Cinema Dissection: Sunset Boulevard

Cinema Dissection Sunset Boulevard

December 9, 2023

Film Talks

According to Hollywood legend, when MGM’s all-powerful studio chief Louis B. Mayer first watched Sunset Boulevard at a special industry screening, he berated the film’s director Billy Wilder, proclaiming “You have disgraced the industry that made and fed you! You should be tarred and feathered and run out of Hollywood!” Wilder simply retorted, “Go f*ck yourself!” His scathing indictment of the self-proclaimed dream factory exposed the tarnished delusions hidden beneath its glittering, glamorous facade, perfectly captured in the dynamic between William Holden’s scrounging screenwriter Joe Gillis and Gloria Swanson’s deranged, faded film star, Norma Desmond. Join facilitator and SIFF Programmer Dan Doody for a scene-by-scene breakdown of this film noir masterpiece from its opening pool shot to its iconic final close-up.


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$20 | $15 Members | $19 Seniors and Youth

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 9, 2023, 10:00 AM–4:00 PM
SIFF Film Center


Cinema Dissection affords film lovers an exciting opportunity to dig deeper into the films that they love. Inspired by Roger Ebert's annual Cinema Interruptus in Boulder, CO, attendees will participate with a facilitator in a six-hour scene-by-scene, and sometimes shot-by-shot, deconstruction of the featured film. While the facilitator will certainly share their thoughts, anyone in the audience may call out "Stop" and either ask a question of the group or make an observation around a certain shot or moment in the film.

About the Instructor: Dan Doody

About the Instructor:

A Seattle-area native, Dan Doody received a degree in English from Western Washington University, and began working for the Seattle International Film Festival in 1999. He programs both features and short films for the festival, serving on the WTF! committee and as the festival's lead coordinator for its Oscar® qualifying ShortsFest section. He is an enthusiast of the gothic in both film and literature, the pagan-haunted pastorals found in English ghost stories, and the seedy streets of film noir. He could quite happily live in a crumbling castle so long as it was within walking distance of a neon-lit diner on a rain-slicked city boulevard.