Far From Heaven deals with the ideological constructions of class, race, and sexual orientation. To which of the three does Todd Haynes give precedence? Again, HOW and WHY does he privilege one of these three over the other two?
Far From Heaven shows the workings of ideology on many different levels. It also shows how ideologies interact and clash. Choose one of the pairs below and show how they inter-relate in the film.
- Gender and Class
- Gender and Race
- Gender and Sexual Orientation
- Sexual Orientation and Class
- Sexual Orientation and Race
- Class and Race
Like most of the film directors we are studying, Haynes uses many of the formal film elements (acting, mise-en-scene, cinematography, editing, sound design) expertly and artistically. Of the formal film elements, which does Haynes use the most expertly and artistically? Be sure to show HOW (example or two from the film) and WHY (what makes it so significant or prominent?) this is so in your argument paragraph.
Far From Heaven is set in the 1950s, but it was made in 2002. How does the film speak to film viewers in the present day? (How does Hayne’s use history to address contemporary issues?)
Todd Haynes’s Far From Heaven, like the film on which he modeled his film (Douglas Sirk’s All That Heaven Allows) is a melodrama. A melodrama is a film that deals with the emotional struggles of a woman, in her relationships, family, and society. How does Haynes use the melodrama genre? How does he vary or challenge the conventions of the melodrama (as defined above)?
Far From Heaven is loose re-make of Douglas Sirk’s All That Heaven Allows. Focusing on the difference between the titles, show how Haynes’s film reveals how American society has changed since 1957 (when Far From Heaven is set).
According to your textbook, “the cinema, along with other social institutions such as the media, education, and religion, interpellate members of society by defining what it means to be an individual” (318). How does Far From Heaven participate in this program of interpellation? How does it resist such a program?