Far from Heaven (2002) and The Majestic (2001)

Film Trace

Aug 17 2023 • 1 hr 3 mins

In the third episode of our Set in the 1950s cycle, we compare two hommages to the post war decade: Todd Haynes' Far from Heaven and Frank Darabont's The Majestic.

Special guests: Brian Eggert from Deep Focus Reviews, Rotten Tomato Approved and frequent KARE 11 guest film critic

What started out as a random pairing of two 1950s period pieces from the early Aughts became a rather interesting juxtaposition on the potency and fugility of worshiping art from the past. Far From Heaven was born from a love and respect for Douglas Sirk's fifties melodramas, and The Majestic has Frank Darabont donning his best Capra impression. While both films have inherited riches from the past, their contemporary narratives tend to sizzle instead of sparkle. Far From Heaven is beautifully shot and acted with an intricate and immaculate product design. But we wonder if there is anything happening beyond a Sirk lovefest. The Majestic has a prefab Americana store of redemption that is instantly gripping. But while the trim looks polished and proper, the rooms feel empty. Both films demonstrate how hommage can result is both a dissonant feedback loop as well as an illuminating ouroboros.

Note: This podcast was recorded and produced during the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strike. Without the labor of writers and actors currently on strike, Asteroid City and The Fabelmans would not exist. Support the artists who make the art you love.

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