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June 25, 2013


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Great stuff. I'm a bit embarrassed to admit, as a guy with an English degree, that I haven't read much Faulkner. But I love THE TARNISHED ANGELS.

I agree about Hudson's performance being "very fine," even though he may not be as "ghostly" or "zombie-like" as in the book. At least Sirk's CinemaScope framing cuts the lanky actor down to a size more befitting such an unusually recessive character. Everyone else in the cast is great, too, but I'd single out Robert Middleton, who manages to evoke power, confidence, pride, fear, lust, sorrow and loneliness in some fairly subtle gradations throughout the arc of his character.

Not David Bordwell

Calum Marsh must be thinking of FAR FROM HEAVEN—there's a negro or two in that one, right?

(preemptive: I know who really directed FFH, k?)


This is fantastic Glenn, thank you!

Paul Anthony Johnson

"Perry's actual cinematic forebear is Hugo Haas"

And the tragedy of it is that he's his own Cleo Moore.


What you quoted of Calum Marsh is directly a product of an education in cinema and media studies. From what I've seen, film scholars were primarily interested in Sirk's melodrama's for two reasons: one, because he made female melodramas, i.e. he made films from a woman's point of view; two, because his treatment of the melodrama consistently displayed ideological "cracks," contradictions that made visible the machinations of capitalist ideology (or something). From what I understand, his other films were less interesting to film scholars as cultural products. Therefore, any student of cinema under the aegis of an academic institution would get only a partial picture of Sirk, unless they endeavored to do some watching/reading of their own volition.

Larry Gross

Glenn: Typically terrific piece. FYI you and your readers might be interested in Hermione Lee's review article of Willa Cather's letters, long-delayed in their public release. It helps contextualize the possibilty of Cather being a favorite writer of Faulkner's.


Henry Holland

TCM recently showed Sirk's "There's Always Tomorrow", which I enjoyed a lot. Fred MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck have great chemistry again, and the scenes of the MacMurray character's ghastly kids treating him like nothing but a bank account they can withdraw from had me laughing at the near-religion that families, at least of the idealized variety, are portrayed as in the US.

The Siren

This is one of the loveliest things I've ever read on the art of adaptation.

Chris Hodenfield

What an astonishingly good read today.

Tom Block

Yup. Really good.

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