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sexta-feira, 9 de outubro de 2015

Variações sobre um mesmo tema: Imitação da Vida / Imitation of Life (1934 e 1959)

ESTE ARTIGO CONTÉM SPOILERS.

THIS ARTICLE HAS SPOILERS.

É durante os períodos mais difíceis da vida que descobrimos quem são nossos maiores amigos e mais perigosos e inimagináveis inimigos. Claudette Colbert descobriu isso em 1934. Vinte e cinco anos depois, foi a vez de Lana Turner passar pela mesma experiência, desta vez com mais cor e algumas modificações. Trata-se de uma história de luta, preconceito, traição e muitas, muitas surpresas. E, por ser tão atual em 1934, 1959 ou 2015, tem o sugestivo nome de “Imitação da Vida”.

It is during the most difficult periods of our lives that we find out who are our biggest friends and our most dangerous, and unthinkable of, enemies. Claudette Colbert found those out n 1934. Twenty five years alter, Lana Turner went through the same experience, with more color and some changes. This is a story of struggle, prejudice, treason and many, many surprises. And because it sounds so modern in 1934, 1959 or 2015, it is called “Imitation of Life”.


O ano é 1934. Bea Pullman (Colbert) é viúva, tem de cuidar da filha pequena Jessie e levar adiante o negócio de maple sirup do falecido marido. Por engano bate à sua porta Delilah (Louise Beavers), acompanhada da filha Peola. É o destino que une as duas, pois Bea oferece comida e moradia para que Delilah trabalhe para ela. Não demora para que Bea, muito astuta, transforme uma receita de família de Delilah em um grande sucesso comercial, que muda a vida de ambas.

The year is 1934. Bea Pullman (Colbert) is a widow who has to take care of her little daughter Jessie and deal with her late husband's maple sirup business. By mistake, Delilah (Louise Beavers) and her daughter Peola knock at her door. It's destiny putting the two of them together, because Bea offers food and housing if Delilah works for her. Soon the smart Bea turns Delilah's family recipe into a commercial success, changing both their lives.


O ano é 1959. Lora Meredith (Turner) é viúva e não consegue encontrar sua filha pequena Susie na praia. Com a ajuda de Steve Archer (John Gavin), ela encontra a menina brincando com a filha de Annie (Juanita Moore), uma mulher à procura de emprego. É o destino que une as duas, pois Lora oferece que Annie fique um tempo com ela. Logo Annie se torna babá / empregada e Lora começa uma carreira de sucesso no teatro.

The year is 1959. Lora Meredith (Turner) is a widow who can't find her little daughter Susie at the beach. With the help of Steve Archer (John Gavin), she finds the girl playing with Annie's (Juanita Moore) daughter, and the woman is looking for a job. It's destiny putting the two of them together, because Lora asks Annie to stay with her. Soon Annie becomes a nanny / maid and Lora begins a successful career in the theater.  


A filha de Delilah / Annie, chamada Peola em 1934 e Sarah Jane em 1959, tem pele clara, mas desde a infância sofre por ter o sangue negro da mãe. São tempos de racismo, de segregação, de lugares separados para brancos e negros. É a garota mestiça a personagem mais profunda e sofredora da história, e sua dor não pode ser curada facilmente.

Delilah's / Annie's daughter is called Peola in 1934 and Sarah Jane in 1959. She has fair skin, but since childhood she suffers because of her mother's black blood. Those were times of  racism, segregation, different spots and buildings for white and “colored” people. The mixed-race girol is the deepest and most suffering character in this story, and her pain can't be easily cured.


Delilah fala com a cadência típica dos negros da Hollywood dos anos 1930, cópias vergonhosas dos estereótipos da época da escravidão. Delilah é simplória ao extremo, preferindo cuidar de Bea e Jessie a ter sua própria casa. Ela aceita o sofrimento causado pela rejeição da filha, rejeição esta que também causa dor a Peola, mas nada faz para reagir e voltar a viver.

Delilah speaks with the accent that most black characters did in 1930's Hollywood – a shameful copy of a racist stereotype from the slavery. Delilah is extremely simple, and prefers to take care of Bea and Jessie instead of having her own house. She accepts the suffering cause by her daughter's rejection – a rejection that also makes Peola suffer – but she does nothing to react to it or move on with her life. 


