Monday, October 24, 2016

150 word review: BFI FILM CLASSICS: BRIEF ENCOUNTER by Richard Dyer

At times infuriatingly 'right-on', Dyer's monograph on David Lean's BRIEF ENCOUNTER is still worth reading for anyone who, like me, is haunted by Noel Coward's heartbreaking tale of love denied.

Dyer reiterates the recurring criticism of the middle-class world where the film is set that is now seen to be a stumbling-block to enjoying it.  He rarely addresses the obvious point: that it's 71 years-old AND THINGS WERE DIFFERENT BACK THEN!!

This 'problem' is rarely addressed when discussing period American films (let alone European films) unless in relation to race or gender.  But no, BRIEF ENCOUNTER is castigated for the way they speak... me, I look through this to connect to the emotion that lurks beneath the surface.

When the Spartisms are dropped, he writes about the desolating effect BRIEF ENCOUNTER has on those who let it in, finally admitting that he is one of them.

No comments: