Billy Wilder's Sunset Boulevard

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Hollywood receives its close up in Billy Wilder’s ‘Sunset Boulevard’ Written by Katie Mounce, Film Critic. 06/01/1950 As much as we may refuse to admit it, America is a hugely consumerist country, using and often abusing products and people in order to prosper and constantly, often unnecessarily replacing commodities with their more up to date superior. The success of ‘Sunset Boulevard ’ lies in its ability to depict Hollywood in such a way that, without causing offence, unmasks the harsh truths behind the camera to reveal a prevalent issue to the audience whilst maintaining an entertaining story line. Through its dark and sinister tale of the ‘Hollywood Dream’ ‘Sunset Boulevard’ brilliantly reveals to its audience the illusion that encompasses…show more content…
(Words: 1000) 3) Essay question: What do you hear and see when you read a play? (1000 words) Sound is an intrinsically important aspect of any play, being one of the main mediums by which producers create mood, setting and atmosphere within a play. Music, especially, is an immensely powerful element in any theatrical performance- it is the means by which a director can completely alter the tone of their show, enabling them to bring the audience down from feelings of sheer elation to perpetual sadness, shock, anger or fear. Sound is any artist’s key to bringing a performance fully to life, taking it from the third dimension to the fourth, making the most of the audience’s ears as well as their eyes and taking them from mundane reality to the hyper-reality that is the magical, mystical realm of theatre. Shakespeare’s The Tempest is a prime example of a play that brilliantly uses the power of sound to its full potential, creating scenes of despair and horror in one act to moments of illusion and enchantment in another, taking the audience on an emotional, entertaining journey in the way that all good theatre…show more content…
The sounds are all loud “thunderclaps” of “roaring… fire and cracks” (1.2.9-10) with the intention of capturing the audience’s attention without hesitation. Even when the play is simply read and not performed, one’s imagination is stimulated by the stage directions, such as “A tempestuous noise of thunder and lighting heard” (1.1.1) and the use of punctuation that creates the sense of loud, bellowing shouts of panic. These stage directions reveal the obvious emphasis on sound that Shakespeare put into his scripts. Shakespeare’s language “repeatedly calls attention to acoustic effects ”, even referring to lightning as something that can be ‘heard’ rather than ‘seen’. Shakespeare has purposefully opened the play with the terrifying shrieks and shouts of fear from the crewmembers of the ship in order to bring the audience out of reality and into his world that is set on a remote island away from civilization, somewhere between Naples and Tunis in the Mediterranean. Without the sheer desperation evident in the men’s voices as they struggle to keep the ship from going under in the storm, or the noise of the waves and the weather created on stage, the opening scene of The Tempest would be far less effective, as it is the sounds created on stage that bring the acting, the costumes and the set to

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