Monday, 30 April 2012

Sunset Boulevard (film)

The Under Ground Theatre showed the classic Sunset Boulevard in May last year as one of its Sunday matinee choices. Now the film is returning to Eastbourne again, this time to be shown at the Hardwick Suite of the Devonshire Park Tennis Centre in association with Filmspot as part of the 2013 Eastbourne Festival.

Sunset Boulevard (1950) is a powerful work of art that was the first film to expose the insanity and heartlessness of the Hollywood dream factory. Winner of three Academy awards, it is ironically often held up as one of the greatest films of American cinema. The first film studio in Los Angeles opened on the real Sunset Boulevard in 1911 and the film contains many references to early Hollywood. It was directed by Billy Wilder who also co-wrote the screenplay with Charles Brackett. The pair had only completed half the script when filming began so Wilder only had a rough idea of how his picture would end.
Norma Desmond (Gloria Swanson) is a former silent-movie legend who, unable to cope with her faded fame, has retreated to an almost solitary life in her crumbling mansion. Norma's fantasies of a return to stardom are stoked by meeting Joe Gillis (William Holden), an unsuccessful writer who becomes her lover. But the fledgling relationship leads only to murder and madness.

Devonshire Park Tennis Centre, Fri 5th April 2013, 19:30.
Tickets £6.50 adults, £4.00 children.

1 comment:

  1. Sunset Boulevard is totally deserving of its 'classic masterpiece' status, a perfectly paced thriller with a degree of coldness in Billy Wilder's direction that meant none of the characters could be said to have 'won'. Gloria Swanson's Norma is an iconic and memorable portrayal of the faded silent star. Erich von Stroheim's stalwart butler, Max, is perhaps the most sympathetic character, desperately trying to care for Norma and protect her from her delusions. But for me, the standout performance was William Holden's 'toyboy' role of Joe, obviously frequently disgusted with himself yet still always returning to Norma and her wealth.
    Great film & thanks to the Underground for the screening!

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