The films of Billy Wilder were the subject of a day-long seminar at Hillsdale College in Michigan last week, as reported in the Hillsdale Daily News.
“The final seminar focused on the life and legacy of Director Billy Wilder, 1906-2002. Addressing a gathering of students and community guests were editor Anthony Slide; film producer and author Alain Silver; author Daniel M. Kimmel; film critic Leonard Maltin; and faculty members Daniel B. Coupland, James M. Brandon, Justin A. Jackson and Paul Moreno.
Speaking on another aspect of Wilder’s genius on March 20 was Daniel M. Kimmel, film critic and author of I’ll Have What She’s Having: Behind the Scenes of the Great Romantic Comedies. Kimmel spoke on the comedies of Wilder, especially the hit film Some Like It Hot.
Kimmel said that, while this comedy was certainly one of Wilder’s best films, Wilder’s greatest achievement was the variety of his works: ‘What is fascinating about Wilder to me is that he excelled at both comedy and drama,’ said Kimmel. ‘One will find instances of his sardonic humor in all of his films.’
Kimmel noted how disguise, a major theme in many Wilder themes, is particularly used in Some Like It Hot as a tool for character development. ‘Both Jerry and Joe get to explore other aspects of their personalities, indeed the opposite of who they ordinarily are by donning drag,’ Kimmel said. ‘When they finally revert to their male identities at the end of the film, they are different people as a result.'”
This 1967 screenprint is featured in Andy Warhol: A Day in the Life, now on display at the Eli and Edythe Broad Museum (or MSU Broad) at Michigan State University, East Lansing, until May 6.
“Andy Warhol: A Day in the Life pulls back the veil on one of the twentieth century’s most important and iconographic artists. As with many artists and popular figures, Warhol’s public persona and identity were tightly controlled—a brand in and of itself. Warhol once said: ’If you want to know Andy Warhol, just look at the surface of my paintings and films and me, and there I am. There’s nothing behind it.’But the passage of time and accounts from those close to him reveal a different story. In particular, through his daily photographic habits, obsessive film and audio recording, and his interest in a wide range of subject matters, we are able to glimpse aspects of his more intimate world, offering a unique perspective on one of America’s most famous artists.”
Hope College in Holland, Michigan will pay tribute to Marilyn with a season of four films at the Knickerbocker Theatre on Monday nights this August, including Monkey Business (August 1); There’s No Business Like Show Business (August 8); The Seven Year Itch (August 15) and Some Like it Hot (August 22.)
The Franke Center for the Arts in Marshall, Michigan is offering ‘a hot date with Marilyn’ at 7pm on April 9, when a fundraising screening of Some Like it Hot will be accompanied by costume contests, raffles and some intriguing prizes – including a luxury weekend break in Chicago, where the movie is partly set. Tickets cost $15, with more details available from the Daily Reporter.
The movie will be shown in two parts, with a 25-minute intermission, during which food and concessions will be available. Raffles, prizes, intermission treats and other entertainment will fill out the evening.
‘During one of the raffles, we’re going to give away a two-night stay at the Intercontinental – one of Chicago’s best hotels,’ [Patty] Williams said. ‘Because the movie begins in Chicago, we thought it would be a nice touch to offer a Chicago vacation – even though Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon decide that the town is too hot for them.'”
The Howell Opera House in Livingston, Michigan, will present a 3-day celebration of Marilyn from June 10-12. Among the events will be an exhibition of Marilyn-owned items from the collection of Marie Borsage (until June 26), a lookalike contest and a new musical, Marilyn! Babydoll Reflects.