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casablancalover2

I LOVE Douglas Sirk, There, I've said it.

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> Addison wrote: *Vanilla?* What the hell leaves have you been burning?

I just remember the leaves way back in the day, when I was 6-8 years old, smelling sweet when they burned on the curb. We had some oak, maple, and elm. I thought it smelled better than pipe tobacco, which a favortie uncle smoked.

 

I am aware that it is a back lot, for that reason for me all the more to appreciate the details. When the story moves on to Wintertime, it is fun to see all the conversation without clouds of breath, I am curious about the locale for the mill. The snow does look very soapy in spots, but area is emmense. Could they have shot it way out of town? imdb doesn't say.

 

But, imdb has a fine accounting of Carrie's house:

> {size:13px}The house Jane Wyman's character lives in (on Universal's "Colonial Street" backlot) was built by on rented Universal property by Paramount Pictures for 1955's "Desperate Hours"; Universal left it standing after filming, altering its appearance for "All That Heaven Allows." Four years later, it was altered again, for use as the house of the Cleaver family in TV's "Leave it to Beaver," beginning with the show's move from CBS to ABC for the 1959 season. The house continued as the Cleaver house until the end of the series in 1962, but was known at Universal as the "Paramount House," not the "Cleaver House.

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h3. Far From Heaven

 

>Addison wrote: ps- love Far From Heaven, but it does play it serious- I certainly wouldn't use the word "straight". (But it WORKS.)

 

I have been watching *Far From Heaven* and I agree, it is great in a way that Sirk tried and couldn't. I don't think it was Sirk's fault, however; he was working from different style of storytelling and use of dialog.

 

The production design is over the top and it works.. it takes me right into the story.

 

I loved the cinematography; the movements and the scope is just perfect. Every frame moves the story and sets the subtext .

 

And the dialog.. Almost no expository statements. It draws you into the life these characters lead. Nobody talks about it. When the statements are finally made, it is such a relief.

 

And the Elmer Bernstein soundtrack is wonderfully romantic and adds the passion and quiet reserve of pain as we needed in melodrama.

 

All in all *Far from Heaven* is a good movie for study and always for enjoyment. It has a place on any movie lover's shelf.

 

Thank you for this recommendation. and it should definitely be included in the Sirk tribute TCM Will DO..

 

Right!?

 

Edited by: casablancalover2 on Mar 23, 2013 9:00 PM

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I watched it again too after all the recent discussion. You're right, Sirk simply couldn't have made anything comparable, even if he'd wanted to. Even if a character were the most closeted homosexual in the world, Sirk still wouldn't have been able to get him onto the screen. And the romance between races (not passion, not rape....romance) would have been unthinkable. The scene that really stood out in my mind was the scene on the street outside a theater when just the fact that black skin touched (without threat) white skin was enough to have everyone on the street literally stop in their tracks. The fact that a man would YELL at them from across the street really drove the feeling of oppression home, as did the way the bystanders were photographed from a lower angle, so that they seemed to LOOM. Haynes did a remarkable job of intuiting what Sirk might have wanted to say to this modern audience, based on what Sirk actually did say to the audience of his day. Bravo to both.

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Didn't mean to create a new post. Hit wrong button out of habit. Just wanted to add that, re: the idea that Sirk maybe tried and couldn't, let's not forget that today's acting styles are different, as well as directing styles, so that would also account for the fact that the more modern film seems somehow "truer" and maybe more grounded. Not all of the difference would be attributable to Sirk himself.

 

Edited by: DougieB on Mar 24, 2013 9:15 AM

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>DougieB wrote: Just wanted to add that, re: the idea that Sirk maybe tried and couldn't, let's not forget that today's acting styles are different, as well as directing styles, so that would also account for the fact that the more modern film seems somehow "truer" and maybe more grounded. Not all of the difference would be attributable to Sirk himself.

 

Thanks, Dougie, that was the point I was making.

 

Storytelling was much more dialog-expository in Sirk's day. That is what makes it a novel viewing experience for me. *Far From Heaven* does the "show the story" style we use today.

 

It's the use of color and settings that makes me wonder if this movie's style was trifled with when they created Mad Men five years after *Far From Heaven*. The Mad Men production doesn't have the budget to do the lavish of color, but the Sirk imagery can be found.

 

Edited by: casablancalover2 on Mar 24, 2013 3:28 PM

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>DougieB added: . And the romance between races (not passion, not rape....romance) would have been unthinkable. The scene that really stood out in my mind was the scene on the street outside a theater when just the fact that black skin touched (without threat) white skin was enough to have everyone on the street literally stop in their tracks. The fact that a man would YELL at them from across the street really drove the feeling of oppression home, as did the way the bystanders were photographed from a lower angle, so that they seemed to LOOM.

The romance was so deftly handled that even Cathy Whitaker doesn't see the relationship and how it affects her; she fully denies it and believes it.

 

Julianne Moore plays her so lonely really, life so empty of true intimacy, she doesn't even recognize it when it happens. Poor Lana would chew up the scenery.

