Let's Take a Walk Down Sunset Boulevard Together

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Sunset Boulevard feature for Summary magazine on how the film influenced the "Paracosm" feature in the 1st issue.


<p>H OME</p> <p>LETTERS</p> <p>NOTEBOOK</p> <p>FASH ION</p> <p>FILM</p> <p>FEATURES</p> <p>CONTRIBUTORS</p> <p>SUMMARY A-Z</p> <p>ABOUT</p> <p>CONTACT</p> <p>S U M M A R Y</p> <p>B L O G</p> <p>LETS TAKE A WALK DOWN SUNSET BOULEVARD TOGETHERPOSTED ON APRIL 30 , 20 12</p> <p>Written by Ryan Hill A MANS FACE IS HIS AUTOBIOGRAPHY. A WOMANS FACE IS HER WORK OF FICTION. (OSCAR WILDE) In this issue o f SUMMARY, pho to grapher Andrew Macpherso n teamed up with SUMMARYs creative directo r, Alexander Sum, to create the fashio n sto ry and sho rt film, Paraco sm an elegant and haunting enactment o f ho w the human mind can craft a rabbit ho le fo r its pro prieto r to escape do wn sho uld reality beco me all to o much to bare. Here we take a lo o k at the film that inspired them: Billy Wilders no ir classic, Sunset Boulevard.F O L L O W U S O N</p> <p>PDFmyURL.com</p> <p>F</p> <p>O</p> <p>L</p> <p>L</p> <p>O</p> <p>W</p> <p>U</p> <p>S</p> <p>O</p> <p>N</p> <p>F A C E B TO WO I KT T E R / Y O U T V IB M E O U / EC A T E G O R I E S</p> <p>FASHIO N / FILM / NEWS</p> <p>R</p> <p>E</p> <p>C</p> <p>E</p> <p>N</p> <p>T</p> <p>P</p> <p>O</p> <p>S</p> <p>T</p> <p>S</p> <p>FRO M HO LLYWO O D TO THE WHITE HO USE MEET O UR HO LIDAY ISSUE NO .2 CO NTRIBUTO RS 12 DAYS O F CHRISTMAS BY FRANCESCA HARRELL DO WNLO AD YO UR FREE SUMMARY MAG AZINE HO LIDAY WALLPAPER DO WNLO AD YO UR FREE SUMMARY MAG AZINE HO LIDAY WALLPAPER</p> <p>A</p> <p>R</p> <p>C</p> <p>H</p> <p>I</p> <p>V</p> <p>E</p> <p>S</p> <p>J ANUARY 20 13 / DECEMBER 20 12 / O CTO BER 20 12 / AUG UST 20 12 / J ULY 20 12 / J UNE 20 12 / MAY 20 12 / APRIL 20 12</p> <p>Kno wn fo r bending strict censo rship co des during the time o f a co nservative studio system o ften sending inco mplete scripts o ff to the censo rs, giving licence to add co ntro versial subject matter afterwards Billy Wilder is regarded as o ne o f Ho llywo o ds finest directo rs with many o f his films deemed landmarks o f American cinema. Bo rn in Austria-Hungary (Po land), he emigrated to Ho llywo o d via Paris, during the rise o f the Nazi-Party, in 19 33. His big break came in 19 42 when he directed Ginger Ro gers in the co medy The Major and the Minor but it was his seminal film no ir, Double Indemnity (19 44), that truly established Wilder as a majo r directo r; receiving two Academy Award no minatio ns and praise fo r po pularising the genre.</p> <p>PDFmyURL.com</p> <p>Sunset Boulevard (19 50 ) is o ne o f Wilders mo st reco gnised and celebrated films, receiving 11 Academy Award no minatio ns and winning 3 fo r Best Writing, Sto ry and Screenplay; Best Art Directio n-Set Directio n and Best Original Sco re. The film is a satirical damnatio n o f the mo vie industry mo re specifically, Ho llywo o d. It is film o n film; it is fantasy lo cking ho rns with reality; it is art imitating life , as acto r Erich vo n Stro heim pro fo undly describes it. In typical no ir fashio n, the pro tago nist, Jo e Gillis (William Ho lden), acts as narrato r thro ugho ut. In no t-so typical fashio n, Jo e is already dead at the beginning o f the film. The film o pens with his bo dy flo ating in the swimming po o l o f a o nce famo us silent-film star, No rma Desmo nd (Glo ria Swanso n), face-do wn and lifeless. And so he pro ceeds to tell us his auto bio graphy thro ugh flashback: You see, the body of a young man was found floating Nobody important, really. Just a movie writer with a couple of B pictures to his credit. Six mo nths prio r to his death, Jo e is o n the run fro m repo ssessio n men wanting his car. When his tire blo ws mid-chase, he sharply pulls o ff into the drive o f a decrepit mansio n o n Sunset Bo ulevard, ho ping to elude his assailants. Hiding his car in the garage he begins to inspect the seemingly deserted ho use when a wo man, who turns o ut to be No rma, sho uts to him fro m a windo w asking why he is so late. No rma mistakes Jo e fo r an undertaker, who is needed to bury her deceased Chimpanzee. Upo n finding o ut that