My initial thoughts about hearing about this release were…
“It’s about time.”
The 2002 Focus Features (Universal) release has been available on DVD only domestically. Especially because of the beautiful cinematography by Edward Lachman, who more than caught the look and textures of the originals, this has been more than an oversight.
Fortunately, Kino Lorber has corrected the omission, and the resultant Blu-ray is gorgeous.
One cannot discuss Todd Haynes’ work on this film, or his later (2015) work on Carol, without making note of possibly the greatest director of “weepers” in history – Douglas Sirk.
Mr. Sirk, who emigrated from Germany – many of his early films were for UFA – made his American debut in 1943, with Hitler’s Madman, and through 1959, directed almost thirty films, many of them based upon his very a Sirkian concept.
Although he was responsible for other genres (Battle Hymn, Sign of the Pagan), he will forever be remembered for the likes of Imitation of Life, The Tarnished Angels (also newly available via Kino Lorber), Written on the Wind, Never Say Goodbye, All that Heaven allows and The Magnificent Obsession, and All I Desire.
All under the Universal banner, and making great multiple use of some of their contract players, most notably Rock Hudson, Dorothy Malone, Robert Stack, and Barbara Stanwyck.
Far From Heaven recreates the look and textures of those ’50s films, along with the Sirkian style.
Anyone familiar with Sirk or 1950s filmmaking needs a copy of this Blu-ray.
While some of his most popular works are available on domestic Blu, there are still titles missing. Hopefully the release of Tarnished Angels will allow Kino to step up to the plate and invest in these.
Image – 5
Audio – 5
Pass / Fail – Pass
Upgrade from DVD – a necessity
Very Highly Recommended