by Ryland Walker Knight
The angles are the director’s thoughts. The lighting is his philosophy.
— Douglas Sirk
It's really hard to sound intelligent talking about an object like Douglas Sirk's Magnificent Obsession. Especially when you're something like homeless and everything like jobless and the worst song on the radio could probably dig deep behind your eyeballs. Nevertheless, I tried my best over in a piece published at The Auteurs' Notebook. Also: I threw together an image essay over at VINYL IS IMAGES. For some more (that is, real) smarts, I would recommend Tag Gallagher's piece at Senses of Cinema (again, way back), titled "White Melodrama," not only because of all the smart things said therein but also because I find its layout design a rare instance of web journalism playing with arrangement in a dynamic and exciting way: it makes you rethink your reading space. I feel the images in their array. (This is something I try to do in these posts, but, clearly, there's more to be done, as Andy Rector so often illustrates.) Plus: Tag there helps his visual argument when he writes things like this: "Will need not destroy; it can vitalize, it can lust for good. Here Sirk improves on Schopenhauer, who saw cessation of pain only in cessation of desire." Equilibrium? Who's level? I don't even think I want to be that deep in the middle, let alone aim for it. I'd rather immolate.