Jonathan Coe

Billy Wilder — the making of a great film director

Before Billy Wilder became the celebrated director of films such as Sunset Boulevard, Some Like It Hot and The Apartment he was a busy jobbing screenwriter at UFA Studios in Berlin in the early 1930s, writing or co-writing the scenarios to more than 20 movies. And before that, he was a journalist. Starting in Vienna

Short and sharp

Like A Fiery Elephant, my biography of the experimental novelist B.S. Johnson, contains one particularly careless sentence: the one where I described Johnson as ‘Britain’s one-man literary avant-garde of the 1960s’. It was a silly thing to write, partly because it wasn’t true, but also because it was easily the most quotable line in the