Grab the tissues and join us for a mini-retrospective from the maestro of 1950s melodrama, director Douglas Sirk. Shot in blazing technicolor, featuring stellar performances (Rock Hudson! Jane Wyman! Lauren Bacall! Lana Turner!) and simmering emotions, these lush and sumptuous films are not to be missed.
IMITATION OF LIFE
Sirk’s supreme tearjerker, this stealth investigation into race in America takes the form of a deceptively glossy melodrama, with bottle-blonde Lana Turner as Lora, a single mother trying to raise a daughter and start an acting career. But as the film unfolds with Sirk’s usual visual splendor, he undercuts his own main narrative, focusing more intently on the fraught relationship between Lora’s African-American maid, Annie, and her mixed-race daughter, Sarah Jane, played by Juanita Moore and Susan Kohner in Oscar-nominated roles. Still potent, Imitation of Life
is a subversive Hollywood masterpiece that brought the fifties to a close with a devastating wail—literally ending with a mournful spiritual by Mahalia Jackson.