Day: November 20, 2023

Written in the Mirror, by David M. Rubin

Written in the Mirror

Watch the over-the-top Douglas Sirk melodramas of the 1950s for the color, costume, design, emotion — for sheer guilty pleasure. If you catch yourself over-indulging, pull back from the spectacle to wonder how he does it, what technical magic or tricks are at work. Or lean in from another angle to focus on the irony, politics, and symbolism.

One moment in the masterpiece “Written on the Wind,” 1956, highlights Sirk’s technological and narrative genius (still image below). Lucy Moore (Lauren Bacall) is in her bedroom in front of a mirror, combing out her hair. What can be more relaxing?

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