Tonight I finished watching PASSPORT TO PIMLICO (1949, Henry Cornelius), an old Ealing comedy that came out in the same year of Kind Hearts and Coronets. Although it was made by the same studio, I did not enjoy this film as much as Hamer’s. I guess that while the dark humour of KH&C works on more universal and timeless themes, the jokes of Passport to Pimlico are strongly rooted in the problems of the time, such as rationing and the Berlin Blockade, and hence are less felt by a modern viewer who is educated enough in the history of the period, or cannot feel that much connected to it nonetheless.
KIND HEARTS AND CORONETS (1949, Robert Hamer) is the first Ealing comedy that I have ever seen, and I enjoyed it immensly. Very witty and very clever in its dark humor and satire of the British high classes, it surprises me that something so good and timeless has not been remade already, like it happened with The Lady Killers.
Finally watched black and white Brit film BRIEF ENCOUNTER (1945, David Lean). Not as dreadful as our lecturer depicted it, actually - I expected it to be worse. It’s a pity though that the relationship existing between the two main characters and between the woman and her husband aren’t explored in more depth. I would gladly see a remake of this film, if it addressed this issue.
Today I watched Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH (1946, Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger) as part of my required viewings for my British Cinema module in university. It is their second film that I watch after The Red Shoes.
It’s a nice film, but as with The Red Shoes I had the impression that the film was more of a fun and naive piece of entertainment rather than the deep and meaningful drama I expected. The resolution where “love wins everything, even death” is so clichéd. Besides, this is one of those narratives in which main characters are afraid of death despite it is clear to them that an afterlife exists: if it is so, what there is to be afriad of, and what sense of urgency there could ever be? In fact, if I was to be sure that there is eternal life after death, I would gladly slaughter the most people I can before offing myself! Wouldn’t that simply solve everything?