Unjustly overlooked among Sirk’s celebrated 1950s melodramas, Interlude is one of the most searing expressions of the director’s fatalistic worldview. The loss-of-innocence narrative follows an American government worker (June Allyson) in Munich whose sunny optimism is put through the wringer by a tumultuous affair with a temperamental orchestra conductor (Rossano Brazzi) who is concealing a secret. Shooting in Germany for the first time since World War II, Sirk captures postcard-perfect views of his home country, while exposing the dark undercurrents beneath the glossy exterior. The result is a shattering work about the impossibility of lasting happiness, which, as Sirk once said, “exists, if only by virtue of the fact that it can be destroyed.”