So in many respects, here and elsewhere, and again, it does admittedly come down to what could be done in the 1950s versus the 1970s, Rainer Werner Fassbinder is indeed like Douglas Sirk, but like Douglas Sirk turned up to 11.
The two versions of Imitation of Life are equally worthwhile for their historical significance, their aesthetic divergences, and their narrative variations. It’s a great cinematic case study in adaptation and modernization.
Always inventive, never repetitive, Rainer Werner Fassbinder was among the world’s most fascinating filmmaking figures, responsible for several masterworks. Among them, ‘Ali’ may be the best of the best.
“All That Heaven Allows stands as the defining work of Sirk’s career, the greatest of his films made in the midst of a decade in which he turned conventional ‘women’s pictures’ or ‘weepies’ into profound, virtually unparalleled conflicts played out in domesticated arenas.”