Sirk on Sirk (Directors on Directors)
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But Sirk was not comfortable in Germany. His second wife, the actress Hilde Jary, was Jewish and after she left for Rome, he soon followed. Here he worked with actor George Sanders, establishing a long-term friendship, one of the few in Hollywood where he saw himself as much of an outsider and a loner. However, Sirk did develop close working relationships with producers Ross Hunter and Albert Zugsmith, and with other collaborators like actor Rock Hudson, writer George Zuckerman and cinematographer Russell Metty.
It was amongst members of this group that he directed the films that are his Hollywood legacy; a reputation based primarily on ironic melodramas like Magnificent Obsession , All that Heaven Allows , Written on the Wind and Imitation of Life There Sirk made some short films with his students.
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He died in Lugano in January Join the Madman Mailing List to hear all the latest on sales, promotions and new releases. All rights reserved. Box , Ponsonby, Auckland, New Zealand.
Madman Entertainment. Your Shopping Cart is Empty Add items from around the store. His cinema technique was influenced by his interest in painting, particularly the works of Daumier and Delacroix, which he later claimed left "their imprint on the visual style of my melodramas". Joseph Goebbels , was an admirer. However, he left Germany in after his second wife, stage actress 'Hilde Jary', had fled to Rome to escape persecution as a Jew.
Sirk's first wife and the mother of his only child, Lydia Brinken, a follower of Adolf Hitler , had denounced Sirk and his relationship with Jary, necessitating their departure. Sirk never saw his son again, who died during World War Two. His first directorial stint in America was Hitler's Madman , but it is for his work at Universal International in the s for which he is primarily known.
For producer Ross Hunter he made nine films, many of which involved the collaboration of Rock Hudson , cinematographer Russell Metty , screenwriter George Zuckerman and art director Alexander Golitzen. He and his wife did not approve of the excesses of the Hollywood life style, such as nude women splashing around in producer Albert Zugsmith 's pool during a party he shot two films for Zugsmith.
Even though he had his biggest success with the remake of "Imitation of Life" winner of the Laurel Award given out by movie exhibitors for the most successful picture of , he and his wife left the US for Switzerland after the movie wrapped.
Sirk on Sirk : Jon Halliday :
The move was partly due to poor health, but by he had had enough of America, which he never felt at home in. The couple lived in Lugano, Switzerland until his death in When he retired from American filmmaking he was to make only one more feature length film, in German, in , his reputation was that of a second- or third-tier director who turned out glossy Hollywood soap operas, a sort of second-rate Vincente Minnelli without the saving grace of Minelli's undeniable genius for musicals. In the nearly half-century since, Sirk has become one of the most revered of Hollywood's auteurs.
That issue of "Cahiers" also featured an extended interview with Sirk and a "biofilmographie". Sarris faintly praised Sirk's handling of the soap elements of his Universal oeuvre by his not shirking from going for broke and stirring all the improbable elements of melodrama into a heady witches' brew; he also complemented his distinctive visual style.
However, the major work that transformed Sirk's reputation was rooted in the intelligence and thoughtfulness of the man himself: Jon Halliday's book-long interview, "Conversations with Sirk", which made his critical reputation in the English-speaking world. The Sirk of Halliday's book is an intellectual with a thorough grasp of filmmaking. The book is must-reading for any student or practitioner of the cinema. The Edinburgh Film Festival featured a film retrospective of Sirk, and in , the University of Connecticut Film Society put on a complete retrospective of Sirk's American films.
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The rise of 'Rainer Werner Fassbinder' as the best and the brightest of the post-war German directors also burnished Sirk's reputation, as Fassbinder was an unabashed fan of his films. Fassbinder's films clearly were indebted to Sirk's melodrama, his mise-en-scene, and his irony Fassbinder visited Sirk at his Swiss home, and the two became friends. Sirk later, with Fassbinder's encouragement, taught at the Munich film school.
Society is an omnipresent character in Sirk's films, as important as the characters played by his actors, such as Jane Wyman and Rock Hudson. Sirk's characters are buffeted by forces beyond their control, as their lives are delineated by cultural mores that constrain their behavior and their moral choices.
In addition to this fatalism, Sirk's characters must contend with repression. It is the latter trope that recruits the most converts to the Sirk cult, as the forces of repression are "signalled" through the imagery of a Sirk film, which typically was crafted in collaboration with the Oscar-winning lighting cameraman Russell Metty when Sirk worked for Hunter at Universal.
The plots of the movies that are at the core of the Sirk cult are rooted in problems that would be insurmountable but for the miracles provided by the deus ex machina known as the Hollywood Happy Ending. While Sirk was glad that his reputation had waxed since his retirement and that he was now respected, he was uncomfortable with some of the criticisms of his work. He particularly was irritated by cineastes' labeling him an unequivocal critic of the American Way and of the social conformity of s America.
Many critics seemed to see Sirk as American cinema's equivalent to Bertolt Brecht , that is, a fierce critic of the bourgeoisie. Like one of his own characters, Sirk was now subjected to societal forced outside his control, quite unlike the worlds he had controlled as a director in Germany and the United States. Ironically for the great ironist, when Douglas Sirk died on January 14, , his reputation was not yet in full flower. He continues to exert his influence on a new generation of filmmakers all over the world.
Find showtimes, watch trailers, browse photos, track your Watchlist and rate your favorite movies and TV shows on your phone or tablet! IMDb More. Edit Douglas Sirk. Showing all 38 items. Domestic and Middle America commonly depicted in his films. In Sirk's own words, his films dealt with characters who want to revisit a bygone youth. Pioneered the "women's pictures" genre that centers around the melodrama of a suburban housewife.
Father of Klaus Detlef Sierck Director John Waters has cited him as one of his greatest influences. Was voted the 38th Greatest Director of all time by Entertainment Weekly. Far from Heaven was intended as a tribute to Sirk's films, which are also said to have been the original influence for TV soap operas.
Malone won an Oscar for Written on the Wind The telegram sent to their Hollywood office was to read, "Request Douglas Sirk for jury". However, a typo and an extra comma resulted in it reading, "Request Douglas, Kirk for jury". Kirk Douglas became the President of the jury.