SUNSET BOULEVARD

Director Billy Wilder
Year 1950
Starring William Holden, Gloria Swanson, Erich von Stroheim
Run Time 110min
More Info IMDb

Screening in 35mm as part of the series The Influences of David Lynch!

Director Billy Wilder created one of his most enduring masterpieces in this dark, glittering, poison-pen letter to all things Hollywood, told in flashback by screenwriter Joe Gillis (William Holden), whose final job is playing paid companion to egocentric, aging silent-film goddess Norma Desmond (Gloria Swanson), who lives entombed in a mausoleum-like mansion. With nothing better on the go, Joe allows himself to become a kept man in Norma's smothering clutches, and is soon in way, way over his head.

A mordant, macabre film noir that embraces the genre's doom-laden fatalism — the movie is narrated by a corpse! — SUNSET BOULEVARD was the final collaboration between Wilder and long-time writing partner and producer Charles Brackett. It's noir at its most brittle, bizarre, and baroque — and the blackest of all Hollywood's scab-scratching accounts of itself. A dreamy fairy tale of madness and broken dreams, it's one of David Lynch's favorite films and has had a profound influence on his work.

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