MAGNIFICENT DEPRESSION 

Though his film career spanned three decades, the Danish-German expatriate Douglas Sirk is best-known for a handful of three-hanky literary adaptations he directed for Universal between 1954 and 1959. Dismissed in their time as "women's pictures," Sirk's lushly photographed Technicolor melodramas were layered with subtext and irony, elevating soap-opera conventions to their cinematic apotheosis and influencing later filmmakers as diverse as Rainer Werner Fassbinder, John Waters and Todd Haynes. The 1955 romance All That Heaven Allows, starring Jane Wyman and frequent Sirk collaborator Rock Hudson, screens tonight at 6:30 in the Durwood Film Vault at the Central Library (14 West 10th Street, 816-701-3400). Presented by UMKC film studies professor Tom Poe, the Sirk retrospective "Adapted for the Screen" continues each Monday in April, with The Tarnished Angels and Imitation of Life to follow. Admission to all films is free; for more information, see kclibrary.org.
Mon., April 13, 6:30 p.m., 2009

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