The Date: January 14
The Movie: Imitation of Life (1959)
What Is It?: With Imitation of Life, Douglas Sirk wanted it all and he had it all. On one end, it’s an overwrought soap opera with gorgeously overwrought color and fifties aesthetics; on the other end, it’s a subtle exploration of race and racism unusually empathetic for its time. Look out for Mahalia Jackson as a choir soloist.
Why Today?: On this day in 1987, Douglas Sirk dies.