There’s a meme going round – e.g. Scarlet, Kevin – which asks one "to share three classic movie moments that have, in some shape or form, made me buy things/do things/think things that perhaps I shouldn't have." This is going to sound horribly pretentious, but my parents didn’t like ITV, so I think I never caught the buying-things-I’ve-seen-on-the-screen bug – we had Scrabble instead of KerPlunk.... I know, deprived – so I’ve chosen scenes that influenced or encouraged my thinking, whether for good or for bad I shall not judge.
Here’s the final scene from The Third Man, a film I’ve gone on about before. I think it was the last moments of this, the love-fascination, the fatalism - the monotony, even – the music of course, and Mittel Europa shot in black-and-white that started a particular romantic journey for me. And it may have started me smoking Balkan Sobranie (I’ve stopped now).
Here’s Karl Marx and Irene Handl (might communism have been an altogether more personable experience if only they’d stayed together??), and Morgan demonstrating that being a nutter and beating one’s chest like a gorilla are perfectly acceptible actions in the face of a complicated world. It was all the justification I needed at the time.
I did end up complicating my life a little, but I’ve tried to keep a sense of humour. Here’s Heaven from Powell and Pressburger’s 1946 film A Matter Of Life and Death. Amusingly, it’s black-and-white - compared to Earth which is full, garish Technicolor - and the set design apparantly is based on a Midlands bus station, but it’s a human, egalitarian, all-inclusive, Clement Atlee-ish sort of heaven, and, though I know we’re not supposed to take it seriously, I rather like it.