Synthesis and the synthetic

indieWIRE: I feel that "Far from Heaven" may be one of the biggest, most experimental mainstream films of all time. Do you think it's fair to call it experimental?

Todd Haynes: Yes, because it refuses a lot of familiar narrative touchstones that makes us feel like we're watching a genuine drama: contemporary codes of naturalism, psychological realizations, redemption, and any sort of heroic victory. So it refuses all of those things and maintains a completely synthetic language that comes directly out of the world of film. And yet it's done in complete faith that that language in some way embodies more potential for emotional feeling than anything that mimics what we think of as reality. In other words, people talk about this film in relation to sincerity verses irony. And I think it's different. I think it's about the intense feelings that only come from synthetic film language, that only come from artificial experiences that we know from film, but we nevertheless invest with intense feeling.


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