Sunset Boulevard: A Cinematic Analysis of Fame and Obsession

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The movie, Sunset Boulevard

The movie, Sunset Boulevard, directed by Billy during 1950 has been revered across the entire world as one of the prototypes of film noir. Sunset Boulevard is also considered as one of the most classic dramas and applauded as one of the film noir presenting a story about a dead man afloat on the crumbling mansion's pool (Saroyan 85). Some people refer to it as one of the darkest film noir about the Hollywood's behind the scene story. The Sunset Boulevard movie integrates both film noir and melodrama aiming at giving the audiences lusciously scornful satire on entire Hollywood industry. All these characteristics make people describe this movie as the most outstanding landmark in the American cinema regardless of staying for more than fifty years now since it was produced. However, regardless of the movie being striking and entertaining, it is also seen as a sadistic story of jealousy, deception, and greed. Indeed this movie does not only thrust fun at old Hollywood but also utilizes the vocab words such as flash forward, flashback, and film noir to convey different themes.

Film noir and Sunset Boulevard

Film noir is a term used to describe a kind of stylish movement used in Hollywood cinemas. Therefore, Sunset Boulevard is regarded as one of the best film noir series ever produced in the history of Hollywood (Sikov 55). In fact, this movie has all the elements of a film noir as observed with its female fatale and hero noir meaning a woman using a man and a man using a woman respectively. For example, William Holden might not be considered as a hero noir; he plays Joe Gillis in the movie Sunset Boulevard. However, the story of Gillis is told in total flashback and the audiences are really marveled with his mysterious and the murder of Gillis as he is found afloat on Norma Desmond's pool at the end of the movie. In most movies, a noir hero normally loves women and money whereas, in this case movie, Gillis has a strong desire for money to an extent of selling his soul for it.

The use of flashback and flash-forward in Sunset Boulevard

Moreover, apart from the use of film noir, Sunset Boulevard movie uses flashback and flash-forward literary techniques to convey certain messages. Flashbacks are used to illustrate scenes of previous events. Flashback is also used as an editing technique that movie producers or story writers use to interpret the chronological plot time with a series of shots or with one shot to show events that took place earlier in a movie or a story and it is one of the most common editing techniques with film producers. For example, the flashback is used in the first scene of Sunset Boulevard when Gillis is shown afloat on a swimming pool. Through the use of this flashback, the film producer, Billy Wilder, is sure he would catch the audiences' attention and make them have the desire to know what killed Gillis. This scene helps the audience to have a grip on what will happen in future in the movie. On the other hand, flash-forward is described as the interpretation of certain events taking place currently to show images of the movie's future plot. For instance, Billy used flash-forward to set up and create suspense and set intrigues for his audiences right off the bat. A good example of flash-forward shown in the movie is when the main character of the movie faces down of his dream pool because this tries to predict what the future of the movie holds.

The analysis of Sunset Boulevard

The analysis of Sunset Boulevard reveals that it is one of the greatest movies that use a lot of film noir to convey different themes. Sunset Boulevard is indeed a more advance movie that combines motion pictures, audio and vocab words like flash-forward, film noir, and flashback to make the audience receive the intended message of the film.

Works Cited

Saroyan, William. "The Merchants of Death of Sunset Boulevard." America First!: Its History, Culture, and Politics (2016): 85.

 Sikov, Ed. On Sunset Boulevard: The Life and Times of Billy Wilder. Univ. Press of Mississippi, 2017.

September 25, 2023




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Film Analysis

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