he is in fact a scriptwriter, she hires Jo e to edit a script she has created Salo m believing her creatio n will pro pel her back into the stardo m she so desperately craves. Witho ut his permissio n, Jo es po ssessio ns are mo ved into the mansio n so that he can wo rk o n the script full-time. Jo e eventually beco mes No rmas kept man , buying him gifts in return fo r his affectio n. Feeling suffo cated by the circumstance hes living in, he flees to a party in the night and bumps into script reader Betty Schaefer (Nancy Olso n), who previo usly sho t do wn his script at Paramo unts o ffices. The two are evidently attracted to each o ther and Jo e agrees to wo rk o n a script with her, sneaking o ut o f the mansio n each night. The pair eventually fall in lo ve, and when No rma finds o ut she tries to reveal to Betty the so rt o f man Jo e is. Wise to No rmas actio ns, Jo e sto ps her in the pro cess and invites Betty to the mansio n to explain things perso nally. Betty asks Jo e to leave with her, and so Jo e must make an impo rtant decisio n. Wilder uses his Ho llywo o d co ntact bo o k to great effect, casting well kno wn figures to play o nscreen versio ns o f themselves, resulting in an eerie parallel universe. Glo ria Swanso n, like her character, was a pro minent silent-film star. She also wo rked extensively with Cecil. B. DeMille who plays himself during the silent-era, just as No rma did in the film. If that isnt eno ugh, DeMille also refers to No rma as young fellow a pet name he had fo r Glo ria Swanso n in reality. Erich vo n Stro heim brutally plays himself as No rmas butler, Max.PDFmyURL.com</p> <p>A o nce-great silent-film directo r who disco vered No rma, he is no w reduced to being her butler. In reality, vo n Stro heim was a successful silent-film directo r who wo rked with Swanso n o n Queen Kelly (19 29 ), the film which No rma has Max sho w Jo e. The advent o f the talking picture also saw vo n Stro heims po pularity decline, and altho ugh his ro le in Sunset Boulevard was fairly significant he was subsequently unhappy playing a paro dy o f himself, referring to it as that butler role . Wilders alternate reality is further shaped with cameo s co ming fro m pro minent silent film-stars such as Buster Keato n, Anna. Q. Nilso n and H.B Warner, all playing friends o f No rma.</p> <p>It is ho w true to reality Sunset Boulevard is that makes it so effective. In its strictest sense it co ntains all the elements o f film no ir. The film o pens with a ho micide and po lice investigatio n; narratio n is pro vided by a do wntro dden pro tago nist trying to find his way; No rma Desmo nd can be seen as the femme fatale; and cinemato grapher, Jo hn. F. Seits creates a dark and atmo spheric setting within No rmas lair. But where no ir po rtrays a seedy, fictitio us wo rld, Sunset Boulevard po rtrays a seedy, realistic wo rld. And there lies the difference.</p> <p>PDFmyURL.com</p> <p>Ultimately, it is this chilling realisatio n that haunts Sunsets audiences lo ng after the film has ended and why, mo re than fifty years after its release, it is still regarded as a significant piece o f cinema. In the films mo st dramatic scene, we see No rma finally fall do wn her rabbit-ho le; swallo wed by the fantasy wo rld she has created, succumbing to her demo ns. Wilders final scene is a grave reminder o f just ho w deadly o bsessio n can be. Regarded as a co mmentary o n, lo ve, jealo usy and murder; it is mo re a co mmentary o n ho w the film industry can so easily discard its stars and directo rs o nce they have been deemed o bso lete. That is the true crime in this no ir. Andrew Macphersons Short Film PARACOSM (Traile r) inspired by Sunset Boulevard (1950)</p> <p>This video cant be played with your current setup. Please switch to a browser that provides native H.264 support</p> <p>PARACOSM (30 Seco nds) fro m SUMMARY MAGAZINE o n Vimeo . Click HERE to see the full versio n. Write to us at info@summarymagazine.com</p> <p>SHARE</p> <p> Pre vio us</p> <p>Ne xt PDFmyURL.com</p> <p>FACEBOOK</p> <p>TWITTER</p> <p>YOUTUBE</p> <p>VIMEO</p> <p>LEGAL</p> <p>All content copyright summarymagaz ine.com and respective photographer + artist</p> <p>PDFmyURL.com</p>