Technicolor Bliss

Well, the preparation has been done, the sets have been built and the film has been shot. Jamie Stone’s THE PITTS should be a thing of beauty, of course I would say that, being an art director on the picture. Self congratulation aside, I think, the man has done a wonderful job and it should do REALLY well on the festival circuit. As soon as I’m allowed to post it, I will.

At the end of my last day on set, which was yesterday, I decided to take in a film rather than hit the booze, the selection for the evening was Douglas Sirk’s HAS ANYBODY SEEN MY GAL (1952). Prior to this the only Sirk film I’d seen was ALL THAT HEAVEN ALLOWS (1955), which, like this one, stars Rock Hudson as the love interest. I’m becoming a big fan of Sirks work, the vivid technicolor world he

photographs is filled with dark stories of lifes all too familiar underbelly. Between 1950 and 1959 Sirk directed no less than 22 features, most of which were disregarded as trivial upon their release. On the evidence I’ve seen from only 2 of his films, there’s a lot more going on than initially meets the eye. Both the films mentioned above have a black undercurrent of social intollerance, greed and prejudice, interesting considering they were both made within a decade of the 2nd World War.
On the face of it however, they look like lavish, technicolor dreamworlds. I can’t recomend them enough.
This first clip is from HAS ANYBODY SEEN MY GAL where Milicent reveals she’s engaged to Dan Stebbins, much to the disgust of her materialistic mother. Although he only has 2 lines, Charles Coburn steals the show.

Also check out this scene from ALL THAT HEAVEN ALLOWS. Notice the way that Sirk place the screen between the mother and her son as she discusses her relationship with Ron. It’s a fantastic piece of framing laden with metaphor.

I’ll post more on this guy as I see more of his stuff. If you’ve got a Lovefilm account, get some Sirk on your list.

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