Hiked Monserrat Mountain today in the Catalan Pre-Coastal range. Breathtaking all around!
So I decided to do a series on old Hollywood films that I love. There are so many that it’s really difficult to choose which one to start with; nevertheless, I have to start somewhere. So, I’ll start with one of my favorite films of all time (if not the favorite); it’s that good.
Sunset Boulevard (1950), directed by Billy Wilder, is one of the most famous noir films of the 1950’s. In order to fully appreciate this picture, you have to familiarize yourself with early silent films. The film is centered around Norma Desmond, an aging silent film actress forgotten by the film industry after the introduction of synchronized sound, and her relationship with Joe Gillis, a younger B-list screenwriter. In classic noir style, the film is narrated by Gillis and chronicles his first encounter with the actress and how she gradually comes to terrorize his life.
A little history: Sound came about right around the Great Depression. After synchronized sound, many famous actors and actresses went through a “sound test” to see if they were “good for sound.” Essentially, they wanted people with “good” voices, whatever that meant. Movie theaters had to be rewired for sound and many production companies went bankrupt because sound was expensive. (It is said that Mae West single-handedly saved Paramount Pictures from bankruptcy because her films were just that funny.) Charlie Chaplin, who Norma Desmond alludes to in this film, was the only silent film star who was still popular and in high demand after the sound revolution.
To accurately discuss this film and all of its qualities would be to write an entire research paper on it, but here are a few interesting points:
- Gloria Swanson, who plays Norma Desmond, really was a silent film actress who was forgotten after the advent of sound.
- Erich von Stroheim, who plays Norma’s butler, was the director who was said to have ruined Gloria Swanson’s career.
- Cecil B. DeMille, big time silent film director and film pioneer, plays himself in a cameo.
Influenced heavily by German Expressionist films, Wilder uses light and shadow to create a sinister and suspenseful backdrop to the plot. Wilder also plays around with shots and camera angles to give viewers a more interesting visual. The “deep shot,” made popular by Orson Welles in Citizen Kane (1941), is a technique in which things in the foreground are juxtaposed against what’s happening in the background. Wilder makes good use of the deep shot particularly at the beginning and end of the film. He also plays around with timing, showing us the ending of the film at the beginning and working his way from there.
Like Expressionist films before it, Sunset Boulevard deals a lot with the idea of human fatalism and the effects of aging on the mind, our desire to stay young and avoid fading away. Wilder uses his criticism of Hollywood as a metaphor for what happens to us all. In a very climactic scene toward the end, Norma Desmond looks up at the night sky and whispers, “stars are ageless, aren’t they?” It was both a commentary on the media’s expectations of Hollywood stars as well as an allusion to our finite lives in contrast to our infinite universe.
I’ve had an epiphany and I’ve come to the conclusion that I complain far too much for someone who wants to be successful. I also need to come to terms with the fact that if I want to be successful Im going to lose some sleep and I just need to suck it the fuck up and do what I need to do
something i need to do
I’ve been watching this guy’s livestreams for a few days now. He’s super positive and really nice to all his viewers, answering everything he can. Also considering his abilities he is really good at Diablo III and WoW. Like the fact that I could have been playing WoW with people like him and getting my ass handed to me by them is part of the reason I appreciate video games as a form of therapy.
"I’m really feeling good about myself!"
This makes me SO happy. Amazing!
Me: That awesome job I was talking about… I hate it
The Real World: Welcome to me
Jeep Wranger travel ready Camper conversion.
I have to say, out of all the camper conversions I’ve seen, this is probably one of the best I’ve seen. Integrated so damn well into the Jeep design. Would have chosen another color but super nice.