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Thread: Brief Encounter

  1. #141
    Senior Member Country: UK wellendcanons's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MonicaMC View Post
    That's odd - I got the link just fine. Did someone fix it?
    Yes, it worked as a link but I'd been hoping to post the pic directly onto the page. At least it worked anyway.

  2. #142
    Senior Member Country: United States MonicaMC's Avatar
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    Yay! As I mentioned in the IKWIG thread... I finished my very first sonnet, inspired by BE:

    "Beyond Respectability"

    Where are you, O, my dearest, O, my life?
    You're in another time, another place.
    What can I do to help you through your plight?
    All light has left your eyes and your sweet face.

    I think I know the cause of your distress:
    You love another, though you've chosen me.
    I shall not ask you why you did transgress,
    For doing so, of shame you'd ever grieve.

    Although inconstancy I'll not attack,
    Would that I dared to soothe your anguished brow --
    A kiss, a touch, a word to call you back --
    All hope is lost if I do nothing now.

    O, Lady! Let me hold you tenderly;
    I've erred to hide behind gentility.


    (Where's the *happy dance* emoticon?)

    I'm not sold on the last couplet, and a couple of the rhymes are a stretch, but it's all a bona fide, iambic pentameter Shakespearean sonnet.

  3. #143
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain Mark O's Avatar
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    A few recent pics of Carnforth station, it really is a must for fans of the film to visit, you'll love the film even more, the volunteers who run the refreshment room and exhibitions are very friendly and helpful, they'll even ask if you want the volume turned up if sat watching the film!









    Last edited by Mark O; 10-07-11 at 06:20 PM.

  4. #144
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain Mark O's Avatar
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  5. #145
    Member Country: United States Troutbridge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by theuofc View Post
    Against conventional morality, the audience is silently cheering on a romance between Laura a married woman and Alec and is sorely disappointed when the two must part.
    This certainly is a big reason why I admire this film so much. Winning the audience's sympathy "in spite of itself" is a much more difficult, and hence impressive, task than simply bouncing the viewers' viewpoints back at them. It's unconventional while at the same time far from tendentious.

    BE is a major reason I admire Lean. How many other directors were so adept at BOTH small, personal films like BE and the huge, cast-of-thousands classics he made later? In another thread, I almost called "I Know Where I'm Going" my favorite movie romance, but then I thought of this one.

  6. #146
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Troutbridge View Post
    BE is a major reason I admire Lean. How many other directors were so adept at BOTH small, personal films like BE and the huge, cast-of-thousands classics he made later? In another thread, I almost called "I Know Where I'm Going" my favorite movie romance, but then I thought of this one.
    Well Lean did learn from the masters, he was P&P's editor on a couple of their films

    Steve

  7. #147
    Member Country: Australia
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    Love the pics, Mark O. Hope to go there one day.

    These days I tend to agree with Monica MC's interpretation (although I didn't think so when I was younger).

    Monica, you might be interested in this quote from 'Queen Christina':

    "A great love, a perfect love is an illusion. It is the golden fable of which we all dream.
    In an ordinary life, it doesn't happen. In an ordinary life we must be content with less."

    The words were spoken by Garbo, of course. I think the question in terms of 'Brief Encounter' might be: Is what Laura feels for her husband 'less' or is it just different ie. real and enduring?

  8. #148
    Senior Member Country: United States MonicaMC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Crook View Post
    Well Lean did learn from the masters, he was P&P's editor on a couple of their films

    Steve
    My dear, there is a Rodgers and Hart song for the likes of you and me in regards to Brit-film-ish topics...

  9. #149
    Senior Member Country: United States MonicaMC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Troutbridge View Post
    In another thread, I almost called "I Know Where I'm Going" my favorite movie romance, but then I thought of this one.
    I like them both now, which is why I'm traveling to Mull and Carnforth after my classes are over. IKWIG is best romance with a happy ending; BE is best romance with a not so happy one (at least not in the conventional sense).

    And they are both also great because wouldn't you just love to know what happens next?

  10. #150
    Senior Member Country: United States MonicaMC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NowVoyager View Post
    Love the pics, Mark O. Hope to go there one day.

    These days I tend to agree with Monica MC's interpretation (although I didn't think so when I was younger).

    Monica, you might be interested in this quote from 'Queen Christina':

    "A great love, a perfect love is an illusion. It is the golden fable of which we all dream.
    In an ordinary life, it doesn't happen. In an ordinary life we must be content with less."

    The words were spoken by Garbo, of course. I think the question in terms of 'Brief Encounter' might be: Is what Laura feels for her husband 'less' or is it just different ie. real and enduring?
    I haven't seen Queen Christina in a very long time. Incidentally, one of the crazy things I did when I was younger was tote a poster of Greta Garbo from the MGM Studios portion of Walt Disney World in Florida all the way back to Illinois. I didn't have a proper poster carrier for it (just rolled in a plastic casing), so I very carefully kept it with me all through the flight. Took me forever to get rid of the creases. I still have the poster somewhere.

