Although he´s far more famous for such amzing films such as 2001 and Full Metal Jacket, has anyone here seen the magnificent epic that is Barry Lyndon? Based on WM Takcery´s 19th century novel “The Luck of Barry Lyndon”, it follows the varying fortunes of a likeable Irish charlatan as he travels through 18th century Europe, (at one stage press ganged into the Prussian army of Frederick the Great), and finlly strike gold by marrying a beautiful english widow, who also happens to be an duchess.
Filmed in 1975, this is probably the most stylistically beautiful film ever made. As its Kubrick its long and a bit slow, but while that not be to teh tatste of teh modenr “instantly bored” generations, it accurately captures the rhtym of a world before electricity(no artificial light was used in the filming) and the railway where the fastest mode of transport was a horse. Time had a different meaning then and we should do well to remember that.
Of course at the time it was panned for Ryan O´Neals acting ability, but really he does a decent job here and being a Kubrick film, he is put a mere pwan, which is as it should be. A major actor might detract from the real message of the film.
However I was looking at a clip on youtube the other day and something very catholic/christian struck me about this film. It was the scene where the parents )Barry and teh Duchess= are sitting alone with their only child who is dying from injuries sustained in a terrible accident.
If you are not moved by this scene then really you need to check your pulse, because I dont know but it causes me to cry every time I see it.
The christian point is the way the child, their only son, who despite his parents denial of teh facts, knows he is dying, asks them to hold his hands, the last part of his body he can feel and make a promise that they will love each other so that they will all meet each other in heaven again.
The promise and the really heartbreaking part is that you know that there is no real love between the parents anymore, and in due course after the death of their only link they split up.(sorry for the spoilers but this films power is not based on uncovering a plot).
I found this an amazingly enlightining moment - one of the most enlightening in history as I saw in the child an anology to Christ asking us at the last supper to love each other, and we of course usually fail him.
Barry Lyndon is a masterpiece, in its way as good as 2001 and far more human.