 

The scene in front of the theater was pivotal in driving home the point that a black man is at times, invisible, with the comment at the party that there's no Negros in CT. and then the shocking reaction in the street. Great reveal.

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(Thanks to Dobbsey for steering me in the right direction)

 

It's a leetle late to bring it up, but TCM ran La Imitaccion du la Vie this week and I watched most of it for the first time in what seemed like a pretty good while. Still, I deliberately had to turn it off about 15-20 minutes before the ending for two reasons:

 

1. That ending is a downer. I know it was meant to be, and it's effective, but it's a downer and I couldn't take it (personally) right now. Props in large part for this to Juanita Moore who is *just so damn moving in this film.*

 

2. On the flip side: Sandra Dee is so *GD annoying* that I could not take another moment of it.

 

 

It seems like Miss Dee's choice when it came to communicating the naivity of the character was to have her *shout every one of her lines.* Like loud shouting. Like: Dora the Explorer shouting. Like, Gilbert Gotfried would've told her to take it down a notch. We're all in the same room, Sandy, we can *all hear you just fine.*

 

Seriously, there is a scene early on where Sandy is on the bed and Susan Kohner starts to take off her belt, and I lept forward in the hopes that she was going to go all "Bobo in The Grifters " on her.

 

Alas, it did not happen.

 

That said, both Kohner and (especially) Moore were just tremendous. Looking at the 1959 Best Supporting Actress race, it's *obvious* Shelley Winters was going to win for Anne Frank, not so much for anything notable about her performance, but because she'd been around for ten years- vacillating between supporting and lead roles in all sorts of stuff, had been a lead nominee, and knew everyone in town. Herminione Baddely certainly wasn't going to win for her six lines in Room at the Top, and I like Thelma Ritter, but it's kind of a miracle she was even nominated for her drunken cleaning lady in Pillow Talk.

 

I can see why neither Kohner nor Moore had a shot at the award, but in retrospect, even though her post- Imitation of Life career was spotty, Moore gave the best performance by a supporting actress that year and one of the best supporting performances of the 1950's.

 

Edited by: AddisonDeWitless on Jun 16, 2013 3:06 PM

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Well, okay MissW. Ya want my opinion about "Imitation of Life"? Then here it is...

 

I don't care if it's Louise Beavers in the '34 version OR Juanita Moore in the '59 version...I could never STAND their little "No problem. I'll be satisfied with taking the rear seat of the bus" routine. Nope never.

 

Ya see if I WERE that black mother I WOULD at first attempted to instill in my kid some self-respect and pride in her heritage. And if THAT didn't work, I would have tanned the little girl's backside each and every time she made a derogatory remark about her heritage. You could do that in those day, ya know!

 

(...aaaah, but then again of course, IF Beavers OR Moore would've acted in THAT manner, then we really would have much of a story, huh!)

 

LOL

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I finally saw SHOCKPROOF, which was the only Sirk movie from those shown thr other night which I don't have. I really enjoyed it, for the cast, thw story, but especially for the views of long vanished LA landmarks, including the old Bunker Hill neighborhood. I have vague recollections of some of the buildings, from my earliest days here.

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Shockproof was ok. The story was so unbelieveable, but I went along with it as I enjoyed the stars. Why is it so many LA based locations were filmed in and around Bunker Hill? I've notice the location in many films.....the second part of the film reminded me of a Ruth Roman movie shown not too long ago. (cant remember the title) Very similar story.......

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Despite some not so believable parts, SHOCKPROOF was quite enjoyable, with a tougher than usual Cornel Wilde and a good performance by Patricia Knight, whom I had never heard of before.

 

 

Many thanks to TCM for prying open the Universal vault to show us some of Sirk's films.

 

 

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This was actually a Columbia picture, which Cornel did under his shared contract (with Fox) there. It might've been his last under that contract, if i'm remembering correctly.

 

Hibi, yes some unbelievable spots, but that's noir for you. Bunker Hill was used because of its picturesque seediness, against the backdrop of the downtown skyline (what there was of it pre-1960). Unfortunately, the whol thing came down in the 60s as part of the post-war urban renewal wave.

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Hibi, the Ruth Roman, Steve Cochran film was *Tomorrow Is Another Day* and yes the 2 films also remind me each other. Couples on the run, staying at the seedy places. I thought that they would end the same way, it was heading in that direction. Just a twist in Shock Proof compared to the other. I likedboth films, but I love those gritty type noirs

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What heritage would that be since the daughter was from two very different heritages? Note I'm from two very different heritages and I don't feel a sense of belonging (or the associated pride or shame) in either of my heritages. Each of my parents wish I was more in tune with their heritage. Sorry, but I'm not. I feel for the daughter because half breeds like myself are often rejected by both sides of their heritage. Freedom is gained by having no sense of belonging but it can be a painful experience.

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YES, that's it! I couldnt remember the title. Was shown this past spring..........

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Yes, I've read up some about Bunker Hill since hearing about it used for film shoots. A shame most of it is history now (skyscrapers). Did they ever start up Angel's Flight again? I enjoy seeing that in films of the period............

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