[lit-ideas] Re: Movie Night

  • From: Robert Paul <robert.paul@xxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 19 Aug 2005 16:38:11 -0700

I watched "Sunset Boulevard" last night. Incredible movie. Aging ex-movie star goes psycho. With a cast that includes Gloria Swanson, William Holden, Erich von Stroheim, Jack Webb, Cecil B. DeMille, and Buster Keaton. Directed by Billy Wilder. 1950. Lots of great quotes that have become part of our common langauge. The movie also created the very noir genre that led to American Beauty and similar.

I cannot believe that Sunset Boulevard came out in 1950; I'd have sworn it was from the 1960's. (In either case it would have been before Andreas was born.) It was, yes, noir, but I wonder where it's influence emerges in later films. looking back on it it now seems to me to be a black comedy, or like a comedy of manners by Nathaniel West. Great dialogue and great cinematography. It might be one of those movies I'd be afraid to see again for fear I wouldn't find it as compelling as it once did—the story of my life in general, perhaps.

Robert Paul
Reed College

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