Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Set in 1913 England, on the brink of what would be the war to end all wars, the British film classic The Shooting Party focuses on an assortment of upper-crust acquaintances who gather for a weekend of hunting and society... more »
The World before the Great War
Michael W. Perry | Author of Untangling Tolkien, Seattle, WA | 09/29/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"An melancholy look at the world of England's landed gentry a year before the war they once called the Great War, a world that will never exist again. Don't let the remarks about "digital restoration" give you the impression this is a film made in the 1930s. It was released in 1985, and thus before DVDs, hence the need to make it digital. If you watch serious BBC shows, you'll recognize a number of the actors. And unlike some, I found nothing disappointing with the film's colors.
Chesterton on War and Peace: Battling the Ideas and Movements that Led to Nazism and World War II"
The end of the Empire
e. verrillo | williamsburg, ma | 08/04/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"After reading Isabel Colegate's novel, The Shooting Party, I was interested in seeing whether the movie would correct one of the major flaws in the book, and indeed it did. Colegate is a wonderful writer, but she is more dedicated to creating beautiful prose than providing satisfying resolutions to her plots. Much like the book, the movie was slow paced. But unlike the novel, the film resolved the central theme of the book in an entirely unequivocal manner.
The Shooting Party, set on the eve of WWI, is a portrait of the last of the Edwardians, that generation of English aristocracy who at least gave lip service to their role as the guardians of "sporting conduct." While not quite a defense of the upper class, neither is it an indictment (in spite of the fact that the sole concern of the aristocracy on the eve of the "war to end all wars" seemed to revolve around how best to amuse themselves). The Shooting Party is simply an eloquent and unjudgmental description of loss. Both the book and the movie share a sense of foreboding (beautifully expressed in James Mason's soliloquy, in which he virtually welcomes the descending "hordes of barbarians"), as well as a feeling that something significant is about to happen. What happens is the end of an era--the end of "gentlemanly" behavior, the end of privilege, the end of safety, and most of all, the end of an illusion. Through the combination of Colegate's exquisite writing and Tammes' profoundly evocative cinematography, the world of the lost Edwardians, and of their fading Empire, is forever captured in this subtle and poignant film.