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Showing posts from September, 2018

Review: Magnificent Obsession (1954)

Douglas Sirk once considered the essential elements of cinema: “Cinema is blood, is tears, violence, hate, death, and love.” In brief, cinema is everything with life; a life that is, nonetheless, constantly verging on the limits of human life. Such extreme case of existentialism that Sirk posits in his film is rather a point of departure for a more pressing concern: the feverish pursuit for self-autonomy, which is invariably negated by the primacy and the necessity of staying content within one’s own assigned space. A common trait with Sirk’s characters is this seething rebelliousness, either against the societal prejudices or one’s inner demons, that rages beneath an outward show of sense and urbanity; occasionally they are driven to the brink of despair, but always to be saved by their strength and an incurable sanguinity for the future. The state of defeat is rarely the conclusion to which they bow easily, regardless of how inevitable the circumstances have unravelled, and yet, too…