Rencontrer, observer, étudier, parler, dire, attendre, re-observer, réétudier, redire, se lancer, se rétracter, regretter, se relancer, expliciter, oser, hésiter, avoir envie, espérer, tergiverser, penser, hésiter encore, oser, foncer, braver, se risquer, risquer de perdre peut-être mais risquer de gagner surtout.
Sunset Boulevard - Ready for My Closeup Mr. DeMille
One of my favorite movies of all time. Hard to say when I first saw it. I seem to remember catching at least part of it when I was quite young (too young to get a lot of it, I’m sure), and I remember being really creeped out by the beginning with the empty pool and dead monkey (still manages to creep me out today, to be honest).
William Holden plays a cynical, down on his luck hollywood screenwriter, who while dodging creditors, ducks into a seemingly deserted hollywood mansion, where he makes the acquaintance of an elderly has-been silent screen star (Gloria Swanson, absolutely wonderful in this role), waited on by a creepy manservant (Eric Von Stroheim). They confuse him for the funeral arranger, because her pet monkey has just died, and eventually the truth comes out that he writes for the movies, and the star latches onto him for help with a vehicle for her ‘big screen return’ (being short on cash, he of course goes along with the ruse). Eventually he not only becomes her writing assistant but her boy toy and lover, and things begin to get complicated when he starts sneaking out at night to write with the fiance of his best friend.
The perfect movie for movie lovers, because it is both reverential and despising of the medium and how it chews up and spits out its own, funny and creepy and manages to be a great comedy and film noir all at the same time. Had the good fortune recently to see it on the big screen, and it was an amazing experience (at the end when Swanson looks directly into the camera for the line “and all you little people out there in the dark”, it gave a chill up my spine, because it felt like she was looking directly at you personally).
5 stars out of 5
Released 1950, First Viewing May 1985 with many revisits over the years