Posted by: kfugrip | May 8, 2007

Back to the Paul Schrader “canon” list

The Apartment, by Billy Wilder is one of the films mentioned in the article Paul Schrader wrote for Film Comment magazine, on a film canon. Upon seeing the list Schrader had in the appendix to the article, I decided that I would see the films he mentioned. Some of them I had seen before, but there were thirty or so that would go on my list. The Apartment was one of them and it reached the top of my netflix queue. I looked forward to watching the film, as I like Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine, and I have seen Sunset Boulevard and Some Like it Hot, and loved them. Watching more of Billy Wilder’s films is a priority.

I was not let down by The Apartment. Smart, in an old school screenwriting way, it interested me from the opening. The set-up of C.C. Baxter (Lemmon) as the upwardly mobile accountant “renting” out his apartment for his philandering bosses was a good start. The manner in which Ms. Kubelik (MacLaine) and Baxter intertwine was inventive.

I had no real problems with the film. It could have been trimmed a little, perhaps streamlined a bit, but I think that’s more the issue of the modern viewer and less a fault of the film. Lemmon and MacLaine are great, as is Fred MacMurray. Very believable. The set design was noticeable as well. I loved the room where Baxter’s desk was located, huge and bordering on the abstract as it receeded back, it added to the dehumanizing nature of a job like the one he had.

#60 = 4 stars


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