The 1950s-set world of Todd Haynes' Far from Heaven is all about rules: rules of appropriate deportment and behavior; rules about emotional expression and its limits; rules governing what racial and sexual lines can and cannot be crossed. Taking his inspiration from the era's Hollywood melodramas, particularly those directed by Douglas Sirk, Haynes set himself guidelines that were no less strict. “The melodrama of the 50s was a specific cinematic world with a language unto itself,” says the ...

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