Film Screening 2nd April, 2006

Poster for Sunset Boulevard

Sunset Boulevard 

3:00 PM, 2nd April, 2006

  • PG
  • 110 mins
  • 1950
  • Billy Wilder
  • Charles Brackett, Billy Wilder, D.M. Marshman Jr.
  • William Holden, Gloria Swanson, Erich von Stroheim, Nancy Olson

Failed script-writer Joe Gillis (Holden) stumbles into the grounds of the Hollywood mansion of faded movie-star Norma Desmond (Swanson). Repulsed and bemused by the faded glamour but desperate for any opportunity, Gillis starts to prey on the old woman, who has a script for a film version of Salome, the return to the screen for which she has waited decades. As the delusions of the neglected diva are revealed in full, Gillis draws closer towards his ruin...Unlike its leaning lady, Sunset Boulevard has aged exceptionally well and continues to have a greater impact on popular culture than any other example of film noir. Written and directed by Billy Wilder, the dialogue (which includes a bitter, deadpan, narration by Holdens Gillis) remains widely quoted more than fifty years after its first release. Many once famous figures appear in either supporting or cameo roles - Buster Keaton, HB Warner, Hedda Hopper and Erich von Stroheim. There are plenty of plot twists and the performances are unforgettable.

A chilling look at the cost of fame, the madness of frustrated ambition and the cruelty of time, Sunset Boulevard enthrals viewers with the very abjection and decadence it abhors. Just see it!!!!!

Australian WeekThere was much rejoicing in 2005, because for the first time in about three years, there seemed to be more quality Australian films (and fewer silly Australian comedies) made. This was particularly reflected in your voting ballots for this semester, as all of the films in the Australian section got high votes. This week we screen the four films that got Best Picture nominations at the AFI awards last year, and bring back a forgotten classic. So come along, sit back, and revel in the fact that we are producing quality and diverse films again! Oi, oi, oi!

Phillip Hilton

Poster for The Lady Vanishes

The Lady Vanishes 

5:05 PM, 2nd April, 2006

  • PG
  • 97 mins
  • 1938
  • Alfred Hitchcock
  • Sidney Gilliat, Frank Launder
  • Margaret Lockwood, Michael Redgrave, Dame May Whitty, Paul Lukas

I am blessed with respect to The Lady Vanishes: so far, I have seen it twice, and so far, I have forgotten, twice, the crucial plot twist that makes this funny and suspenseful film especially clever. Arent I lucky? When we screen it, I'll have no idea what the solution to the mystery is any more than would a first-time viewer, and I think this is a good thing, though the neurologists among you may disagree.

The plot, essentially, is this (I had to look it up): Iris Henderson (Lockwood) befriends the elderly Miss Froy (Whitty) on a train, then sustains a head injury, and finds on awakening that the old dear is nowhere to be found. What's worse, no one has seen Miss Froy on the train at all. They're quite adamant, in fact, that no such person exists, and it is up to Iris - with the help of fellow traveller Gilbert Redman (Redgrave) - to prove that she does... even if they're not consistently certain of that fact themselves.

It sounds good doesn't it? I bet you're wondering how it ends. So am I.

Helena Sverdlin