The Best Old Movies on a Big Screen This Week: NYC Repertory Cinema Picks, December 23-29

Written-on-the-Wind-Technicolor

Written on the Wind (1956)
Directed by Douglas Sirk
Forbidden romance, in all its color-coded meticulousness, propels Todd Haynes’s Carol, but it belongs to Sirk. Written on the Wind is, perhaps, the most realized execution of the once-lambasted weepie-monger’s flair. While laughably campy (especially in its archaic sexual subtext), the film circles the very fragility of artifice; everything perfectly arranged must crumble. Homes are wrecked, literally and figuratively, when the oil-rich Hadley compound—boozy Kyle (Robert Stack), his promiscuous, Iago-esque sister Marylee (Dorothy Malone), and life-long pal Mitch (Rock Hudson)—tangles into a soapy web of longing and jealousy after the silver tongued Lucy’s (Lauren Bacall) arrival. A debauched Technicolor feast with far better mis-en-scène than you’d expect. Max Kyburz (December 24, 6:30pm; December 25, 2pm; December 26, 9pm at the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Sirk retrospective)

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