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"Closing-Up" Notes

Posted by Sharon M. on October 10, 2005

In Reply to: Re: I am ready for my close-up posted by ESC on October 09, 2005

: : Could you please tell me what is the meaning of the famous quote "I am ready for my close-up"

: It is a line from the final scene of a movie, Sunset Blvd. . Plot Outline: A hack screenwriter writes a screenplay for a former silent-film star who has faded into Hollywood obscurity. (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0043014/ ) Actress Norma Desmond (played by Gloria Swanson) is deluded, thinking she is making a movie. She is actually being taken into police custody for the murder of her lover, Joe Gillis (William Holden).

: "This is my life. It always will be. Nothing else...just us. The camera...and those wonderful people out there in the dark. Alright, Mr. Demille, I'm ready for my close-up."

It is interesting to note two anecdotes, appearing in Wikipedia's definition of "close-up", which go as follows:

* "There is a long-standing stereotype of insecure actors desiring a close-up at every opportunity and counting the number of close-ups they received, such as Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard, known for her line 'All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up'".

* "The close-up is usually said to have been invented by D.W. Griffith, but earlier filmmakers had used it, just not to the same effect or with the same understanding of its abilities. Sergio Leone pioneered a technique of using extreme close-ups (ECUs) that show no more than the actors' eyes".

~ Sharon M.