A list of Edgar Wright's favorite 1000 Movies per his list on Mubi on July 27th, 2016.
A Hollywood Story
A hack screenwriter writes a screenplay for a former silent-film star who has faded into Hollywood obscurity.
"I am big! It's the pictures that got small!"
Masterfully snappy dialogue like only Billy Wilder and the golden age of 40's and 50's film-noir can deliver. A comeback performance from Gloria Swanson to redefine the very notion of a comeback (I still can't get over how expressive her face is). Incisive commentary on the process of filmmaking which extends to the real lives of its cast and crew (Gloria Swanson returning to film as Norma Desmond returning to film; Erich von Stroheim, the director of Gloria Swanson's early films, as Max von Mayerling, the director of Norma Desmond's early films). Prescient awareness of the critical lack of genuinely new stories two decades before anyone would use the term "postmodern" to describe literature. A truly one of a kind film.
**Part of the Best Picture Project**
What a difference several years makes after having last seen a film!
As a younger still growing lover of film, when I first watched this, I merely watched it from a superficial standpoint. I enjoyed the "behind the scenes" aspect of the film, as well as the deteriorating mental state of Swanson's Norma Desmond.
But many years later, I am able to understand who Max was played by and why it was significant, as well as the many cameos (Shit, Buster Keaton!) and references.
Then there's Wilder's direction, which comes to employ silent film technique more and more as the film goes on and Norma Desmond's mental state begins to collapse, which serves as a contrast to how much more grounded William Holden's subplot is.
This is why revisiting films is important.
No one ever leaves a star. That's what makes one a star.
I've seen many films with the same premise as Sunset Boulevard: an aging film star down on his or her luck tries to come to terms with the loss of their youth and fame. And yet, I believe that there has never been a more biting, contemptuous, yet loving portrayal of one such star with leftover delusions of grandeur.
Norma Desmond is a silent movie star who hasn't acted in a film for twenty years. One day Joe Gillis, a writer down on his luck, arrives at her doorstep and allows himself to be drawn into the web that Norma weaves around him. Nothing bodes well for either…
Once in a while you come across a performance in a film that not only dominates that film, but overwhelms it to the point where you wonder if they had done an edit of the finished product that only included said performance if the film would actually have been better.
Sunset Boulevard could easily have been such a picture. The magnitude of the performance of Gloria Swanson as Norma Desmond can be measured in the fact that in so many ways this is not only an incredible film, but also a daring and unusual film for its time. Yet her performance as the faded Hollywood icon, left desperately clinging on to her glory days coupled with forlorn hopes for a…
5 directors, 5 unseen films challenge
Director: Billy Wilder
Film: Sunset Boulevard
Challenge Count: #7 out of 25
Wilder Count: #2 out of 5
So I guess I gathered a few things from this masterpiece.
1. Billy Wilder is probably one of the greatest American directors of all time and I'm an idiot for putting off his films for so long.
2. He really likes the name Sheldrake and suicidal characters.
3. People who say black and white movies are boring have probably never seen a Billy Wilder film.
Performances : 8.4/10
Story : 9.4/10
Production : 8.1
Overall : 8.63/10
Wow. I bought this on blu-ray even though I had only seen it once before and I didn't remember being overly impressed. Maybe I slept through parts of it because I don't know what I was thinking. Sunset Boulevard tells an amazing story of fame and it's effects while also beating living shit out of Hollywood with a bat. It's the definition of art imitating life, with Noma Desmond played by former silent era star Gloria Swanson. Herself not having had more than one role in almost twenty years before this film was made. Her butler/former director Max Von Mayerling (awesome name) played by Eric von Stroheim (even…
Honestly, I'd fuck Gloria Swanson too.
Cuán difícil es para mí volver a una película que considero una obra maestra y terminar amándola, pero no como la primera vez. En esta semana de re-visionadas, tengo pensado volver a ver mis grandes películas favoritas para validar mi rating y opinión sobre ellas.
Sunset Boulevard es sin duda alguna una de las películas más importante de Hollywood y sobre Hollywood, que de la mano de una impecable dirección y guión de Billy Wilder, hacen de esta película, una experiencia cinematográfica de altura, una lástima que no me impactara tanto como la primera vez, aún así no puedo negar el amor que siento por ella y lo importante que ha sido en mi viaje como cinéfilo.
P.D: mis películas favoritas están cambiando drásticamente, aún más interesante es como vamos cambiando de gustos en el tiempo.
"We didn't need dialogue. We had faces!"
I love Billy Wilder, I love this movie. There is a novelist feel, which I adore. Gloria Swanson is the whole show and is delicious and gives amazing crazy face. Is it Wilder's best made movie????
Perhaps more terrifying now, as a document of a pre-Internet era in which absence from the screen for an actor was the equivalent of death, with no easily accessible public consciousness or memory. Wilder brilliantly only grants Swanson's Norma Desmond close-ups in unflattering, tilted angles, and denies her the glamour shot she famously pines for in the film's final image, blurring out the frame. Further vertical shooting of mansion interiors—juxtaposing the noirish flatness of all other settings—contribute to the paranoia of it all, a home artificially frozen in time to continue the delusions of its owner as she progressively loses touch with reality.
What. A. Screenplay.
You see....... *I* was her first husband BUM Bum BUM bum bum bummmm
This is what happens when your car breaks down on a Sunday morning and you have nothing else to do…