Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Todd Haynes and his way to tell a story

Far from Heaven (2002)

I remember watching this movie few months ago and its content surprised me a lot. I’m not a very big fan of old movies but I couldn’t seem to find anything on TV and I started to watch it and surprisingly I ended up loving it. The movie is made in the style of many 1950’s films with a very careful choice of furnishing with a calm and pause camera moments using a technicolor palette. It has a very strong and sad storyline and is about a perfect marriage falling apart for sexual preferences. There is also another two major issues that the film tells that of racial differences and the prejudices of classes. A gay husband who denies his homosexuality and a friendship between a white woman and her black gardener are the main stories. As the film goes on we see how Cathy Whitaker (Julianne Moore) discovers her husband with another man and how lately she finds comfort by forming a friendship with her black gardener and ends up in love although in the end no one lives happily ever after like Disney movies. The colour mood is mostly dark; he uses a lot the green colour green to depict the mysterious, the forbidden scenes and lots of reds oranges and yellows to show happy experiences. Haynes uses a lot of dark scenes to give a sense of tension in the movie. The music of Elmer Bernstein accompanies almost every scene. As an example of how to tell a story there is a scene when after a party Cathy sees the worry of her husband and tries to comfort him. We can see the moonlight through the window and then suddenly the music explodes when she receives a slap in her face. There is so few times when the main character is happy, one can recognise her mood because of her bright clothes, the music that accompanies the scene such as the scene when Cathy goes for a walk with her gardener.

I found the following video on you tube. At the end of the scene we can see the moment Cathy finds her husband kissing a man in his office.

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