    The thing about love is, I think anyway, is that it isn't an illusion. Rather, it's eternal -- not in the everlasting sense, but in the outside of time sense -- and we are (largely) time-based creatures. That's why I think marriage especially is such a challenge: two people make a commitment in time to that which exists outside of or beyond time.

    With respect to Laura, what helps clarify the issue for me is to focus on who she is, what she wants. If I try to evaluate the pros and cons of Laura being with Fred vs. Laura being with Alec, I have trouble arriving at a decent conclusion -- which is better/which is worse, which is real/which is fantasy, etc. (And it's become harder since I've watched Staying On, where one might draw a parallel between Tusker and Lucy as an elderly version of Laura and Alec had they married.) But if I remember that the film is about what extraordinary, overwhelming feelings stir up in Laura (that is, the feelings themselves, not the catalyst), then the issue for me becomes how are those feelings, how is that immense capacity for loving that has been shaken loose best served?

  11. #151
    Senior Member Country: United States MonicaMC's Avatar
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    Now I remember - I have a question about a detail in the film. At about the 36 minute mark (where Fred and Laura talk about Bobby's future), it looks (to me) like there's a piece of bread on a grate over the fire. But that can't be right. What is it -- a log? a piece of paper?

  12. #152
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain Mark O's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MonicaMC View Post
    Now I remember - I have a question about a detail in the film. At about the 36 minute mark (where Fred and Laura talk about Bobby's future), it looks (to me) like there's a piece of bread on a grate over the fire. But that can't be right. What is it -- a log? a piece of paper?
    It's a log Monica, flat on top due to being cut in half with an axe, can't say I've noticed it before, but later in the same scene it's not there, Laura must have placed it on the fire.

  13. #153
    Member Country: Australia
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    Quote Originally Posted by MonicaMC View Post
    I haven't seen Queen Christina in a very long time. Incidentally, one of the crazy things I did when I was younger was tote a poster of Greta Garbo from the MGM Studios portion of Walt Disney World in Florida all the way back to Illinois. I didn't have a proper poster carrier for it (just rolled in a plastic casing), so I very carefully kept it with me all through the flight. Took me forever to get rid of the creases. I still have the poster somewhere.

    The thing about love is, I think anyway, is that it isn't an illusion. Rather, it's eternal -- not in the everlasting sense, but in the outside of time sense -- and we are (largely) time-based creatures. That's why I think marriage especially is such a challenge: two people make a commitment in time to that which exists outside of or beyond time.

    With respect to Laura, what helps clarify the issue for me is to focus on who she is, what she wants. If I try to evaluate the pros and cons of Laura being with Fred vs. Laura being with Alec, I have trouble arriving at a decent conclusion -- which is better/which is worse, which is real/which is fantasy, etc. (And it's become harder since I've watched Staying On, where one might draw a parallel between Tusker and Lucy as an elderly version of Laura and Alec had they married.) But if I remember that the film is about what extraordinary, overwhelming feelings stir up in Laura (that is, the feelings themselves, not the catalyst), then the issue for me becomes how are those feelings, how is that immense capacity for loving that has been shaken loose best served?
    Hi Monica
    Firstly, how wonderful to have that poster from ‘Queen Christina’. The film is well worth revisiting, if only for the great dialogue and of course Garbo’s performance which still resonates (although John Gilbert's is dated and wooden).

    Yes, I agree with you. The encounter with Alec unleashes emotions in Laura she hasn’t experienced before. What happens to those feelings?
    How does she refocus them in a way that will satisfy and enrich her life?

    Does she rediscover whatever attracted her to her husband in the first place (I like your back story about Fred) or does she carry a torch for the lost relationship for the rest of her life?


    Here’s another quote from ‘Queen Christina’ taken from the scene where Garbo memorises the room where she and the Spanish ambassador (I’ve forgotten his name) made love. It is next morning and they are in the room together – it’s pre Hays Code, of course.


    “I have been memorizing the room. In the future, in my memory, I shall live a great deal in the room.”


    Although Laura appears to have ‘come back’ from her reverie, does she continue to fantasize about the encounter and what might have been? Like Gatsby "borne back ceaselessly into the past'?
    Last edited by NowVoyager; 12-07-11 at 03:06 PM.

  14. #154
    Senior Member Country: UK Windyridge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NowVoyager View Post
    Although Laura appears to have �come back� from her reverie, does she continue to fantasize about the encounter and what might have been? Like Gatsby "borne back ceaselessly into the past'?
    Not at all. She takes frequent cold baths in front of the fire, carries on darning Fred's socks and knits swimming costumes for little Bobbie and Margaret.

