“I applied aspects of Sirk and Fassbinder to all of my films that came out in the ’90s and, finally, when the decade ended, I felt it was really time to get into this specific influence more directly,” said director Todd Haynes when explaining the personal importance of this film, now considered one of the best of its decade. Haynes’s delicate melodrama stars Julianne Moore as a Connecticut housewife who discovers her husband (Dennis Quaid) is gay. In the wake of this domestic turmoil, she forms an intimate bond with her black gardener (Dennis Haysbert), much to the dismay of her judgmental community. Haynes attacks racism, homophobia, and suburban banality with rich color, evocative camera angles, and ornate lighting, which compare to Sirk, and Sirk-influenced Fassbinder, at their best.

Screening as part of “Fassbinder and His Friends.”

  • Directed By Todd Haynes
  • 2002
  • USA
  • DCP
  • 107 minutes