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Douglas Sirk, Aesthetic Modernism and the Culture of Modernity$
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Victoria L. Evans

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781474409391

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474409391.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Douglas Sirk, Aesthetic Modernism and the Culture of Modernity

Victoria L. Evans

Edinburgh University Press

After describing one of Peter Greenaway's recent efforts to move beyond the limits of the cinema, Evans proposes that Douglas Sirk had already begun to dissolve the boundaries the medium by assimilating elements of avant-garde art, architecture and design into his mise-en-scène. She goes on to assert that Sirk's importation of a high art aesthetic into the low genre of melodrama echoed the widespread European Modernist preoccupation with the creation of a synergistic Gesamtkunstwerk or "total art work" during the period in which he intellectually came of age. Finally, the director's tendency to create "pictures" of the external landscape that the characters (and the viewer) are obliged to contemplate through the window frame is interpreted in the light of the theories of Le Corbusier.

Keywords:   Douglas Sirk, Le Corbusier, Gesamtkunstwerk, Modernism, film and art, film and architecture, window, interdisciplinary

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