Two in Technicolor

Jan 12, 2011

Two critics recently have reminded their readers about a couple of Criterion’s most luscious Technicolor treats. First, in the Nashville Scene, Jim Ridley sings hallelujah for Douglas Sirk’s masterful story of suburbia All That Heaven Allows, which he calls “subversive,” a “piercing portrait of oppressive conformity,” and an “empathetic study of a middle-aged woman’s undimmed sexuality.” The melodrama of All That Heaven Allows may seem a tad heated at times, but it’s nothing next to the gonzo frenzy of The Red Shoes ballet scenes. Peter Rainer, in a short article for, reminds Black Swan lovers that this was the original psycho ballet, describing the central musical sequence as “a hallucinatory flight through carnivals, ballrooms, deserts, and enough cellophane to wrap the Bolshoi Theatre. As shot in florid Technicolor by the peerless cinematographer Jack Cardiff, The Red Shoes is a young girl’s fever dream of ballet heaven and hell, climaxing with a ghoulish tragedy.”