É louvável, entretanto, mostrar que não é apenas a família negra que tem graves problemas, afinal, Steve Archer (Warren William em 1934 e John Gavin em 1959) está para se casar com Bea / Lora, mas quem se apaixona por ele é sua futura enteada Jessie (Rochelle Hudson) / Susie (Sandra Dee). A criação dada pela mulher branca também não foi perfeita, e seu problema chega a ser até mais chocante que o da mulher negra.

It's great, however, to show the not only the black family has grave problems, after all, Steve Archer (Warren William in 1934 and John Gavin in 1959) is about to get married to Bea / Lora, but who falls in love with him is his future stepdaughter Jessie (Rochelle Hudson) / Susie (Sandra Dee). Her upbringing by the white woman also wasn't perfect, and her problem is even more shocking than the black woman's.


John M. Stahl, o diretor da versão de 1934, consegue congelar a segregação em uma só imagem: ricas e bem-sucedidas, Delilah e Bea vivem na mesma casa, mas a mulher branca vive no brilhante piso superior e a mulher negra fica com o piso inferior. Bea não teria enriquecido sem Delilah, e mesmo assim Delilah se resigna ao plano inferior. São apenas duas escadas, mas elas separam toda a humanidade.

John M. Stahl, the director of the 1934 version, is able to freeze segregation in only one image: rich and successful, Bea and Delilah share the same house, but the white woman lives in the shining upper floor and the black woman lives in the floor below. Bea wouldn't have gotten rich without Delilah, and yet Delilah is OK with the floor below. There are only some stairs between them, but they separate the whole mankind.


Foi bom ter Douglas Sirk, o homem das lágrimas, por trás da versão de 1959. Apesar da menor importância de Annie para o sucesso de Lora, o drama da mulher negra tem grande destaque e muitos momentos emocionantes. Outro retrocesso foi ter, no papel de Sarah Jane, a atriz Susan Kohner, filha de mãe mexicana e pai judeu. Em 1934, Peola foi interpretada por Fredi Washington, atriz mulata e militante dos direitos civis.

It was good to have Douglas Sirk, the man of the tears, behind the 1959 version. Even though Annie doesn't have so much importance to Lora's success, the black woman's drama has a lot of space and many moving moments. A downkind was the casting, as Sarah Jane, of Susan Kohner, the daughter of a Mexican mother and a Jewish father. In 1934, Peola was played by Fredi Washington, a mulatto actress and civil rights activist.


Se você tem coração, irá se emocionar com as duas versões. Se tem cérebro, irá pensar sobre as feridas que o racismo deixa. Porém, é outro o mais poderoso efeito: quando acabar o filme, você terá vontade de abraçar sua mãe com muita força e agradecê-la por tudo.

If you have a heart, you will get moved by the two versions. If you have a brain, you will think about of the unseen marks of racism. But the most powerful effect is a different one: when the film is over, you'll want to hug your mother and thank her for everything.

This is my contribution to the They Remade What? Blogathon, hosted by Laura at Phyllis Loves Classic Movies. Double takes are in!

5 comentários:

Michaela disse...

I haven't seen the original yet, but I did enjoy the Douglas Sirk version. Of course, I kind of love everything Sirk did. Everything is so intentional -- in a funny way, he seems to beat his critics to the punch. "This is so overdramatic!" "Yeah, it is. Isn't it ridiculous?" Anyway, I could go on and on. Great post!

Caftan Woman disse...

Like the best of remakes, we get to see how much or how little has changed in the intervening years both in real life and in cinema techniques. Excellent selection. I enjoy both films very much.

Silver Screenings disse...

Sadly, I've not seen the original 1934 film with Claudette Colbert, and I know I'd love it. I have, however, seen the later film with Lana Turner. I'm not sure how big of a Lana Turner fan I am, but I think she's pretty good in this film. It's a movie I can't NOT watch when it's on TV. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on both these films.

Phyl disse...

I felt the same way after watching the 1959 version. I really want to see the 1934 one.

Thanks so much for participating! I'm glad these movies were covered :)

Judy disse...

I've only seen the Douglas Sirk film, which I loved - I've been meaning to see the original and must get on and do it. You make some very interesting comparisons here, Le, and I'd really like to see Fredi Washington and Louise Beaver in the first film.

Also, I wanted to let you know that there's a Frank Sinatra blogathon coming up, if you have time to join in :)

https://movieclassics.wordpress.com/2015/10/14/sinatra-centennial-blogathon/

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