Sunset Boulevard (USA, 1950)
Directed by Billy Wilder
Starring William Holden, Gloria Swanson, Erich von Stroheim, Nancy Olson
IMDb Top 250: #41 (10/5/14)
Ever since film became a widely-spread medium, filmmakers have turned the camera on themselves or the industry that produced them. There is a rich pantheon of films about cinema, and about Hollywood in particular, ranging from the satire of Robert Altman's The Player and the mystery of Mulholland Drive to much ropier efforts like Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? and An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn.
Vertigo, Peeping Tom and 8 1/2 are deeply auteurist: they are very consciously the product of a singular vision, with the film being shaped and driven by the director's personal relationship to the medium.
The Artist approaches this issue in an optimistic manner, arguing that there is room for every kind of style of filmmaking, the characters in Sunset Boulevard have very little to hope for.
Peeping Tom are ultimately more mesmerising, it is still an all-round triumph with a great script, a fantastic cast and inspired direction from Wilder. It is essential viewing for anyone interested who is interested in Hollywood - in other words, it's essential viewing for everyone.
NEXT REVIEW: Where The Wild Things Are (2009)