Monday, April 2, 2007
The Opening Scene
"We are the origins of war," says Eleanor of Aquitane in The Lion in Winter. The first scene of Some Do Not... says essentially the same thing, although in a far more subtle fashion. Christopher and Macmaster's introductory conversation sets the stage for everything that is to come later in the film. They touch upon every subject that is later expanded upon: sex, class, adultery, poetry and literature, business, trust, divorce and war. Macmaster spends extra attention asking Christopher questions about Sylvia - who turns out to be a very important and interesting character. Here, in the comfort of the plush Edawrdian setting these ideas are safe and talked about with ease. The men jump from topic to topic seamlessly; everything of which they speak is obviously an integral part of their everyday lives. Christopher claims he "does not read poetry except Byron" (Ford 16) and later he tells Macmaster there is sure to be a war. These two topics may seem quite polar, and yet they are not so different. Both are important in every his life - the scholarly and the political.
This illustrates that though we may think the First World War would be the most important issue the characters face opposed to adultery, every aspect of life is given fairly equal weight - there are not even any explicit war scenes in Some Do Not...! War is then the amalgamation all of the many different parts of life, but also only one of these various parts. It is trust and mistrust, fidelity and infidelity, sex and divorce, and poetry and business that are the forces which drive our human life on and therefore what drive us to these catastrophic situations like the First World War. However, huge events like war are only facets of human life. So, from the beginning of Some Do Not... we see all the salient aspects of the subsequent film prefigured by Christopher and Macmaster's chat. We also see a Whig and Tory who, along with the rest of us, are the origins of war.
- Molly Sotham
The Lion in Winter. Dir. Anthony Harvey, 1968. DVD. MGM, 2001.
Ford, Ford Madox. Parade’s End. London: Penguin Books, 2002.