February 25, 2017

Gloria Swanson, Sunset Blvd.

as Norma Desmond
Gloria Swanson, Sunset Blvd.
Won: Golden Globe - Best Actress in a Drama • National Board of Review - Best Actress
Within the time-honored tale of 1950's Best Actress race, a question presents itself: how could Gloria Swanson lose the prize for her work in Sunset Boulevard? She did, after all, produce a performance that is nothing short of legendary. She should have won! What a travesty!

One cannot dispute that Gloria Swanson as Norma Desmond is an image which has engrained itself into the annals of cinematic legend and iconography, for as long as one may merely think of Sunset Boulevard, one may instantly recall Swanson, her eyes bulging from out of their sockets, her voice bouncing through exaggerated, eerie timbres, her head cocked back with stretched eyebrows in an upward arch, elongating that remarkable face of hers. The worship for her work is unbounded - and my insouciance towards it confounds me.

February 19, 2017

In Remembrance: IMDB Message Boards

The very first time I ever came across IMDB.com was in 2000, when I was obsessively researching the new Charlie's Angels movie that was set to come out. I was a wee baby then, my age in the single digits, and upon clicking the link to the Charlie's Angels main page, my mind was blown. Here was comprehensive archive that would feed me with all the movie trivia my little mini-cinephile-in-the-making ass could possibly need.

February 4, 2017

William Holden, Sunset Boulevard

as Joe Gillis
Screen Shot 2017-02-04 at 10.07.59 PM
It's known as the part that reinvigorated William Holden's career - Joe Gillis, a struggling screenwriter, finds his way into the world of a disturbed former silent film star, after which he begrudgingly yet acquiescently becomes her "kept man" as she plots her ill-fated comeback. It's a part that's mostly passive and reactive, taking a backseat to a dynamic, theatrical character with a greater call-to-action against the plot. It's not Holden's fault that I don't "get" this performance, at least not its nomination - the fiber of the character just isn't meant to be that compelling...not when you're sharing the screen with Norma Desmond.