I’ve been away for the blog for a bit while attending a board meeting of the University Film and Video Association (UFVA) hosted by the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California.
After touring the facilities the day before the meeting, I now know how the 1% lives. In terms of resources, USC is in a class by itself.
Now I’m home and playing catch-up, which includes watching a film to prepare for my Film Theory and Criticism seminar. I had not seen Far From Heaven for some years, and it certainly holds up. Brilliant film.
To really appreciate what Todd Haynes is doing with the movie, it is important to see the Douglas Sirk films Imitation of Life, Written on the Wind, and All That Heaven Allows first. Haynes perfectly evokes the glossy style of the 50s melodrama but takes the subversion that is hinted at beneath that glossy surface and inverts it so that the issues of race, sexuality, gender, and social class are explicitly explore instead of implicitly or superficially addressed.
Quite an achievement for Haynes, and it is best appreciated in the context of Sirk.