We’re on a movie kick – 3 movies in 3 days. That’s more movies than we’ve seen in the previous 3 months.
Last night, we watched Todd Haynes’ Far From Heaven. It was set in 1957 and just like Catch Me If You Can, the set design felt like the period. The movie was good – it was nominated for 4 Academy Awards, after all. It was filmed in the tradition of the movies at the time, apparently mimicking Douglas Sirk’s style. It’s interesting to see how far the US has come on racism, interracial relationships and homosexuality (“Oh! That word!”). Nobody minded if she (Julianne Moore) was seen talking to her black female housekeeper but everyone was “in a clamor” when she talked with her black male gardener. And her husband who was gay went to a psychologist who suggested medication and electro-shock therapy to “cure” him. The US has a long way to go still on these issues, but in just 40 years (2 generations) the difference is surprising. Or maybe the US is just less blatant about its prejudices.
The other thing that I find interesting about movies that this movie imitated is how they portray the “perfect life”, the “perfect family”, etc. The innocence is appealing, I admit, but nobody truly lived like that then and they don’t now either. Even watching Leave It To Beaver reruns as a kid I knew it was all fake. But I’m not so sure most people do and Hollywood unknowingly set the impossible standard for Americans. Martha Stewart, to me, is the modern equivalent. Image sells and reality doesn’t, I guess.