The Sense of An EndingDVD
From the critics
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Opening narrative in film:
Tony: I'm not very interested in my school days and feel no special nostalgia for them. But I remember sixth form (Bristish school grade level, before college.) ... In those days we imagined ourselves as being in a holding pen, waiting to be released into our lives. ... And when that moment would come, we would be at university. How were we to know that our lives had already begun, and our release would only be into a larger holding pen? And in time, a larger holding pen. When you are young, you want your emotions to be like the ones you read about in books. You want them to overturn your life and create a new reality. But as that second hand insists on speeding up and time delivers us all too quickly into middle age, and then old age, that's when you want something a little milder, don't you? You want your emotions to support your life as it has become. You want them to tell you that everything is going to be okay. And is there anything wrong with that?
Excerpt from opening of the novel:
" ... And yet it takes only the smallest pleasure or pain to teach us time’s malleability. Some emotions speed it up, others slow it down; occasionally, it seems to go missing – until the eventual point when it really does go missing, never to return. I’m not very interested in my schooldays, and don’t feel any nostalgia for them. But school is where it all began, so I need to return briefly to a few incidents that have grown into anecdotes, to some approximate memories which time has deformed into certainty. If I can’t be sure of the actual events any more, I can at least be true to the impressions those facts left. That’s the best I can manage. There were three of us, and he now made the fourth. We hadn’t expected to add to our tight number: cliques and pairings had happened long before, and we were already beginning to imagine our escape from school into life. His name was Adrian Finn... "
I don't find the historian's need to ascribe responsibility a particularly fruitful arena, sir.
-Care to elaborate?
Historians yearn for an answer to the question of who's to blame for this event or for that atrocity, but... I don't know, sir. Sometimes it seems to me
it is impossible to know.
Well, Patrick Lagrange, sir, said that, "history is the certainty produced at the point "when the imperfections of memory meet the inadequacies of documentation." It's the lies of Victors, sir. As long as you understand that it is also the delusions of the defeated.
Camus says that suicide is the only true philosophical question. Apart from ethics, politics, aesthetics, and all that other stuff. All that other stuff we're
learning about in school. The only true one. The essential one on which
all the others depend. When we left school and went our separate ways,
out of everyone, Adrian was the only one I desperately wanted to stay in touch with.
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