I am currently in the midst of doing my research methods project on how Shane Meadows use non-diegetic music in This is England. I was hoping for a massive favour and just wanted to ask how the Combo/ Milky fight scene made you feel after watching it? If you could leave a quick reply on this forum, that would be really appreciated. I will make you anonymous in the project so none of your names will be posted for ethical reasons. Thanks everyone, hope to hear from some of you soon.
This was my segment for the fans commentary, which is on the TiE thread. The music's perfect for this scene. As unpleasant as Combo is, he is ultimately a tragic character. The music provides the pathos/sets the scene for the total disintegration of his ego before all that deep seated, repressed fury is unleashed. Really difficult scene which could be very easily misunderstood/misintepreted. The choice of music is really important in underscoring the meaning of the scene for the audience, I think.
I played the film to a group of A level politics students. We were looking at ideology and I wanted the students to think about the contradictions embedded in youth sub cultures and how young people can be exploited by right wing propaganda as it is easy to access and understand as a way of interpreting cultural differences.
Having grown up in a mining community in the 80's I've seen this process first hand with the old national front.
Anyway back to the fight scene - It's hard to see past the brutality of the attack at first - you could hear a pin drop as the scene played out. When we talked about it after most of the students understood the complexity of Combo's character, the raw hatred that was simmering just beneath the surface exploding out in such a horrific manner was one of the most memorable scenes from British film history because it makes you think about parts of the human condition that we avoid through most of today's tepid, sanitized media.
Post by thegooddoctor on Jun 14, 2012 12:00:14 GMT
I was thinking about this scene the other day - do we understand Combo's anger differently in the wake of the "TiE" TV series? The whole rant about 'bad dads' could be as much about what Combo knows about Lol's father as about his own old man (who we ultimately know very little about, of course).
I think it's fair and legitimate to re-interpret the scene, although I personally think it's the other way around-Combo's story/character and the relationship with Lol was re-made for TV. Rather than go all 'he didn't get out of the cock-a-doodie car' psycho about it, I just split off the two things-film and tv They are the same characters though, so there should be coherence in the narrative in the transition I suppose. I think Lol/Vicky and Combo/Stephen did a pretty good job in the '88 prison scene when all the tough re-invention work was being done.
Post by thegooddoctor on Jun 17, 2012 11:24:15 GMT
You might also argue that, retrospectively, the TV series casts the 'return of Combo' scene from the film in a new light, ie - Lol's obvious unhappiness that he's back is as much about him being an unwanted reminder of her past (as he's the only person she confided in about her abuse) that she'd rather keep locked away.
I agree about seeing the film and TV series as being separate - and the revisionism of the telly show is sometimes jarring - but my feeling is that over time people will see the entire thing as a continuum - especially viewers who came to the movie AFTER they got into the TV series. What's the betting there will eventually be a box set of the film coupled with TiE '86, '88 and '90?
The 'open text' idea does work, I think. When Combo enters in TiE and the audience sees Lol's reaction, I'd always read this as 'he's bad news' an interpretation that is bolstered by the later encounter in the car etc. Combo's love is unrequited/not reciprocated and Lol is just hostile. But Lol's reaction could be read differently-a sort of unwelcome 'intimacy' based on Combo's knowing about her past that it not wanted by Lol-hence her later, harsh 'worst night of my life' rejection. I am oddly defensive about the integrity of Lol's character though. I think it was brilliant for Shane to have a warts and all female character as the lead and give her such unapologetic substance and depth and not 'give in' to cliches about women, so the whole Combo-Lol 'rescue me' thing in TIE 86 bothered me a lot (I've got over it ). But, yes, ultimately it is interesting that characters, stories, relationships etc can be imagined and re-imagined by different audiences and that the entire series could-legitimately-be re-read and recast by new audiences.