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"A sublimation of dramatic conflict into décor, colour, gest

            Melodramas are often defined as films that are overthe top with excessive bursts of passion and spectacle. Their heyday was from 1930 to 1960 although the study of melodrama as a cinematic.
             genre only arose in 1977 when the Society for the Education in Film and Television commissioned papers on them for a study weekend. They have a characteristically rich visual style where ordinary experiences are heightened. However, they tend to turn inwards when dealing with conflict and the .
             mise-en-scene is vital in giving the spectator an .
             insight into what is not being said. When it comes .
             to discussing the significance of mise-en-scene in .
             melodramas, there is no better director than .
             Douglas Sirk, who was a master of capturing the .
             "fugitive passing of a feeling that remains .
             inexpressible- through mise-en-scene. Besides .
             using it to express what his characters could not .
             articulate, he also styled it to levels of excess .
             and artifice, which take on a whole other set of .
             symbolic and social connotations. Sirk did "not .
             deal in despair but in aesthetic beauty- . He .
             provided spectacle by showing the tragedies of sex, .
             alcoholism, murder and death but framed them with .
             close detail to aesthetic meaning and symbolism. I .
             agree with Elsaersser's suggestion but will .
             elaborate on the other aspects of importance which .
             mise-en-scene takes on, such as how it was often .
             structured to appeal to consumer trends .
             It was while employed at Universal-International .
             that Sirk made his most memorable and critically .
             regarded melodramas. This essay will be looking at .
             three of his most famous films, All That Heaven .
             Allows (1955), Written on the Wind (1957) and .
             Imitation of Life (1959). All three deal with .
             family concerns and a feeling of claustrophobia, .
             either in a small town setting or in the bourgeois .
             home. The opening of All that Heaven Allows .
             immediately sets the context in which the narrative .
             will be played out in; a small town in middle-.

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