Film & TV

The Miami Jewish Film Festival Features a Billy Wilder Retrospective

After two successful years presenting retrospectives of Jewish filmmakers together, the Miami Jewish Film Festival and Miami Beach Cinematheque announce their third-annual Masters of Jewish Cinema series, featuring a retrospective celebrating Billy Wilder's most iconic films.

The series, charmingly titled Some Like It Wilder, runs from October 14 through 28 and will showcase three of Wilder's Academy Award-winning and nominated films in newly restored digital presentations. Special guests will be hosting the nightly screenings at the Cinematheque. 

“We are proud of our continued partnership with the Miami Beach Cinematheque as we present the third-annual Masters of Jewish Cinema series,” said festival director Igor Shteyrenberg. “It is an honor for us this year to celebrate Billy Wilder’s remarkable films, and in doing so, to shine a light upon his brilliance as a writer, director, and producer in a career that spanned over seven decades. There is Hollywood cinema before Billy Wilder and after Billy Wilder, as his magical ‘Wilder touch’ has changed American movies forever.”

Some Like It Wilder kicks off on Wednesday night with the 55th-anniversary screening of The Apartment (1960), the second film to win him the Academy Award for Best Picture (the first being The Lost Weekend). The film, which stars Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine as one of the best on-screen romantic comedy duos around, will be hosted by editor of Miami Art Zine Michelle Solomon.

Next week, on Wednesday, October 21, a total shift in tone is presented with 1944's Double Indemnity, based on the 1943 novel by James M. Cain by the same name. Widely recognized as an essential noir film, it follows an insurance rep and the wife of a client who kick up an affair and kill her husband for the cash. The film screening will be hosted by David N. Meyer, author of A Girl and A Gun: A Complete Guide to Film Noir.

Closing the series on Wednesday, October 28, is Wilder's best-known film, the beloved Some Like It Hot. It's a comedy that follows Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis as musicians who have to dress up as women and join an all-girl jazz band alongside Marilyn Monroe to escape gangsters trying to catch them. The film will be hosted by freelance writer and assistant director of student media at Florida International University Alfred Soto.

“The variety of Billy Wilder’s tremendous career is legendary, and we are happy to be co-hosting a few samples of the highlights for the third series with MJFF. His films are unforgettable, thanks to his many talents in so many areas of the filmmaking craft” added Miami Beach Cinematheque Director Dana Keith. “We will be also displaying some vintage Wilder memorabilia from our archive to complement the retrospective.”

"Some Like It Wilder"
Masters of Jewish Cinema: The Films of Billy Wilder, presented by Miami Jewish Film Festival at the Miami Beach Cinematheque, 1130 Washington Ave., Miami Beach. Tickets cost $7 to $10; 305-673-4567;

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Juan Antonio Barquin is a Miami-based writer who programs the queer film series Flaming Classics and serves as co-editor of Dim the House Lights. Barquin aspires to be Bridget Jones.