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Douglas Sirk: Master of 50s Melodramas


#1

“I’ll have the Douglas Sirk steak” - Pulp Fiction



To those who dont know Sirk, you might be wondering who he is. Well, in the 1950s in particular, Sirk created some of the most stylized, entertaining melodramas in Cinema. He was regarded as another Hollywood director until later on Jean Luc Godard and the French New Wave guys rediscovered his films and came to the conclusion Sirk was a brilliant filmmaker who created films with underlying social messages in them. He was also one of the first directors to comment on the falsity’s of the times he was working in (the 1950s).



I havent seen ALL his films, but I’ve seen several of them and I’ve really enjoyed them all. Being a film geek, you gotta watch ALL kinds of movies, be open minded, expand your tastes. Well Douglas Sirk has become one of my favorite directors of Hollywoods Golden Age. Specifically for the following films:



Imitation of Life

Written on the Wind

Magnificent Obsession



These 3 films are some of the best movies Ive ever seen. They pull you in and you just get wrapped up in the lives of the people in them. Their flaws, their dreams, the emotions run wild in these movies. Your not only experiencing emotions, but your also watching a visually brilliant movie. They really are treasures of 50s Cinema. I know they arent for everyone, but give them a watch sometime, you might really enjoy them like I do.



Note: The new movie “Far From Heaven” with Julianne Moore is considered to be a very Sirkian film. I havent seen the entire movie, but the title and the look of the film is definitely Sirkian.


#2

Hey Toothpick !

What do you think about Cassavetess films?


#3

[quote]Hey Toothpick !

What do you think about Cassavetess films? [/quote]

John Cassavettes was great as both an actor and a director. Ive only seen a few of his directed films: Faces, Killing of a Chinese Bookie and Gloria.



I think Cassavettes was like an American New Wave director. He probably was the American equivalent to Jean Luc Godard. His style of cinema was groundbreaking. He made movies about people in their minute to minute lives, he wasnt into all the Hollywood hulabaloo, it was about peoples relationships for him. How they cared for each other, how they dealt with love.



He had a big impact on the younger directors in the 70s, especially one of my fav directors Martin Scorsese. You can see it in Scorsese’s films, how much he was influenced by Cassavettes, especially in his early films like Mean Streets and Alice Doesnt Live here Anymore.


#4

[quote]


John Cassavettes was great as both an actor and a director. Ive only seen a few of his directed films: Faces, Killing of a Chinese Bookie and Gloria.



I think Cassavettes was like an American New Wave director. He probably was the American equivalent to Jean Luc Godard. His style of cinema was groundbreaking. He made movies about people in their minute to minute lives, he wasnt into all the Hollywood hulabaloo, it was about peoples relationships for him. How they cared for each other, how they dealt with love.



He had a big impact on the younger directors in the 70s, especially one of my fav directors Martin Scorsese. You can see it in Scorsese’s films, how much he was influenced by Cassavettes, especially in his early films like Mean Streets and Alice Doesnt Live here Anymore.


[/quote]
Umm… sorry but John Cassavetes is not American alright, he is 100% Greek, like Elia Kazan and Costa Gavras :slight_smile:

And far from heaven was fucking great!


#5

Damn, I always thought Cassavettes was from U.S!!!

Thank’s both of you guys!

Arre!


#6

Cassavetes was of course of Greek descent, but he was still an American actor/director. He wasnt speaking Greek in his movies. I never saw him in any Greek films.



My favorite Cassavetes films: Edge of the City, The Killers, The Dirty Dozen, Rosemarys Baby, The Fury.



That guy was the coolest.



Also he did a great episode of Columbo (TV) with Peter Falk in the 70s.



Telly Savalas was Greek too, but he was American/Greek.


#7

[quote]Cassavetes was of course of Greek descent, but he was still an American actor/director. He wasnt speaking Greek in his movies. I never saw him in any Greek films.



My favorite Cassavetes films: Edge of the City, The Killers, The Dirty Dozen, Rosemarys Baby, The Fury.



That guy was the coolest.



Also he did a great episode of Columbo (TV) with Peter Falk in the 70s.



Telly Savalas was Greek too, but he was American/Greek. [/quote]He was from Greece as were his parents but ofcourse he achieved great things in USA where he grew up. Ofcourse he spoke Greek but not in his movies,(who the hell wants to hear Greek language? 8)) He never worked in a Greek movie, but he was more Greek than Scorsese is Italian.

I assume you speak about your favorite Cassavetes(or whatever you Americans spell his name) as an actor.

I don’t like that lollipop guy(telly savalas) but he was Greek also(Jennifer Anistopoulou aka Aniston is his grandaughter)


#8

[quote] He never worked in a Greek movie, but he was more Greek than Scorsese is Italian.
[/quote]

Cassavetes was more Greek than Scorsese is Italian: Uh, yeah, okay whatever that means. Scorsese is VERY Italian, almost all his movies have Italian people in them. Hes made a documentary on Italian filmmakers. And another one about his parents (who are both full blooded Italians). He grew up in an Italian neighborhood. Hes 1st generation American.



This topic was about Douglas Sirk, now its about John Cassavetes. Where do those two people connect in the first place? Sirk was German, not Greek.



I think its better to keep the topics about the main theme, instead of veering off into separate subjects. :slight_smile:


#9

I typed this confusing quote very quickly cos I was on on hury,(also my english sometimes suck) I didn’t mean that Martin isn’t Italian! Anyway I haven’t seen a single Douglas Sirk movie but Far from Heaven who is supposely paying homage to his movies was FUCKING GREAT! Julian Moore is the best actress working today.


#10

Well since this topic is becoming a claustrofuck with the mix Cassavetess-Sirk, let’s keep going on where we were… Toothpick, you said Sirk has a great sensibility on dramas. You’ve mentioned three of his movies. From these three, which one would you expand your comment?


#11

Haven’t seen all his movies. My favorites so far:



Written on the Wind (1956) and Imitation of Life (1959)


#12

Whatever happened to Toothpick Vic? :slight_smile: