With a long weekend ahead of me I was eager to extend its pleasure by kickstarting it off Friday evening. And what could be a simpler solution than a film. But it seemed that I had exhausted my collection so I began re-looking old folders hoping to surprise myself with a find in some corner. The only titles around seemed so promisingly boring that I quickly got onto IMDB to check whether any of them had the potential of not being an evening spoiler.
And thats how 'Sunset Boulevard' happened. The extravagantly vintage sounding title held a 8.7 rating on IMDB. What could be more inviting!
Briefly the film is a crazy little drama about a once popular yesteryears silent film star (played by Gloria Swanson) now in her fifties and yet not in terms with her waned fame, a young jobless film writer (played by William Holden) who by chance intrudes upon her property and what happens when the two get involved. It is also about the extravagant lives Hollywood stars live and the fame that surrounds them, one moment at high tide another moment all ebbed away.
You did say that that sounded like a familiar Hollywood plot. Well then this film made in 1950 and directed by the brilliant Billy Wilder from the 'golden age' of Hollywood is probably the inspiration for them. What got me hooked all the more was that most of the script drew inspiration from real life occurrences to weave in its details. Now thats a real gem. The more you can dig out of a film the better it gets. From the lead actress Gloria Swanson who nearly plays herself, to Buster Keaton and Cecile Demille, many actors in the film play themselves. Gloria is seen surrounded by her very own pictures and also watches her own films through the movie. An interesting fact to note however would be that in real life Gloria Swanson was pretty level headed about her rocketing and plummeting Hollywood fame.
Now thats a great film to kick start your friday. And don't forget to read through the film's Wikipedia site once your 'done' watching it. And do write in if you know of another great weekend kick starter !