Sunset Boulevard ★★★★★

I can't even try to review or dissect this, especially now that our current culture has added new significance to its layers. Everything means something, every shot filled with symbolism and beauty and sadness and terror. You could probably take an entire semester of classes talking about it, and for that alone it's a feat. I wasn't expecting it to be so enjoyable though, and so exciting and interesting and "watchable".

So I'll say three things:
My favorite shot was of a door. Joe has just been interrogated by Norma about where he was the night before. He tells her it was nothing important, and she goes to her room. The camera focuses on the two holes in the door where the doorknobs used to be, and the light shines through - two spying eyes. When they close by going dark, he leaves.

I was actually worried about hearing Buster Keaton's voice for the first time. His films were a huge part of my childhood, and I've refused to see him in any speaking roles or color film cameos. Obvious for anyone who's seen this I needn't have worried, and his moment was a funny one.

I'd heard the last line a hundred times, as I'm sure everyone has. One of those "frankly my dear..." and "we're going to need a bigger boat" things that often ruins a movie for me. I see the famous scenes and hear the famous lines on so many lists and articles and parodies that when I see the original the impact is lost.
This, though...I hadn't known the context of the line. When she started walking down those stairs, a glittering star doing her final grand entrance, slowly gliding down death row, I knew it was coming. But I still wasn't prepared. All that crazy paranoia and melodrama reduced to a single sad delusional moment.

Double feature with GREY GARDENS.

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