Douglas Sirk is usually credited as being the co-director of Bourbon Street Blues, his final film from 1979. Even with this being the case, it still feels very much like one of his late-period melodramas, except the action transpires in a run-down apartment building rather than the pastel world of 50s suburbia. The film concerns an alcoholic, cockroach-fearing tenant who has failed to pay her rent and the argument that ensues between her, her landlady, and another resident of the building (played, very impressively, by Rainer Werner Fassbinder, an early known champion of the director). In true Sirk fashion, the scene, through several emotional monologues, evolves into a bittersweet parable about losing sight of your dreams and finding solace through an imagined reality. It feels like a strangely appropriate conclusion for a director who ended his career at what was, arguably, the height of his artistry.
September 17, 2013