ENGL329K - The Films of Billy Wilder

Known primarily for films that established him as a Hollywood insider (Double Indemnity, Sunset Boulevard, Some Like It Hot), Billy Wilder began his five-decade-long career in Weimar Germany and France and returned to Germany in 1945, where he worked on a documentary on Nazi death camps (Todesmhlen/Mills of Death) and A Foreign Affair. Through close readings of exemplary films, we will explore Wilder's range from gentle ethnographer of modern life to caustic satirist of American society and the culture industry, focusing on issues of authorship and reception (in particular his exclusion from the auteurist canon). In addition, we will consider his uneven relation to Hollywood genres, his systematic blurring of boundaries between comedy, romance, and drama.

Also offered as FILM 329K. Credit will be granted for ENGL329K or FILM359K. Repeatable to 9 credits if content differs.


ENGL245, FILM245, FILM283, or SLLC283; or permission of ARHU-English department.