Trapped in the '50's

To understand and appreciate the revisionist genius behind Far from Heaven, directed by Todd Haynes, one needs to appreciate the cinematic impact of Douglas Sirk (1900-1987), a  director whose jaundiced view of American life played out in a series of films in the 1950s that have been rightly celebrated for their panache.


Born in Denmark, Sirk moved to Germany as a teenager, and eventually became an accomplished stage director. Movies followed, and he was on his way to a successful film career when the Nazis came to power. Sirk had always been left-leaning in his politics, and since his second wife was Jewish, he left, eventually landing in the U.S.

 

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