Monday, November 24, 2008
Wow, sorry to be getting to this so late. It's a somewhat busy time at work, plus with Thanksgiving break last week, I didn't really have time to get this done.
Way way way back at the start of my K2K I said I was planning to watch some Sirk, and it's only taken me about 11 months to actually do so. Better late than never, I guess.
From what I can tell, the conventional wisdom on Sirk's films is that, while they are melodramas on the surface, there's a certain ironic slant to them, an element of satire. As if the movie has air quotes around it.
I don't know enough about Sirk's history to speak definitively on this, but that just wasn't the sense I got from this movie at all. I think it really is melodramatic, somewhat cliched and corny in places, but it's also beautifully filmed and fairly effective and satisfying. As far as corny melodrama goes.
I could be wrong here, but my guess is that Sirk's new found reputation as an ironist has less to do with the films themselves and more to do with his audience. The critics and film buffs use this "he was being ironic" argument to deal with the fact that, you know, maybe they really enjoyed a corny-ass movie because it was well-made and entertaining. It's easier for them to argue that the movies are more sophisticated than people give them credit for, than to admit that they liked a cheesy movie. I liked it too, guys, but I'm not going to pretend that it seemed like a secret satire or whatever. It was just good melodrama.