Monday, August 17

Special Engagements Archive

Imitation of Life

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New Digital Restoration!

Friday, August 14 – Monday, August 17

(1959) dir Douglas Sirk w/Lana Turner, Sandra Dee, Juanita Moore, Susan Kohner, John Gavin, Mahalia Jackson [125 min; DCP]
The intertwined lives of two mother-daughter pairs – one white and well-off, the other working-class and black – are examined in Douglas Sirk’s masterful 1950s melodrama. Turner plays a widow who gives more attention to her dreams of Broadway stardom than to her teenage daughter (Dee). Meanwhile, her longtime friend and housekeeper Annie (Moore) is struggling with her own daughter (Kohner) whose decision to pass for white has broken her mother’s heart. Sirk’s examination of American society is razor sharp and the themes of race and privilege are as potent today as they were in 1959.

★★★★ “‘Imitation of Life’ a masterpiece.” – Ty Burr, Boston Globe

“The toughest-minded, most irresolvable movie ever made about race in this country.” –Charles Taylor, Village Voice

“One of the most intellectually demanding films ever made in Hollywood… By emphasizing brilliant surfaces, bold colors, and the spatial complexities of 50s modern architecture, Sirk creates a world of illusion, entrapment, and emotional desperation.” – Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader

“1959 was definitively the end of the career of Douglas Sirk, who retired after the release of his landmark film IMITATION OF LIFE… the final gem of an under-heralded career still unknown to many.” – Nate Fisher, Brattle Film Notes



Click a showtime to purchase tickets:

Friday 8/14
at 2:00 4:30 7:00 PM
Saturday 8/15
at 2:00 4:30 7:00 PM
Sunday 8/16
at 2:00 4:30 7:00 PM
Monday 8/17
at 7:00 PM

Brattle passes accepted.