Sunset Boulevard

January 2, 2014
This classic film noir remains one of Billy Wilder's greatest pieces in cinematography of all time. I was so entranced by the film's dazzling script and the character's that contain so much more depth than what is on the outside that I paid no attention to the black and white screen. This film will take you back to old Hollywood and the challenges of those whom are involved in the cinema business.

The hope driven characters include, longing and desperate, Norma Desmond, struggling screen writer, Joe Gillis, ex-husband, Max Mayerling, and young adult, Betty Schaefer.

The age stricken, but clearly once beautiful character of Norma Desmond shows the idea of someone being stuck in the past and unable to accept the present. Norma is so focused on her dream that she loses track of her sanity and falls in the trap of relentless human misery. We follow Norma Desmond on her path of self destruction and denial. Norma Desmond, a former silent film star, finds the idea of the new age of "talking pictures" as repulsive and simply unheard of. Desmond is fixated on the past with a belief that she will one day emerge back into the world of pictures. The ability of Desmond to not accept the truth that lies right in front of her eyes is so maddening to the audience it will make you want to burst out to her on the screen.

Joe Gillis appears fleeing from a desperate situation he has been in and Norma Desmond offers him a way out. With the aid of unsuccessful but hopeful screen writer, Joe Gillis, Norma Desmond is given an opportunity to fantasize being able to once again star in a film. Gillis agrees to work with Norma Desmond and stay at her home in order to finish the screenplay he has in mind for her. In a way both would be benefitted by the screenplay but in some ways it hurts them both.

As the story unravels and we see more depth within each intricate character, Norma Desmond develops an affection towards Joe Gillis. There is also the mysteriously remote character of Max Von Mayerling whom is Norma Desmond's ex-husband and still living with her as a butler. The whole movie wraps around the idea that wishing for something you can not attain will cause chaos in its wake and destroy the individual.

Each time I watch the movie, the ending is what startles me the most. The epic ending of the film is so riveting and unnerving that it makes me want to dig a hole and hide from Norma Desmond and the rest of humanity. Norma Desmond's eyes burn on the back of my eyelids when I watch her grand ending centered, ironically on her. The cameras create Norma Desmond on screen as a ghost-like presence full of the past right before our eyes.

This beautifully crafted film of tragic feelings all enveloped into one giant web, creates a sense of neurotic hope. Hope of a struggling film writer to be acknowledged, hope of a former silent picture star to reawaken her past, beloved routine, hope of a loving servant to help his lost lover when needed, and hope of a young girl to gain a valid grasp on a tactile idea. The struggles of all of the characters to gain what they most long for are told wondrously as each character delves into a plunge of diverse tactics of attempting to break free from their usual lives.

The line that rings through my head,"The dream she had clung to so desperately had enfolded her", creates a visually and mentally shocking picture about the innate vision within everyone. This line represents something that can entangle all individuals.

"Sunset Boulevard" is magnificent and every aspiring, creative individual should see the film. This film changed my life and the way I am able to look at things in different perspectives, not just in writing or film, but overall in life. I began writing noir screenplays as a result of this piece of art and I have extended my imagination to greater feats. If you have not seen "Sunset Boulevard" you need to submerse yourself into it straight away.

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