Glyn Davis

in Far from Heaven

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print June 2011 | ISBN: 9780748637782
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748670864 | DOI:

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This chapter presents a discussion on genre. Compared with other films by Todd Haynes, Far from Heaven is famous for not mixing and matching genres. It specifically examines the decision by Haynes to recreate a 1950s melodrama. The Hollywood ‘classical melodramas’ had a recognisable narrative form, style and tone. Far from Heaven fits the typical classical melodrama narrative template to a significant degree, with some clear differences. This film and the other melodrama-referencing films released in the first years of the new century invited contemplation of the disappearance — or partial persistence — of the genre. In addition to the crying of audiences of the film, there is a great deal of weeping up on the screen in Far from Heaven. Far from Heaven invites contemporary audiences to recognise how significantly the form of the melodrama has altered in the last fifty years.

Keywords: genre; Far from Heaven; Todd Haynes; melodrama; Hollywood; crying

Chapter.  14068 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Film

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