Saturday, December 03, 2005

More Unselfish Love

I've been accused of being a prude, mid-Victorian old lady, and well you know it. Victorians, however were not so narrow-minded and repressed that they did not look for better ways to do things. During this era, discoveries included: telephones, typewriters, computers, sewing machines, lawn mowers, electric lights, radio, phonograph (record players), indoor plumbing, washing machines, and the automobile, photography and moving pictures (movies) to name a few, and I mean a few.

Like any good Victorian, I am very keen on modern invention and technology. What I don't like is how it is sometimes used to demean marriage, home, and family. The film industry has had a reputation for assaulting the viewer with unexpected vileness and lewdness, and so I'm always happy to report about a film that gives hope to the human heart. This is a film you ought to run to your nearest Hallmark Store and buy for yourself, and one for a friend or relative.

This was filmed in Calgary, Alberta, which is considered a sister-city to Denver, Colorado. Although the story takes place in Colorado, my husband and I, having lived there a number of years, could only see Calgary. The scenery is beautiful, one of the marks of some of the recent Hallmark Films.

I loved the era of the 1940's that was depicted: the cars, the house and the interior. Life was simple then, and relationships were more important than things or achievements. I enjoyed watching the somewhat independent Livvy learn to admire her strong, good husband. She is proud of her graduate school studies and disappointed she didn't follow a career, but she learns to apply her knowledge in the life that is at her feet. She wanted to travel the world and explore the lost cities of Ephesis and Troy, but finds that the world has been brought to her through her friendship with two Japanese women, a German prisoner, and the historical artifacts of her own land. She's impressed with her own education but eventually becomes more impressed with the fellowship of the family into which she has married. With all the television sit-coms that portray husbands as doltish fools, or programs that capitalize on tension between men and women, this is a film that teaches the opposite.

At first she isn't too keen on caring for homey things. "You'll have the house to look after," he says, as though he had given her a great gift. (And he has--wait til you see the house!) He reminds her that the farm is not his farm, but "their" farm. Cooking isn't her forte and her face falls suddenly when he says he'll get his library card so she can check out some cook books. I'm sure many women can identify with this sudden change of life.

Although this world is now rich in communication technology, our families often suffer from lack of human warmth shown in hospitality from house to house. They sometimes don't have multi-generational relationships to help them learn what is truly important in life. Movies like this help so much in bringing this feeling of what things should and could be like. I think this is a good story for young people because it shows real love, and how it evolves, as well as getting through difficult times in marriage, learning forgiveness, and building relationships at home.

If you want to view this on television in the U.S. it airs on CBS January the 30th. However I don't think you can get the most out of a movie unless you watch it several times. A tremendous amount of work is put into making a film, and some details can be noticed by watching it a second or third time, so you'll want your own copy. If movies like this had graced our theatres and televisions more often in the last 40 years, we wouldn't have the broken homes that we have today. They give a standard for young people; a feeling of being on a mission.

Go here to find out more, and be sure to click on the slide show on the right, for pictures, as well as the trailer video online.


Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your nomination! Both you ladies are doing a terrific job indeed.

I have had the good fortune of watching a couple of Hallmark movies whenever time permitted. It seems to be the only family-centric channel on air. If someone knows otherwise, do tell.

There is a profit-oriented reason behind the death of family channels as we see today. Most channels target their most saleable shows at 'prime time', typically between 2000 hours and 2300 hours. Couple this with a rising individualistic society and it's not hard to see why family channel-type programming has lost to the specialist channels. Those that tend to stay more general still lace their programs with sleaze and sensate material, instead of shows that speak of matters concerning family values and self growth. As my straight-talking father told me, "Sex sells".

This is a symptom of social decay, though, and not it's cause, and thus there's very little myself and a like-minded minority can do except hold one's ground in the face of a fragmenting world.

However, to speak in defense of the current production technique, one should realise that the movies, like books, tend to be a mirror of the society of the period it was produced in (barring period movies like Troy, which are still modified to reflect the age today). This is why English literature is studied by the period in universities worldwide. Disappointingly, the family and its issues are not considered worthy foci in our times.

For all thy days prepare,
And meet them all alike.
When thou art the anvil, bear,
When thou art the hammer, strike.

Anonymous said...

The Victorian era is seen as conformist - which it was, to tell the truth. People seem to deride conformism these days.

I think conformism has it's uses. Development comprises a balance between conformism and rebellion. Conformism essentially, brings about a uniformity that gives people something to relate to. Rebellion, on the other hand, challenges the status quo - in effect, challenging that very something that people can relate to.

A completely conformist society results in a statist-type system where any challenge is put down in a tyrannical fashion. A completely anarchist system result (and this is a pro-anarchy-ish person writing) results in a corporate-type tyranny as well, where the rich use their influence to ensure that the poor stay that way.

I see conformism as providing a filter to rebellion - where change is brought about only when it is absolutely necessary, and when the idea's time has arrived. In this regard, it is a balance much like the masculine-feminine or the yin-yang complex.

Today, rebellion is the preference to the point where every person tries to be unnecessarily different from everyone else. This, ironically, is resulting in a new statism where all people deliberately want to be different from everyone else. This can be seen in the baroque fashion statements made in city colleges and schools.

Pointless sensationalism can only get you so far. Finally, it is the wisdom of the ages that perseveres.

Lydia said...

My observation is that people will become what they are influenced to become. A child will become adopt the values of those with whom he is associated the most. Movies are more fascinating to people than ever before. They can be used for the good of our fellow man or for ill. This is one movie that depicts people making the best of an unfortunate situation. The reason I like it so much is because I truly do remember things like this happening. Men wanted to protect women and care for them, and women appreciated the men for it.

Ann said...

Looks like a really interesting movie!

Ann said...

Looks like a really interesting movie!

Ann said...

Looks like a really interesting movie!

Laura Ashley said...

If you liked the movie, you should try reading the book! I saw the movie when it first came on TV and recently bought the book. Both are great! There are only a few minor differences; there is more detail in the book. If you like this movie you may also like “Where the Heart Is” by Billie Letts, I recommend the book on this one more than the film.

Lydia said...

I got the book also, and yes, there are a few minor differences. First of all, Ray and Livvy meet at the train station, not in the parlor of the preacher, and also the scene on the train was slightly different, among other differences.

Anonymous said...

This movie may not be showing on January 30th 2006. It may be from 2005. That would explain why it is already out on DVD. The 30th isn't on a Sunday this year. That explains why I haven't seen any ads. I'll just have to order the movie to watch it.
To God be all glory,

Anonymous said...

Dear Lady Lydia,

I apologize for posting this so late, but didn't know how else to reach you. I put this movie on my calendar and now it isn't showing up in the TV guide. The link said Sunday, Jan. 30. I just noticed the 30th is on Mon. It isn't listed on Sun. or Mon. Do you know if it has been rescheduled, or was this from last year?

Lydia said...

You may be right: since it is already sold in the stores, it may have been shown last year. The best thing to do is buy it for yourself, anyway!