transitional steps [Sirk | Stahl | Stairs]

In the two film versions of IMITATION OF LIFE (directed by John M. Stahl in 1934 and by Douglas Sirk in 1959) the stage prop of stairs acquire a particular rich meaning. The staircase as transitional space is the place where not only different people but with them also different classes meet. A heterotopia the staircase promises the possibility of passing – both in concrete and figurative sense. But what happens when the stairs lead nowhere?

Made as part of the lecture podium „Double Bill on Double Bill: Imitation of Life“ at the Filmpodium Zurich, October 26 2022.