Trains and movies and writing

Brief Encounter
Oh, the agony of saying goodbye …

I wish I could write about adventurous stuff I have done today but I haven’t done any! I spent the whole day finishing off my applications. I am going to apply for 2 different schools (betting on 2 horses seems clever). It’s amazing how much paperwork it actually is, apart from all the other stuff you have to deliver (film review, film script, story outline for the film you want to write etc.) I have reread everything several times now, have done a triple spell check and I am going to post it tomorrow. I will personally deliver the one that needs to be in latest on Tuesday, as I don’t want to have my future depending on Royal Mail not delivering on time.
Those days off are taking more energy than a normal day at the office!

So all I can come up with for today is two films with trains in it.

I think it is the first time that I voluntarily watched an old B&W movie. I am talking about Brief Encounter it is from 1945, and I saw it today.

Why did I want to see it? Because several people recommended it to me as a romantic film with trains! That’s enough for me to watch it.

And it was indeed a very watchable film. I watched the digitally restored version, and even though it is rather dated, the story is very actual: 2 married strangers meet at a train station and fall in love. Easy. The problem comes from them being married, and as the film is showing the ending in the beginning, you already know that it is not going to be a happy ending for them. But that didn’t make it any less intriguing to watch how their love is inevitable and how overwhelming and undeniable it is for the both of them. There are some fantastic shots of both of them on different locations on the station, and what can be more dramatic than waving off your beloved one on a train, knowing you will never see him again. This is definitely a train movie worth watching!

More info:
Brief Encounter @ IMDB

And BFI has a very nice section about Brief Encounter @ BFI, where you can even find video clips of the film.

The other trains-in-movies movie I saw was The Station Agent (which she recommended to me): When his only friend dies, a man born with dwarfism moves to rural New Jersey to live a life of solitude, only to meet a chatty hot dog vendor and a woman dealing with her own personal loss.

Those 3 characters are beautifully odd and original, the actors are giving first class performances and the story makes you feel all warm inside. Recommended!

Any other trains in movies I should see? (I am not a train freak fanatic really but there is something about trains. I have seen Before Sunset and After Sunset).

6 thoughts to “Trains and movies and writing”

  1. I love Brief Encounter, even if I do still have to stifle a snigger at Celia Johnson’s “tair-ibly, tair-ibly British” accent. A real wet Saturday afternoon flick.
    Glad you enjoyed The Station Agent, I thought it was a real little gem (no pun intended!)

  2. Paperwork can be unbelievably endless (not to mention boring!), but hang in there, it’s for a good cause :)

  3. It sounds like a kind of Bogart/Bergman movie to me. These are the movies I can really appreciate.

  4. @Grigorisgirl – I know what you mean, it stroke me how the entire cast was talking unbelievable British.

    @Jill – I am done, it’s handed in and I can’t do anything about it anymore :-)

    @Pedro: well this one is really worth seeing if you ask me.

  5. Perhaps you have seen it, but Julia has a great sequence on a train. The film is based on a story by Lillian Hellman from her book Pentimento. It concerns the relationship between Lillian Hellman and her friend Julia. At one point in the film she is taking money to give to Julia in Vienna for the anti-fascist struggle, which she has hidden in a hat. The tension as the train crosses the border and she fears discovery is quite draining to watch. In the book Lillian Hellman describes the feeling as being “afraid to be afraid”.

  6. It doesn’t sound as if you have had much of a holiday yet – I was glad to hear that you have your applications ready to go. Yes, having two possibilities is always better than one!

    I would like to see Brief Encounter. It sounds like a good movie…

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