A film still from Douglas Sirk's "Imitation of Life"

Film Series | Doll Parts: Life of Imitation, Imitation of Life

Thursday, Sep 29, 2016
7:00 p.m.
The Oculus Hall at The Broad
Tickets $12 (includes same-night access to the full museum)



Ming Wong, Life of Imitation, 5 min., 2009

Douglas Sirk, Imitation of Life, 125 min., 1959

Douglas Sirk’s epic Imitation of Life was the filmmaker’s intentional Hollywood swan song. Steeped in emotional tension and full-blown melodrama, the film traces the career of struggling actress Lora Meredith (Lana Turner) as she ascends into stardom, leaving behind her daughter (Sandra Dee) and suitor (John Gavin) for the Broadway and Hollywood elite. By her side throughout the years is her faithful servant Annie (Juanita Moore), who has her own drama to contend with as her light-skinned daughter, Sarah Jane (Susan Kohner), passes for white in order to make a “finer” life for herself. Imitation of Life is the ultimate melodrama, from which The Broad’s Cindy Sherman: Imitation of Life exhibition takes its name. Paired with the feature, Ming Wong’s Life of Imitation restages a key scene from Sirk’s film, casting three male actors from the three main ethnic groups in Singapore to alternate in the roles of Annie and Sarah Jane.

Doll Parts tickets include same-night access before the film program to the full museum, including the Cindy Sherman: Imitation of Life special exhibition, beginning at 5:30 p.m.

About Doll Parts

World AIDS Day, designated on December 1 every year since 1988, is an international day dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection, and mourning those who have died of the disease. Government and health officials, non-governmental organizations, and individuals around the world observe the day, often with education on AIDS prevention and control.

World AIDS Day is one of the eight official global public health campaigns marked by the World Health Organization (WHO), along with World Health Day, World Blood Donor Day, World Immunization Week, World Tuberculosis Day, World No Tobacco Day, World Malaria Day, and World Hepatitis Day.

Since opening its doors in 2015, The Broad has presented annual programming for World AIDS Day to commemorate the many who have lost their lives to the pandemic, to recognize the many still living with HIV/AIDS, and to acknowledge that, globally speaking, the AIDS crisis is not over. At the height of the AIDS crisis in the 1980s, artists became activists and activism grew into an art form. Prime examples of this include Broad collection artists Keith Haring and David Wojnarowicz (both of whom died of AIDS-related complications), Ross Bleckner, who started his practice dealing with the AIDS epidemic in 1980s, and Glenn Ligon and Jenny Holzer, who continue to use their artistic voices to highlight the need for public awareness around HIV/AIDS.

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