Drama is impossible today. I don't know of any. Drama used to be the belief in guilt, and in a higher order. This absolutely cruel didactic is impossible, unacceptable for us moderns. But melodrama has kept it. You are caged. In melodrama you have human, earthly prisons rather than godly creations. Every Greek tragedy ends with the chorus — "those are strange happenings. Those are the ways of the gods". And so it always is in melodrama.
His career as a film director lasted more than 40 years, but Douglas Sirk (1900-1987)
is remembered for the melodramas he made for Universal in Hollywood between 1954 and 1959, his "divine wallow
": Magnificent Obsession (1954)
, All That Heaven Allows (1955)
, Written on the Wind (1956)
, The Tarnished Angels (1958, William Faulkner considered it the best screen adaptation of one of his novels)
, Imitation of Life (1959)
-- all considered for decades little more than a camp oddity
. Now audiences are beginning to look deeper at the films of Douglas Sirk, at how, in megafan Todd Haynes' words, they are "almost spookily accurate about the emotional truths
". Now, lucky Chicagoans can enjoy "Douglas Sirk at Universal", matinees at the Music Box
. More inside.
posted by matteo
on Apr 29, 2006 -
"... we are sweeping everything under the carpet, but the oddness is cropping up all over the place. And then, the carpet starts to move…".
, "le manipulateur" who introduced his latest film, Caché
, at Cannes with a half-amused “I wish you a disturbing evening
”, is the proponent of a "cinema of disturbance
". A cinema of loving self-mutilation
, where time is non-linear
and everything happens in long take shots
; in Haneke's world, guilt destroys lives decades after the original sin
. All his male characters are "Georges" and his female characters are either "Evas" or "Annas", "because I lack fantasy
". Unsurprisingly, he is a Bresson and Tarkovsky fan
. He'll direct "Don Giovanni" at the Paris Opera in early 2006
: "In 20 years of working in the theater, I only staged one comedy, and that was my single failure".
posted by matteo
on Nov 18, 2005 -