Far From Heaven (2002)… Haynes’ explicit exposition of Sirkian ignorances

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Far from Heaven

My rating: 8

IMDB rating: 7.4

IMDB link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0297884/?ref_=ttmd_md_nm

Dearest reader,

For me, the best way to analyse and understand this film is by reading it as an answer to Sirk’s All that Heaven Allows. Because of this use of different mediums, there is a difference in the topics that are being used as well.

This does not mean that this film is an incoherent mumble-jumble, it just has a very specific structuring thread, especially with regards to:

  • the politics of visibility,
  • legibility and
  • legitimation.

These alternative images challenge the heteronormative or cisnormative assumption that there is a straightforward relationship between sex and gender and, gender and desire.

All of these elements therefore really place some emphasis on Queer Cinema. A part of this rewriting by Haynes of Sirk’s classical masterpiece involves the asking of questions that one would rather not. If these issues make you a bit squirmish today, just imagine what the 1950’s suburban set would have thought.

-It is interesting to note that censorship was only lifted in the 1960’s and thereafter Hollywood started adapting the rating system.-

Unravelling the 1950’s melodrama, as Haynes so cleverly does, raises a few issues: the first of which is that the ‘scandalous’ nature of a gay-relationship is compared to that of a cross-racial relationship. It is up to the viewer to decide which is more ‘scandalous’ than the other. There is this physical distance on both a physical and emotional level. In this film these elements are hyper-satirised.

Want to read more on Far from Heaven? Try these…

RE: Far from Heaven

NYT: Far from Heaven

Talk Talk: Far from Heaven

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