I had the opportunity to see Billy Wilder’s “Sunset Boulevard” on the big screen in a movie theater. The movie stars William Holden, Gloria Swanson, written by Billy Wilder, Charles Brackett, D.M. Marshman Jr. and directed by Billy Wilder. For those not familiar with him, 4 of his movies are on the American Film Institute’s 100 Greatest films ever made. They are “Some Like It Hot” (if you haven’t seen it, see it now), “The Apartment”, “Double Indemnity” (great movie) and “Sunset Boulevard”.
I own a copy of the movie on disc, but Turner Classic Movies, in conjunction with Fathom Events, has a Classic Film Series playing in selected theaters. “Sunset” was on the list.
Plot summary from IMDB–
“In Hollywood of the 50’s, the obscure screenplay writer Joe Gillis is not able to sell his work to the studios, is full of debts and is thinking in returning to his hometown to work in an office. While trying to escape from his creditors, he has a flat tire and parks his car in a decadent mansion in Sunset Boulevard. He meets the owner and former silent-movie star Norma Desmond, who lives alone with her butler and driver Max Von Mayerling. Norma is demented and believes she will return to the cinema industry, and is protected and isolated from the world by Max, who was her director and husband in the past and still loves her. Norma proposes Joe to move to the mansion and help her in writing a screenplay for her comeback to the cinema, and the small-time writer becomes her lover and gigolo. When Joe falls in love for the young aspirant writer Betty Schaefer, Norma becomes jealous and completely insane and her madness leads to a tragic end. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil”
Acting in the film as themselves, Buster Keaton, Hedda Hopper, Ceil B. DeMille, H.B.Warner, Anna Q. Nilsson. The great director Erich Von Stroheim plays the butler and driver. Plus a young Jack Webb – “Just the facts, ma’am” – in a small supporting role.
Sunset was nominated for 11 Oscars and won 3. Info here.
Two movies on the TCM list I want to see – one in June – “The Producers”. And in August – “The Big Lewbowski”. I want to see “The Dude”!
My son has decided to offer his opinion on some recent films. He requested my help when he gets an image pertaining to the film that I put his face into the frame. He uses these images as a “cover” for his YouTube videos.
Pictured above, left to right top – The Martian, Creed. Bottom – Spectre, Black Mass.
His YouTube channel is named “Green Screens“.
I substituted my son’s face for Matt Damon’s.
For those who haven’t seen the new Matt Damon/Ridley Scott film “The Martian”,
I highly recommend it. It’s an old fashioned type of film – the rescue. Today’s
science fiction films with time travel, aliens, warp speed, killer robots can,
at times, have convoluted plots that will leave you scratching your head.
(For the record, I am a big sci-fi fan).
And this simple story comes from the director who made the first “Alien” movie
and “Blade Runner”. Both films are excellent, but “The Martian” is a back-to-basics
story of rescue against a backdrop of state-of-the-art digital graphics that
make everything look real.
Long Live Polaroid!
Not actual Polaroid photos but taken standing inside a Polaroid frame and with a digital camera (I guess that contradicts the title). These are 3 separate photos taken in the Fotobar in Las Vegas that celebrates, and sells, Polaroid products. On the second floor is a museum. No charge, and worth a visit. The main floor sells products relating to Polaroid. In the corner is the large frame pictured above for personal photography. With computers at your disposal, you can upload any photo for a “Polaroid” type of print. It was great fun and highly recommended to visit.
Google “fotobar” for more info.
Photographed several years ago with a medium format camera and B&W film.
One of my favorites.
In an earlier life, I went to school for filmmaking. The photograph above is from a film that I made. It was a comedy and I kept it simple since it was my first 16mm film and I was new to the process. When the project was completed, it made its way to a movie theater in Provincetown, Cape Cod, Massachusetts. I had a friend that ran the theater there and he was happy to show it. Recently he told me a story that I didn’t know –
“I never told you, but the night that we showed “The Children of Quasimodo” Filmmaker John Waters, actor Divine and Boston film critic David Brudinoy were in the audience. He returned a few nights later (we changed films every three days in the summer)to see another film with just Devine (not in drag). I asked him what he thought about your film. He said ‘It creeped me out….it was funny.’ Ha ha ha. He also said that he liked the idea that we were showing unadvertised underground films at our midnight shows as a bonus.”
Wow. The Man, They Myth, The Director saw my movie. That’s the closest I ever got to Hollywood.