Thursday, 7 January 2010

Two comments on Brideshead (the film, that is)

I happened to read the statement about the 2008 film of Brideshead Revisited on the SIGNIS website two or three days ago.It does, quite transparently, try to score a particular point with regard to the Catholicism represented in the film (and, by implication, in Evelyn Waugh's book?). To quote from the review that follows the statement:
The rituals and devotions of the times evoke memories for older Catholics but may not mean much to younger Catholics at all: rosary beads, holy water and genuflections, the family chapel with night prayer and the singing of the Salve Regina, the family chaplain, the last rites. These are some of the practices.
The family chaplain might not be something of which most of us have experience ... but I think all the other practices are still here!

Madame Evangelista reviews it here (do read the comments, as well as the main post).

I have never been able to get terribly excited by the book and never saw the television series. Recusant family background - check; mother a cotton factory worker, then in the Army - doesn't check; father down the pit as a Bevin boy, then in the Army -doesn't check. I suppose I'm a bit too working class .....


madame evangelista said...

Thanks for the link, and for pointing us to the review on Signis. I think it must be very hard to get a consensus opinion on Brideshead Revisited! Probably a mark of how interesting it is.

Fr John Abberton said...

Thanks for this. I have visited that blog and left a comment. I have just finished reading the book and am now watching (in bits) the old TV production. I became a little bored half way through the book, but as I got towards the end, the light began to dawn. It is a great book and it is about God's great patience, compassion and mercy. Of course, as Waugh wrote in his introduction to the later edition it is also about the passing of a generation and a certain aspect of English culture. He was too nostalgic and negative about some of that, but his basic theme of the permanence of God (The Real Presence at the end of the book)in the sense of His never-failing love is quite wonderful.