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Sunset Boulevard (1950)

September 16, 2023

There is something ironic in the fact that Sunset Blvd. was released just as Hollywood cinema’s dominance as a popular art form was cresting in the early 1950s, for the film seethes with gleeful contempt for the very industry that made it. Despite biting the hand that feeds it, Sunset Blvd. was a smash hit, both critically and commercially, and continues to be regarded as the high point of mid-century Hollywood cinema.

Norma Desmond (Gloria Swanson) plays a long-forgotten movie star who ensnares unsuspecting Joe Gillis (William Holden), a struggling Hollywood screenwriter, into her deluded fantasy of making a glorious return to the silver screen. As her fantasy slips away and the reality of her inevitable obsolescence slowly sets in, Norma descends further and further into madness, with results that, while tragic, are also surprisingly touching.

Director Billy Wilder leavens his razor-sharp barbs at Hollywood with bracing wit and acid comedy. This is a film, after all, hilariously narrated by a dead man. Lead actress Gloria Swanson, all high drama and seductive menace, delivers one of the most impressive performances in all of cinema. This film, about Hollywood at its worst, also happens to represent Hollywood at its best.


September 16, 2023
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
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Struts Gallery & Faucet Media Arts Centre
7 Lorne Street
Sackville , NB E4L 3Z6 Canada
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