1945 - Dir.: David Lean
Shown at The FeckenOdeon on April 24th, 2004
To open the show we present what is surely the greatest tearjerker of them all. "Brief Encounter" is an outstanding piece of film making which stands the test of time. It may well be that this tale of doomed love born out of fear and loneliness was made just at the right time to exploit the feelings of the many thousands of people who's lives had been shaken by the forced separations of the war years.
To many, "Brief Encounter" may seem like a relic of more proper times when the pressures of marital decorum and fidelity were perhaps more keenly felt. In truth, David Lean's fourth film remains a timeless study of true love (or, rather, the promise of it), and the aching desire for intimacy that is often subdued by the obligations of marriage. Ordinary Londoners Alec (Trevor Howard), a married doctor, and contented housewife Laura (Celia Johnson) meet by chance one day in a railway station buffet, when he volunteers to remove a fleck of ash from her eye. The outcome of this affair - both agonising and rapturous - is subtle and yet powerful enough to draw tears from the numbest of souls.
NB: The FeckenOdeon's operators are used to patching up old copies of vintage films - but this one has taken more patching than most. We hope that all will be well and that you won't find the sound of the projectionist praying too much of a distraction. (In the event all was well on screen... though there was drama in the projection room when a vital bobbin dropped off. The operator spent most of the film kneeling beside the machinery as his little finger stood in for the missing part)