Advanced search

Female thoughts on the 1968 film IF please

(7 Posts)
ThinkingItThrough16 Thu 19-Oct-17 19:45:06

Hello, the context for this question is this. My Stbx has now got his own place and I went round for the first time with my son. My Stbx went to a UK public school in the 1970s. He had a framed poster of the film IF on the wall above the dinning table and I found it unsettling to have it hanging above me whilst I had a meal. This is because I find the film disturbing in its cruelness (especially the school shooting scene at the end - real or not). I know it is stylish and a classic, so am I being over sensitive? Thanks.

DJBaggySmalls Thu 19-Oct-17 21:29:09

spoiler alert
I agree with you, If is stylish but cold. When I watch If it feels like an intellectual exercise. I see it as rebelling against the system, using the public school as an allegory, but it would have been possible to make the same point in a different way.
Public schools did used to have cruel systems; fagging and flogging and the caste system were accepted as facts of life that could not be challenged.
But after WW2 people did challenge the system. Sometimes out of need - for an example the squatting movement, and single mothers needing to work. And sometimes out of desire. Women had been permitted to work for the first time, to wear trousers while they did mens jobs. And they didnt want to go back to being property.
I had older relatives around when I was growing up and its impossible for me to describe how different they were, or the immense social change they had been through. They used to defer to authority, and the war knocked a lot of that out of them.

Some people dont seem to be able to imagine rebelling against or changing a system without overthrowing it with violence - look at the film Fight Club. At the end, the banking system is destroyed, the towers that hold the system are taken down, and everyone is brought to the same level. The fantasy is that from now on we have to make it on our own merits.
Fight Club is a favourite on Reddit. But if you go on Reddit and ask 'how come Fight Club is OK, but 9/11 is bad?'' and see the reaction you get. The same people who love Fight Club loathe those who brought down the towers.

I wonder what your STBX thinks he is rebelling against?

TheLuminaries Thu 19-Oct-17 22:23:17

On a shallow note, Malcolm McDowell was so sexy. I do think the film is visually compelling, the surrealism and other worldiness does highlight the essential madness & repressions of the sealed bubble of the English public school. I haven't seen the film in years, mind you, so I would need to watch again to give a more reasoned response. I can see how it would chime with your ex if he went through that experience.

thecatfromjapan Thu 19-Oct-17 22:27:30

My father had us all sit and watch this as children to understand why he wasn't sending us to boarding school. It struck a chord with him.

I was a little baffled, frankly.

I think DJBaggySmalls probably has it. There's a bizarre streak of weird valorisation of 'others' (women; people of colour) going through it, too.

Hey ho. Maybe you just have to be born of a certain time and a certain sex to love it. Maybe it's Monty Python with guns and fewer jokes?

Pastacube Thu 19-Oct-17 22:33:37

there was a rather good documentary about lindsay anderson on i player here

ThinkingItThrough16 Thu 19-Oct-17 23:35:57

Yes DJBaggysmalls I agree with you. Thecatfromjapan (Bowie reference?) I think your observation of the films valorisation of 'others' is so true. I have only watched it the once many years ago, and I was uncomfortable of the depiction (of the understandably few) female characters.
Seeing that poster so proudly displayed has made me dispel any notions I had that somehow he and I could be together again.
The whole situation gives me the creeps and makes me wonder if I ever new the man properly during the 26 years we were together. Why does he like that film so much?

thecatfromjapan Thu 19-Oct-17 23:45:48

It's probably valuable. It has retro chic. Perhaps there is an awful lot less to him having it than meets the eye?

(Disclaimer: I don't necessarily view being shallow as a bad thing.)

It must sum up something you found troubling about him before - I guess that's why he's your STBX. I really hope you a. enjoy being single and b. if you want to, and only if you want to, I hope you find fulfilling love in the days and years to come.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: