In which I attempt to watch every film in The Criterion Collection and end up watching a lot that aren't. Click here for the rating system.


Written on the Wind

"Hold me, Mitch, hold me!"

If you want to know where the modern American soap opera began look no further than Douglas Sirk. He didn't just broaden the genre, he antagonized it as well. The plot for Written on the Wind is standard soap stuff; he loves her, but she doesn't love him and the other girl lies to get him to hate her, etc. What is just below the surface of this melodrama, however, and the reason I believe it's in The Criterion Collection, is that it is satire. Sirk, German born director that he is, creates a genre while destroying it. This is apparently something fun for very clever artists to do. Tell everyone how cool something is while you make fun of it so people don't know whether they are celebrating the thing itself or the mockery of the thing. It gets very confusing. Warhol would've appreciated this. At any rate. You should draw your own conclusions by watching it for yourself. Just remember that 'Sirk' rhymes with 'smirk.'

Favorite Moments: Marylee's swagger, Kyle's driving, Mitch's abstinence (I mean, this is Rock Hudson we're talking about).


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