Sunset Boulevard: Film Analysis

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Sunset Boulevard is an entertaining portrayal of the dramatic side of Hollywood in the 1950’s through the film noir genre and thoroughly does so through repeated themes of entrapment.

Sunset Boulevard is the name of the street Norma Desmond, a renowned silent film actress, resides in. She confides within a film writer to restore her fame back to what she had as a silent film actress in the newly introduced “talkies”. The writer, Joe Gillis, is thus stuck with the task of aiding her to help out his economic status.

The film noir genre as a whole is an uncommonly used term in the mainstream film industry towards younger viewers. Most neo-noir films such as Nightcrawler are not marketed as noir but instead in broader terms like “thriller” or “Action”. This all kept the use of the term within the 1940’s to 50’s and eventually dropped off everyone's vocabulary list (besides film connoisseurs). Sunset Boulevard fits perfectly into the category of “dark films” as there are readily apparent motifs within the movie such as a femme fatale, an ordinary man, a conflicting interest and entrapment. Most notably in the film, the aspect of
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The shadows that are projected onto a face from a harsh source of light makes the film turn a sinister look adding more depth to film in a black and white world. Sunset Boulevard of course contains the stereotypical harsh lighting of film noir and the aspect of soft lighting in the appropriate times such as during the day and during times where there is little conflict in the movie such as their trip to Paramount Studios. Not only does Sunset Boulevard have undisputed film noir lighting to set the mood, but it also has the bizarre eyes of Norma Desmond (Gloria Swanson) to accentuate both her mental state and the scene of the film in which it appears, giving a vibe of insanity to the

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