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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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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 28 September 2021

Imitation of Life and the Depiction of Suburban Space

Imitation of Life and the Depiction of Suburban Space

(p.88) Chapter Four Imitation of Life and the Depiction of Suburban Space
Douglas Sirk, Aesthetic Modernism and the Culture of Modernity

Victoria L. Evans

Edinburgh University Press

After some discussion of the impact of the automobile on the shape of the twentieth-century American city, Chapter 4 ("Imitation of Life and the Depiction of Suburban Space") contrasts John Stahl's 1934 adaptation with Sirk's 1959 cinematic version of Fanny Hurst's best-selling 1933 novel. Among other things, this comparison shows how the director has inscribed the "color line" that divided African-Americans from whites after World War II into Lora Meredith's leafy suburb in the later remake. The historically informed interpretation of the built environment that supports this conclusion also establishes the general context for the final section of this book, which consists of two architectural case studies that are each devoted to one particularly significant film.

Keywords:   Douglas Sirk, John Stahl, Imitation of Life, film and the city, suburbs, film and race, racial discrimination, interdisciplinary

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