in Europe. Throughout his Hollywood career, Wilder’s gimlet-eyed, outsider’s view of American culture produced one of the most legendary filmographies of the 20th century, and he proved to be a master of myriad genres and styles including comedy, satire, romance, and noir. This adroit versatility manifests most memorably in Wilder’s landmark 1960 masterpiece, The Apartment.
The story centers on C.C. Baxter (Jack Lemmon), a corporate drone who loans out his apartment on-demand to superiors conducting illicit affairs in a bid to climb the career ladder up to the executive suite. The film is at once a charming romantic comedy, barbed social commentary, and something much darker and more melancholy. Following Lemmon’s uproarious turn in Some Like It Hot, Wilder and writing partner I.A.L. Diamond penned the part of C.C. Baxter with the actor in mind, and Lemmon received back-to-back Oscar nominations for these films. The Apartment was also a career landmark for Shirley MacLaine, nominated, as well, for her performance as Fran, an elevator operator at Baxter’s corporate office and the complicated object of his affection.
Join us to explore The Apartment’s rich assessments of transactional relationships, moral ambiguity, and corporate America, all of which still resonate sharply today.
Are you interested in “just” seeing this movie? Additional showtimes can be found here.
Cinema Classics Seminars offer an entertaining and engaging way to learn more about some of the true classics of world cinema. All students receive an introductory lecture before the film and a guided discussion after the film. In addition, those in attendance receive a ticket to see it on the big screen, as well as popcorn and a drink. Please note: the screening associated with this seminar will be open to the public, as well.
If you are unable to attend this seminar on site, you can rent and stream it in our Remote Classroom beginning a week after the event date.
Please email BMFI Programs and Education Coordinator Jill Malcolm with any questions.