Monday, October 11, 2010

Bloggaday 237 – SPF: A Film Review of “Sunset Boulevard” pt 2

Bloggaday 237 – SPF: A Film Review of “Sunset Boulevard” pt 2

This paper was written for Professer Dias for my SSCI 306 class at CSUSB. It’s a film review for the film “Sunset Boulevard.” It’s a thousand words, so I’ll post it in two parts. This is part 2

The acting of the last main character, Joe Gillis, probably bugged me the most. The character seemed the most unreal and the acting the least believable. It rarely seemed like he was an actual person, not acting. Don’t get me wrong. I liked the character and I enjoyed William Holden as Joe Gillis. I just felt the acting didn’t really stand up when compared to the others.

The Joe Gillis character also does the narration for the film. It was miles ahead of the character and was one of the best parts of the movie. You see glimpses of the writer that the character is with lines like, “I talked to a couple of yes men at Metro. To me they said no,” which was a nice turn of expectations. Also “There was a tennis court, or rather the ghost of a tennis court, with faded markings and a sagging net. And of course, she had a pool - who didn't then. Mabel Normand and John Gilbert must have swum in it ten thousand midnights ago, and Vilma Banky and Rod La Roque,” was a very good line. The only problem I had with it is it seemed to jump between narrating as he was watching the story unfold and being an omniscient narrator that knows everything before he has even spoken a word.

The production of the movie was very good. Things like music and lighting almost always seemed fitting for the scene. Though it seemed odd occasionally (like the overly dramatic music in the opening credits), it never pulled me out of the story. There were also some odd continuity problems in the movie. Norma claimed that she bought a revolver, but when we actually see the gun, it’s not a revolver. I’m not sure if this was a mistake or done on purpose, showing that Norma doesn’t know enough of the real world to know the different types of guns. The movie also opens on a dead body floating in the pool. Oddly though, despite the bloody nature of the death, there was no blood in the pool or anywhere around it. When the death occurred later the film, the was blood in the pool. This could be easily seen as a metaphor of Norma’s continued spiral into insanity and losing her touch with reality. This thought is easily justified when considering the extensive use of metaphors throughout the film.

The most glaring and best flushed out metaphor in the movie is Norma’s mansion. The outside has aged and been forgotten by the world. On the inside though, it has been frozen in the time of Norma’s days in silent films. It is filled with pictures a young Norma and grandiose décor. If it doesn’t revolve entirely around Norma, then it isn’t in the house. Norma herself is the same. She has aged outside the public eye, but inside, she is frozen in the time when everyone loved her, refusing to accept her current life or even move on.

While “Sunset Boulevard” is a bit over-the-top in certain areas, it’s characters and acting still made for an entertaining movie that provokes the viewer to think about its themes and metaphors. It is an especially good watch for those interested in seeing craziness unfold throughout a film.

People have always had problems

Problems with the abstract

Frankly, it took me

Well, longer

Than eet




Listening to

Two and a Half Men.

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Hey, part 2 of a film review for “Sunset Boulevard.” It’s only a rough draft and only spent 3 hours on it, but only on Bloggaday

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