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Imitation of Life (1959)

  • Dir: Douglas Sirk

  • USA, 1959, 125minmins, DCP

  • Cast: Lana Turner, John Gavin, Sandra Dee

Sirk’s final film takes on renewed relevance in our time of Black Lives Matter, showing how the fair-skinned daughter of an African-American maid comes to hide her ethnicity and hate her blackness in response to societal discrimination. Sirk tells the story of two single mothers in parallel, as the maid’s employer – a white woman – seeks success on stage to fulfill her career ambitions as an actress. Appearances and the desire for social recognition threaten to usurp the place of love, with a plethora of mirrors and reflected imagery throughout: a key visual motif characteristic of Sirk’s mise-en-scene that is integral to his critique of ’50s America.

Berlin International Film Festival: In Competition

Golden Globe Awards: Best Supporting Actress

27/6 (Sun): Film talk with Derek Lam

Screening:

In-theatre Screening

Remarks

1. Unless otherwise stated, all films (except English-speaking films) are subtitled in English.

2. For screenings at ALL commercial cinemas, tickets are available at URBTIX till 5:00pm one day before respective screenings. After that, tickets will be available only at the box office of the screening venue on the day of screening, subject to availability.

3. Screenings at HK Arts Centre, HK Film Archive and Tai Kwun: For screenings that are about to start in 1 hour, all remaining tickets can only be bought at the box offices of the respective screening venues.

4. Screenings at HK Science Museum: There is no URBTIX Outlet at the venue. Tickets are available at URBTIX till 1 hour prior to the respective screenings. Door ticket counter opens 30 minutes before the screening. Limited tickets to non-sold out screenings will be available at the door, subject to availability (Cash Only).

5. While it is the HKIFFS’s policy to secure the best possible print of the original version for all its screenings, the HKIFFS will appreciate its patrons’ understanding on occasions when less than perfect screening copies are screened.