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Sunset Boulevard screening (2019-Mar-25 @ 1:30 p.m.)
Monday, March 25 @ 13:30–15:20
The Dryden will screen Sunset Boulevard (Billy Wilder, U.S. 1950, 110 min., 35mm).
Gloria Swanson shines as Norma Desmond in this true-to-life story of a fading silent-film star and the struggling Hollywood studio system. Norma lives in seclusion in her Sunset Boulevard mansion, surrounded by portraits of her younger self. Her former director and ex-husband, Max von Mayerling (Erich von Stroheim), serves as her devoted butler and projectionist, screening her old films. (In one reality-blurring scene, Max projects Queen Kelly, a real film from 1928 starring Swanson and directed by von Stroheim.) Norma invites a young, struggling writer named Joe Gillis (William Holden) to live in her mansion with the pretension of being her script editor, although he also becomes her kept lover with a foreshadowed violent demise. Cameos by silent-film stars and directors abound, including Buster Keaton and Cecil B. DeMille, to whom Norma directs her final line: "All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my closeup."
[source: George Eastman Museum calendar, 2019-Mar-18]