  15. #155
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MonicaMC View Post
    I like them both now, which is why I'm traveling to Mull and Carnforth after my classes are over. IKWIG is best romance with a happy ending; BE is best romance with a not so happy one (at least not in the conventional sense).

    And they are both also great because wouldn't you just love to know what happens next?
    Hence, Intelligent Female Nonsense

    Steve

  16. #156
    Senior Member Country: United States MonicaMC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NowVoyager View Post
    Yes, I agree with you. The encounter with Alec unleashes emotions in Laura she hasn�t experienced before. What happens to those feelings? How does she refocus them in a way that will satisfy and enrich her life?

    Does she rediscover whatever attracted her to her husband in the first place (I like your back story about Fred) or does she carry a torch for the lost relationship for the rest of her life?


    I'm playing Brief Encounter on the computer. I packed it and IKWIG, and I have a copy of Come On, George! burned on the hard drive. Three friends - it's a good thing I packed them, because of course Netflix is worthless until I get back to U.S. because of copyright restrictions.

    I was thinking of Laura - it's probably because I am someplace new and unfamiliar, but I felt her desperation more than I had in quite some time. I remembered how I felt when D broke up with me. It was like suddenly being unable to breathe and yet the whole world keeps going. You can't understand why - 14, having been terribly in love, and why is your mother taking you to a busy bar with her boyfriend for a cheeseburger and fries? You choke it down - fighting the lump in your throat, wanting to shout to cry - but you can't do that, you can't look like a rash teenager. You just touched the immortal, and suddenly (but not unexpectedly) the flaming sword came up and you can't enter the garden anymore. No one - not your mom, none of your friends or acquaintances, no pastor or priest, not even your therapist years later or the beloved one himself - quite understands that. Two teachers maybe - but that's it. And they have their own lives and are at the base more pragmatic than you ever will be, especially on this subject.

    Again, though - like the film, I need to remember (as Laura must) that the key was not the object of my affection, but rather the experience itself. I've felt something that overpowering twice: once was then, the other was during what turned out to be an intense rehearsal of a scene from The Price during one of my Meisner classes. (The latter experience was almost two years ago now. Working with my scene partner, I suddenly felt what it must be like to be tied to a person: to love them so much that you cannot be without them and you want to bear their children; adoption even will not do because you love them so much that you want their flesh and blood. At any rate.... ) Laura, I think, has the opportunity (which I hope she takes) of channeling what she's experienced into what has been heretofore a companionate marriage, but restrained in passion.

    You know, although I'd wanted to be an actress since I was perhaps 5, I took my first acting class less than a month after that breakup...

  17. #157
    Senior Member Country: Europe Heinrich's Avatar
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    It should not be forgotten that Laura is articulating her guilt for allowing herself to get involved with the doctor and is meant to be delivered to her husband. Her foolishness brought her close to losing everything (even her own life) as well as causing dreadful pain to her family. That her son, Bobby, had an accident while she was away flirting shocks her and the words of her husband, thanking her for coming back from the nightmare of her own creation, demonstrates what true love is all about.
    Last edited by Heinrich; 17-07-11 at 03:27 PM.

  18. #158
    Senior Member Country: United States MonicaMC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heinrich View Post
    It should not be forgotten that Laura is articulating her guilt for allowing herself to get involved with the doctor and is meant to be delivered to her husband. Her foolishness brought her close to losing everything (even her own life) as well as causing dreadful pain to her family. That her son, Bobby, had an accident while she was away flirting shocks her and the words of her husband, thanking her for coming back from the nightmare of her own creation, demonstrates what true love is all about.
    Exactly, which is why I just go nuts when an allegedly mature adult says, "Oh, she gave passion up for decency; that's so wrong," and stuff along those lines.

    Even when I first saw BE when I was younger, I was surprised by it -- the frankness of the almost-consummated affair (I remember being 16? 17? and thinking, "Wait, she's going to go to the apartment? I didn't think you did that in black and white movies.") Years later, I find myself even more surprised by the ending -- not many people in this world who have the "gentleness and wisdom" to act from their heart, not from their hurt.

  19. #159
    Senior Member Country: England Elaine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark O View Post
    It's a log Monica, flat on top due to being cut in half with an axe, can't say I've noticed it before, but later in the same scene it's not t here, Laura must have placed it on the fire.
    Is that Kathleen Ferrier you have as your avatar, Mark?

  20. #160
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain Mark O's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elaine View Post
    Is that Kathleen Ferrier you have as your avatar, Mark?
    It is Elaine, I love her contralto voice, a lovely lady taken from us far too soon.

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