Any Opinions on Imitation Of Life?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Paul_Scott, Jan 7, 2003.

  1. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Lead Actor

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    haven't seen any reviews on the disc yet.

    also, since this would be a blind buy for me, how is it as a movie?
    the only Doug Sirk film i've seen so far has been All That Heaven Allows and was pretty entertained.
    the use of color was really something.

    and if i can tax you guys a little more- how is Written on the Wind as a movie?
     
  2. Jefferson

    Jefferson Supporting Actor

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    Written on the Wind's look and color were comparable to All That Heaven Allows.
    I haven't seen the disc of IMITATION OF LIFE yet, either,
    and I'm curious since all other video releases were awful prints. The brief clip on TCM heralding the DVD release right now is letterboxed and looks great, so I'm hoping
     
  3. Peter Kline

    Peter Kline Cinematographer

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    It's a GRADE A tear jerker.
     
  4. GerardoHP

    GerardoHP Supporting Actor

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    Gerardo Paron
    Just got the DVD. It's not bad, but it's not great either. The print they've been running on TCM for the last few months looks much better, the colors darker and richer. Some shots on the DVD look OK but, overall, the film looks considerably washed out and very grainy, sometimes to the point of being out-of-focus. I imagine this comes from the blow up on the Eastmancolor original but, who knows, they could have probably done a much better job. Also, the Universal logo that opens the film is in the scope aspect ratio, which is something I had not seen in any of my previous viewings of this film. I'd like to know who was in charge of this!

    I love this movie and I'm glad I have it, but I'm disappointed at the mediocre quality of the picture.
     
  5. Jefferson

    Jefferson Supporting Actor

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    Does anybody know about a layerchange problem with this disc?
    I don't own it yet, but a friend of mine
    says that his disc has a "pause" (sounds like layer change to me) during a scene where Sarah Jane (susan kohner)is walking down the stairs at some point...Chapter 14?
    is this glitch or layer change?
     
  6. Jon Robertson

    Jon Robertson Screenwriter

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  7. Jefferson

    Jefferson Supporting Actor

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    thank you Jon.
    So, not a layer change prob, as this is a single
    layer release...sounds like compression problems...
     
  8. Mark Walker

    Mark Walker Cinematographer

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    I played my copy in both of my players and had zero
    "authoring" issues.
    [​IMG]
    Mark
     
  9. Jodee

    Jodee Screenwriter

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    I made my husband watch this (he had never seen it before) and he too was bawling at the end. (which he never does at movies).

    He really thought it was a good movie. It's one of my all-time favorites.

    I really wish Universal had let Criterion put this one out, but I am just happy to finally have it on DVD and in widescreen.
     
  10. Jefferson

    Jefferson Supporting Actor

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    Thanks, Mark..just the info i was looking for.
     
  11. Richard Michael Clark

    Richard Michael Clark Second Unit

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    I love this movie but for all the wrong reasons I feel?!
    The ending has me in tears - of laughter! I don't know why I find it so funny (and I won't post spoilers but I think you'll know the scene I mean!) but then the entire film is so camp I guess I just can't take it seriously?!
    "Oh Steeeeeeve! Steeeeeeve" [​IMG]
    I just want to slap Sandra Dee [​IMG]
    Fabulous film [​IMG]
     
  12. Jefferson

    Jefferson Supporting Actor

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    I can understand that. Actually, i laugh up until the ending, which kinda gets to me.
    "Annie...I didn't know you had any friends"[​IMG]
     
  13. Thomas T

    Thomas T Cinematographer

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    Laugh all you want, Jefferson and Richard! Fortunately, most contemporary serious cinephiles have moved beyond the gay driven "bad movies we love" camp that plagued Sirk's oeuvre during the 70's and 80's and such varied directors as Martin Scorsese, Pedro Almodovar, Francois Truffaut, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Jonathan Demme, Joe Dante, Jean Luc Godard, Quentin Tarantino and of course Todd Haynes have been influential in acknowledging Sirk's artistry as one of the seminal figures of American film in the 1950's.
    When I first saw Imitation Of Life at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art several years ago, there was a gaggle of gigglers who noticed that nobody else was laughing and apparently decided that maybe the film was actually saying something and maybe they'd better actually watch it.
    As one of those gigglers in the audience, once I stopped snickering to show my superiority to the film, I actually "got it" and sought out Sirk's other films but Imitaiton Of Life will forever remain one of the most powerful films dealing with gender and racial bias in American film.
     
  14. Jodee

    Jodee Screenwriter

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    The only parts that make me laugh in this movie is when people keep telling Lana Turner to "Stop acting!"

    That is clever how the film seems to poke fun at such a melodramatic character.

    That is one of the great things about this film.
     
  15. Richard Michael Clark

    Richard Michael Clark Second Unit

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    Thomas T, You're not too superior are you!

    It IS perfectly possible to "get" a film's "serious" message and still find the film funny you know! You can seperate the two quite easily and it doesn't take anything away from the other.

    It's part and parcel of my enjoyment of this (and other Sirk) films. I don't consider any of Sirk's melodramas to be "bad" films that I love simply because they have OTT camp moments. They ARE genuinely beautiful works with exquisite use of colour and framing to tell their characters' tales and I find it insulting that someone can tell me I'm not a serious cinephile because I find humourous elements within them.

    To my mind there is no way that Sirk made these films without a sly wink!
     
  16. Jefferson

    Jefferson Supporting Actor

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    I love this film.
    I never considered myself "superior" to the material
    because i find some of it amusing.
    And I won't ever speculate about how
    someone arrives at their opinon of any film.
     

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