Thursday 29 June 2017

A Bologna Diary (6) - David Hare on ALL THAT HEAVEN ALLOWS and Douglas Sirk

From Bologna today. The deer at the window in the final shot of All That Heaven Allows  (Douglas Sirk, USA, 1955) is always the last straw that breaks the floodgates for me and sees the tears roll. Today's viewing, including tears, was of a first run 35mm IB Tech print, the third and last of three Sirk/Hunter melodramas and still my personal favorite Sirk. The three were supplied by the Academy Archives and a couple of lighter reels notwithstanding, the autumn and summer glow, the fleshtones and Sirk's outrageously expressionist use of color filters and mirrored surfaces (down to a piano music stand) sang in this print with commanding beauty. 
The color is both so saturated yet refined you can visibly detect the differences in shades of makeup and depth of lippy in every two shot with Aggy Morehead and Wyman. I had never noticed before in literally dozens of viewings the stunning red one piece dress Aggie wears for her last scene with Wyman in a kind of final mirror salute to Jane's famous red dress from the first Country Club sequence.
A quick note on aspect ratios. ATHA was screened in approximately 1.75:1. Magnificent Obsession was screened in 1.37:1 and Written on the Wind yesterday was screened also in something like 1.75:1.

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