Douglas Sirk Mini Season

Douglas Sirk Mini Season

17 &23 April 2023

Films in this season

The German-born director Douglas Sirk left the country in 1937 to escape the Nazis and was contracted by Universal to make B pictures. But during the 1950s he embarked on a series of melodramas which subverted conventional films of the genre. Such movies were seen as the epitome of the American dream but under Sirk’s direction were self-consciously ironic, including themes of narcissism, sexual frustration, class conflict and racism.

Sirk’s later films commencing with Magnificent Obsession in 1954, are among the greatest melodramas ever made, using colour cinematography to maximum effect and exploring themes through visual metaphors, heightened images and rich compositions.

Depot is screening two of Sirk’s best movies. On April 17th we are screening Written on the Wind, his 1956 powerhouse examining the complex relationships between characters working for an oil company and featuring Rock Hudson and Lauren Bacall. On April 23rd we will be screening Sirk’s final movie, Imitation of Life (1959) which remains one of the most powerful explorations of class and racism ever made.

Robert Senior, Depot Chair of Trustees