film screening and discussion
Od–jazd Film Club meeting
directed by Billy Wilder, USA 1950, 110'
- Joe, a screenwriter and bankrupt, hides from his creditors. He finds refuge in a villa at 1086 Sunset Boulevard. The mysterious house turns out to be the residence of a former silent movie star, Norma Desmond, who lives longing for her lost fame. Joe agrees to help Norma write a film script that will enable her to return to the big screen. As the weeks pass, their relationship becomes more complicated, and Joe will soon find that leaving this strange place is far more difficult than he could have expected…
- The stuffy atmosphere of film noir meets a melancholic analysis of the elusiveness of fame, while a satire on kitsch and fiction of Hollywood is mixed with a nostalgic tribute to the stars of the silent film era. The film directed by Billy Wilder – the most awarded Hollywood director (six Oscars and twenty nominations) – thanks to Gloria Swanson’s spectacular performance tells a moving story about passing and takes the viewer to a seemingly out-of-time and irresistibly alluring world of cinematic illusion.
- What is film noir?
- How did adding sound to film affect the fate of its greatest stars?
- How to use film language to talk about passing?
- We will try to answer these and many other questions together with our club's expert, professor Joanna Wojnicka. We invite you to the screening and discussion, during which you will be able to ask questions and share your ideas on how to interpret the film. What do you think Sunset Boulevard is about? We want to hear your opinion!
- Joanna Wojnicka
- Film historian, professor at the Institute of Audiovisual Arts of the Jagiellonian University. She specializes in the history of European cinema, including Russian and Soviet, and the relationships between cinema and other arts, primarily literature and theatre. Author of books: Świat umierający. O późnej twórczości Luchino Viscontiego [The Dying World. On the late works of Luchino Visconti] (2001), Słownik wiedzy o filmie [Dictionary of Film Knowledge] (with Olga Katafiasz, 2005), Dzieci XX Zjazdu. Film w kulturze sowieckiej lat 1956-1968 [Children of the 20th Congress. Film in Soviet Culture 1956-1968] (2012, Polish Film Institute nomination for the best film book of the year), Historia filmu. Od Edisona do Nolana [Film History. From Edison to Nolan] (with Rafał Syska, 2015), Prorocy, kapłani rewolucjoniści. Szkice z historii kina rosyjskiego [Prophets, revolutionary priests. Sketches from the history of Russian cinema] (2019). Editor (with Grażyna Stachówna) of the volumes Autorzy kina europejskiego [Authors of European Cinema] (2003) and Autorzy kina polskiego [Authors of Polish Cinema] (2004). She edited the volume Od Puszkina do Brodskiego. Adaptacje literatury rosyjskiej [From Pushkin to Brodsky. Adaptations of Russian Literature] (2017). She has published numerous articles in journals and collective books, including chapters on the history of Russian and Soviet cinema in four volumes of Historia kina [History of Cinema] (Kino nieme [Silent Cinema], 2009; Kino klasyczne [Classical Cinema], 2011; Kino nowofalowe [New Wave Cinema], 2015, Kino końca wieku [End of the Century Cinema], 2019).