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Black Gold x Ladies of Burlesque: Douglas Sirk's IMITATION OF LIFE restored!

  • The Royal Cinema 608 College Street Toronto, ON, M6G 1B4 Canada (map)

Get ready to smash some mirrors, Ladies of Burlesque at The Royal and BLACK GOLD are teaming up to bring you a glorious 4K restoration masterpiece from the Master of Melodrama himself, Douglas Sirk. The 1959 version of IMITATION OF LIFE is a lush, beautifully-designed Technicolor kaleidoscope that combines Sirk’s usual female-focused domestic melodrama with biting social critique around the mid-century realities of race and class. Featuring an astounding performance from pioneering black actress Juanita Moore, who was nominated for an Oscar for her role, Sirk’s IMITATION OF LIFE is considered the crown jewel of his American career. And with a performance from Genie Emerald, this guarantees to be the an immersive “Sirkian” experience!

Updating John M. Stahl’s 1934 film adaptation of Frannie Hurst’s sensational novel, Sirk’s IMITATION OF LIFE is more well-rounded in its depiction of racially other characters. When widowed white aspiring actress Lora Meredith (Lana Turner) meets Annie Johnston, a black single-mother in need of work, the two decide to pair up and live in a tiny New York apartment with their young daughters. Annie supports Lora’s career by taking care of the domestic labor and raising their respective daughters. As Lora’s career takes off, Annie must confront the reality that her light-skinned daughter Sarah-Jane (Sarah Kohner) lives a life of racial transgression by passing as white and performing in nightclubs.

The film’s performances, especially Moore and Kohner’s, are the film’s most impressive achievements. In the case of Turner, real-life melodrama was channeled into her performance—the iconic actress’s daughter had recently been acquitted in the death of Turner’s abusive gangster husband.

7:30PM: PRE-SHOW
8PM: BURLESQUE + FILM

Generously sponsored by The BeguilingBoosie Fade + Boosie Fade Film ClubEyesore Cinema, and Gigi's House of Frills!

RSVP FOR ACCESSIBLE SEATING:
We have 5 accessible sections in our theatre which you can reserve ahead of time by calling 416-466-4400 ext 0. One of our accessible seating areas has space for two mobility devices and a small section behind for the party to join. The other three are for single mobile devices with 2-3 seats beside it.

Please note that we do not have accessible washrooms. All of our washrooms are upstairs. Our neighbours at Agenda, a coffee shop located three store fronts over in the CHIN building, have an accessible washroom available for use before 8pm.

Black Gold wishes to acknowledge the Haudenosaunee and the Mississaugas of the New Credit, the original keepers of this land, for hosting Black Gold and The Royal Cinema. Today, the meeting place of Tkaronto is still the home to many Indigenous people from across Turtle Island and we are grateful to have the opportunity to work and present in this territory.