Sunset Boulevard ★★★★½

I didn’t like watching “Sunset Boulevard”. I found it thoroughly depressing, unnerving and, above all, frightening, and not in the conventional sense. What makes it so frightening is that it made me realise just how horrible film can be. How we treat film and the stars that are born from the film industry is the crucial concern of Wilder’s film, and it’s conveyed viscerally and maturely. It’s the film’s ending that really puts it all into perspective, with that classic final line and Gloria Swanson’s unmatchable performance. Of course there’s lots more to talk about - the haunting black and white visuals, that iconic narration, the glorious set design - but the ending is what really made me sit back and contemplate film as a visual medium and the implications that come from everything about this massive industry, and any film that can get me to do that is a pretty damn good one in my book.

“I am big. It’s the pictures that got small.”

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