Fassbinder douglas sirk essay

The aftermath of World War II deeply marked his childhood and the lives of his family.

Fassbinder douglas sirk essay

And perhaps the most distinctive characteristic of the films he made in Europe and America is the way they are able to create a gulf between how his characters see themselves and our view of them.

All around, but beyond the reach of their vision, are forces which define the parameters of their lives. These are evident at the most basic level, in the way that the plots almost always hinge on problems for which the only solution becomes a convenient miracle, a deus ex machina.

Homes that are supposed to be havens start to look like prisons as the decor comes to dominate the compositions. Their traumas become the logical extensions of the workings of the world around them 3. They have other plans for her: In such a context, characters who had seemed to have overcome their problems emerge in a very different light.

Endings that might otherwise be deemed to be happy become far less reassuring. Subversive ironies cast a shadow across any sense of achievement, not so much invalidating it as offering other ways of viewing it.

Fassbinder douglas sirk essay

Morell Lyle Bettger of the existence of God and the power of faith, but Sirk ensures that we also understand both the event and their reaction to it as an indication of the final incomprehensibility of the world and of their limited understandings of their place in it.

The resolutions to Magnificent Obsession and Battle Hymn work in much the same way. Everything, even life, is inevitably removed from you. The Sirk that emerges from the Fassbinder douglas sirk essay is a sophisticated intellectual, a filmmaker who arrived in Hollywood with a very clear vision, leaving behind him an established career in German theatre and film.

They were followed by the programming of a film retrospective at the Edinburgh Film Festival, at which Sirk was a guest. The event further solidified his reputation and led to the publication of a book of essays, edited by Halliday and Laura Mulvey.

However, on the way to the airport for the flight to New York, Sirk suffered a haemorrhage that seriously impaired the vision in his left eye, an ailment that was to trouble him for the remainder of his life.

However, his reputation was established, even if he felt uncomfortable with some of the terms in which his work was generally being discussed. While Sirk was delighted to find that the social critiques embedded in his work were being recognised, he was dismayed by the way it was often reduced to its didactic elements.

White Melodrama: Douglas Sirk • Senses of Cinema

But I always wanted my characters to be more than cyphers for the failings of their world. It was a view he further elaborated upon in an interview with Peter Lehman in At the same time as you can be an intellectual; you can be very sophisticated. However, a large area of his work still remains critically untapped, in particular the aforementioned comedy-musicals, the neurotic comedies — The Lady Pays OffWeekend with Father and No Room for the Groom — as well as other estimable films such as A Scandal in Parishis favourite, Taza, Son of Cochise and Captain Lightfoot.

His parents were Danish, his father a newspaperman. Inhe enrolled to study law at Munich University, before moving to Hamburg University, where he turned his attention to philosophy and the history of art. Years later, he still remembered lectures delivered there by Albert Einstein and Erwin Panofsky.

To finance his studies, he wrote for newspapers and began to work in the theatre. While continuing that side of career, which he was finding increasingly stressful in the context of the social changes of the time, he also began work at Ufa studios in He directed three shorts there before making his first feature, April, April, in shot twice, first in Dutch and then in German.

At the same time, he had an intense interest in painting which he pursued in his spare time and in the art movements of the period. He made seven more films at Ufa, before leaving Germany in to join his second wife, Jewish stage actress Hilde Jary, who had gone to Rome not long beforehand.

But the chief reason for his hasty departure was the public denunciation by his first wife, Lydia Brinken, of his relationship with Jary and his fear of the consequences. After his departure, he never saw Brinken or their son again. Sanders also starred in his next two films.

For his part, Sirk found Hunter equally congenial company, even if they were on entirely different wavelengths. Until his death in Januarythey lived in Lugano, their hillside apartment on Ruvigliana looking out over the beautiful lake. It provided them with the peace and the solitude they loved, although they regularly greeted friends from afar A couple months earlier there had been some fumbling with a stranger in his car.

He'd picked me up walking home from school - he somehow knew my name. There remain hundreds of talented avant-garde artists scattered all over the globe, but the list below can be recognised as comprising of key members that constitute the bedding of the cinematic underground, please note this list is ranked in no particular order.

Sirk was able to make movies during the forties and fifties that Fassbinder described as “subversive political statements” that were “effective instruments against social oppression” within the Hollywood studio system because of the freedom that the genre archetype afforded him.

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Rainer Werner Fassbinder Six Films by Douglas Sirk ‘Film is like a battleground’ Sam Fuller, who once wrote a script [1] Shockproof (). Sirk recounts ‘ I recall that Fuller—whom I never met—brought a script to Columbia, which I was supposed to shoot.

I liked the script tremendously.

Douglas Sirk - Wikipedia