QUARTET (2012)

It was a pleasure to meet again with EON members (Ealing Over 60 Network) to watch a film together. I chose Quartet (2012) for this session. There were 21 people. As usual male presence was of 3 only. 

Personally I found Quartet one of the best film about ageing.

We had some technical problems and this gave me the opportunity to express my feelings about reviewers who tend to only write about the narrative of a film neglegting all other cinematographic components that make a film.  

The response of this audience was interesting. At the extrême the réaction was : the only good thing about this film was the music. At the other extreme one woman declared that she was deeply moved, nearly in tears. The film gave a group of  old people the opportunity to talk about ageing.  

Notes of the discussion taken by a member of the group:

Attendance: 17 women, 3 men\ Many had already seen the film before but said that they enjoyed it much more this time: 

  • I was more moved by it this time, 
  • I was touched by the affection between the two men (Billy C and Tom C) 
  • I saw this time that the basic plot is just a hook on which to hang a study on ageing, and I was looking more at the characters’ behaviours. 
  • Enjoyed it much more and identified with the different characters
  • I was annoyed by Billy Conolly’s scatological remarks the first-time round, to which another person said: that it was in character of the person as he had suffered a frontal lobe stroke which is known to take away inhibitions

Other comments: 

  • It was a thoughtful mix of people and a very emotional film
  • There are different aspects of dementia described here, my husband has dementia and I have checked all the aspects of it and where it affects the brain.
  • The only good thing about the film was the music, the characters are stereotypes
  • The place where it was filmed is beautiful
  • The film was modelled on two retiring homes for stage people
  • To be old in such a privileged situation and being looked after by black people
  • This home operates well because all the inmates have something in common, they are musicians.
  • Although it is a very good retiring home, one person felt that it still had a feel of an institution
  • It was noted that the quartet was formed by the only ones in the cast that are not professional musicians
  • Someone pointed out that they did not go out of the home, no trips out, no shopping… another replied that it was irrelevant, it is not part of the plot here, the film is not about that.
  • People were impressed by how Jean resolved the situation when Sissy tried to run away before the quartet sung, and that she probably drew on a past experience she had with Sissy and this is why it worked
  • Jean managed to calm the situation right down by saying: don’t worry, the boat doesn’t leave for another two weeks!
  • Although it is a very good retiring home, one person felt that it still had a feel of an institution
  • It was noted that the quartet was formed by the only ones in the cast that are not professional musicians
  • Someone pointed out that they did not go out of the home, no trips out, no shopping… another replied that it was irrelevant, it is not part of the plot here, the film is not about that.
  • People were impressed by how Jean resolved the situation when Sissy tried to run away before the quartet sung, and that she probably drew on a past experience she had with Sissy and this is why it worked
  • Jean managed to calm the situation right down by saying: don’t worry, the boat doesn’t leave for another two weeks!
  • The clarinettist in the film lives in Ealing: Colin Bradbury

About rinaross

Born in 1935. MA in Film and Television Studies at the University of Westminster 1998. Studying the representation of older women in film since then.
This entry was posted in Ageing, alzheimer, audience responses, care homes, critics, FILM RECEPTION, love and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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