Get ready to smash some mirrors, Ladies of Burlesque at The Royal andBLACK GOLD are teaming up to bring you a glorious 4K restoration masterpiece from the Master of Melodrama himself, Douglas Sirk. The 1959 version of IMITATION OF LIFE is a lush, beautifully-designed Technicolor kaleidoscope that combines Sirk’s usual female-focused domestic melodrama with biting social critique around the mid-century realities of race and class. Featuring an astounding performance from pioneering black actress Juanita Moore, who was nominated for an Oscar for her role, Sirk’s IMITATION OF LIFE is considered the crown jewel of his American career. And with a performance from Genie Emerald, this guarantees to be the an immersive “Sirkian” experience!
Updating John M. Stahl’s 1934 film adaptation of Frannie Hurst’s sensational novel, Sirk’s IMITATION OF LIFE is more well-rounded in its depiction of racially other characters. When widowed white aspiring actress Lora Meredith (Lana Turner) meets Annie Johnston, a black single-mother in need of work, the two decide to pair up and live in a tiny New York apartment with their young daughters. Annie supports Lora’s career by taking care of the domestic labor and raising their respective daughters. As Lora’s career takes off, Annie must confront the reality that her light-skinned daughter Sarah-Jane (Sarah Kohner) lives a life of racial transgression by passing as white and performing in nightclubs.
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