Thursday, February 14, 2008

Encout*, etc. (for Encounter)

One of my all-time favorite films is 1945's Brief Encounter, based on a play by Noel Coward and directed by David Lean. Described by one critic as containing love scenes that are "among the most touching and sensitive ever filmed," I first encountered it in medias res in the pre-cable days when TV would more or less show one movie at a time and, without even knowing what it was, immediately fell in love with its cinematic charm and theme of desire undesired. Along with one case each of Ecnounter* and Enconter*, I counted 12 instances of Encout* in OhioLINK—although one turned out to be a French typo for envoĆ»tant, which means "enchanting." In brief, this film is certainly that. And shall always call to mind the image of Celia Johnson and Trevor Howard, who manages to complicate matters while removing that mote of dirt from her eye, like the second n from the word encounter.

Carol Reid

No comments: