Pentlow Film Club – April 2012

This month we showed a nice big audience a film starring Colin Firth, A Single Man. This came before The King’s Speech swept the board of Oscars and Baftas, and got rather buried in all the acclamations. This was something of a pity, I felt, as Colin Firth showed himself to be a very fine actor indeed in a demanding role, supported magnificently by the lovely Julianne Moore. It may be that the film was not so universally popular because of the subject matter – a long term gay relationship broken by death; in fact it was about love, and bereavement, and the dreadful loneliness of grief that cannot be shared. The poignancy of being excluded from the funeral of his partner by the family because of the nature of the relationship made the point very powerfully. The film follows him through what he has decided is his last day, unable to bear the pain any more; We meet each moment of that last day, the mental farewell to everything and everyone with the intensity of last encounters. I am not going to tell you what happens at the end of the day: do watch the film when you can.

The backdrop context to the film is the Cuban missile crisis, so that his private devastation is played out against the public panic, which adds to his loneliness: he is the only man in Los Angeles who doesn’t care a pin what happens. The Director, Tom Ford, is new to films, coming from the fashion industry. His photography and direction makes great use of flashback and dream sequences, which are effective and beautiful, and add to the atmosphere of nothing being quite what it seems. Some people, I think, found it a little unclear, or hard to follow.

After the May film, a nice romp on 19th, we stop for the summer. We have been through five seasons now, and enjoyed every single one of them; so come and join us for the sixth, beginning on FRIDAY 21 September. We will be having our AGM in July as usual, when you are welcome to join us, and get a preview of the new programme. Details will come in good time.

Isobel Clark

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