Quotes of quotes of…, 3/22

The final paragraph of J. Hoberman’s review of Douglas Sirk’s “Written on the Wind” (1956), originally published in the October 27, 1987 issue of the Village Voice:

Written on the Wind is not simply epic trash but meta-trash. As the pulp poetry of the title suggests, it’s about the vanity of trash, set in a world Sirk finds poignantly innocent. (There’s a wonderful, if belated, gag that no one is quite sure exactly where Iran is.) This is the land of simulacrum, a hall of mirrors in which the reflection of an image substitutes for the image itself. Malone disposes of both male Hadleys (freeing Hudson to possess the film’s only possible mother, which is to say, Bacall) and sentences herself to eternal sexual frustration. She’s left to fondle her father’s oil-rig dildo, the image of the dead patriarch smiling benignly from above, as Hudson and Bacall make their escape. The last shot is of a black servant closing the gate; you expect him to roll up the lawn and strike the set.

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