Sunset Boulevard

"Sunset Boulevard" screens on Wednesday, Aug. 28 at Marcus Point as part of the Cap Times Classic Movie Chat series.

Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Once Upon a Time . . . In Hollywood” takes place in a time of radical change in Hollywood, when the old guard of mainstream studio movies was struggling to adapt to the rise of the counterculture.

It reminded me of another great movie about a generational clash in Tinseltown. Billy Wilder’s “Sunset Boulevard,” released in 1950, tells the story of a cynical young screenwriter (William Holden) who curries the favor of faded silent screen star Norma Desmond (Gloria Swanson), who has deluded herself into thinking she'll someday make a comeback. Entering her mansion, Holden seems to enter a forgotten Hollywood, complete with cameos by Buster Keaton and silent movie director Erich von Stroheim.

So it seems like perfect timing to make “Sunset Boulevard” the next Cap Times Classic Movie Chat, screening at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 28 at Marcus Point Cinema, 7825 Big Sky Drive. Come see the lustrous black-and-white movie on the big screen, and talk about it with me afterwards. I’ll come armed with stories about the making of the film, and would love to hear your thoughts about the movie. Tickets are on sale now.

I’m also excited that we’ve got the next couple of movies planned for upcoming chats. On Wednesday, Sept. 11, we’ll have a special bonus Cap Times Classic Movie Chat to preview Cap Times Idea Fest on Friday, Sept. 13 and Saturday, Sept. 14.

In honor of writers from the Washington Post who will be at Idea Fest (Carol Leonnig, David Maraniss, Alexandra Petri and Catherine Rampell), the movie will be “All the President’s Men,” Alan J. Pakula’s gripping account of the Post’s Watergate investigation, starring Dustin Hoffman and Robert Redford as Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward.

Tickets for that are also on sale now, and if you purchase a pass to Idea Fest, you can get a free ticket to the movie as a bonus. Email us at captimesideafest@gmail.com for more information about that.

Finally, in our regular last-Wednesday-of-the-month time slot for the movie chats, we’ll watch and talk about “The Shawshank Redemption” on Wednesday, Sept. 25 at 7 p.m. The movie is celebrating its 25th anniversary, and we’ll talk about its rather unexpected rise to become a modern classic.

We’re also looking ahead to plan movies for October and November, including trying to find a good classic horror movie for the week before Halloween. Hope to see you out at the movies!

Rob Thomas is the features editor and social media editor for the Capital Times, as well as its film critic. He joined the Cap Times in 1999 and has written about movies, music, food and books.

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