The Go-Between (Losey, 1970)

The Go-Between (Joseph Losey, 1970)

Draped in lush cinematography and hazy, child-like recollection, The Go-Between is a different take on both period pieces and a coming-of-age stories. Losey’s film captures the innocent, ignorant state of a pre-teen developing his first crush on an older girl, and fits it into an early 20th century setting with near perfection. Today, the conflicts this film presents would not fly. A child near 13 knows all about the things this film’s protagonist has not yet been introduced to, and the social statuses that are so important to the film aren’t near as important today. Yet the boy’s experiences and the way he grows somehow manage to escape any feeling of being dated, likely because the film does a great job of sucking the viewer into the time period. This doesn’t feel like actors playing dress-up. It feels like it was shot in 1900. And while I’m praising nearly every aspect of this film, I unfortunately still didn’t entirely feel this one. I can’t complain at all about the film’s execution, but there wasn’t a high level of emotional grip or sense of commonality I usually feel with coming-of-age stories.  8/10

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6 Responses to “The Go-Between (Losey, 1970)”

  1. YES! I love this film… although, I gave it a somewhat lower rating in my review. But yes, I found it emotionally lacking as well. What did you feel about the weird flashforward technique? I liked the script by Harold Pinter… Have you seen the Losey and Pinter collaboration, ‘The Servant’? I might have asked you this before… It’s even better than this one…

    • chrisfilm Says:

      I think I need to re-watch it because I didn’t really get that it was flash-forwarding until closer to the end. 🙂

      And, yes, I’ve seen The Servant, and liked it better too. Great movie.

  2. Have you seen The Accident? The second of the three Losey Pinter collaborations?

  3. But yeah, I pointed out in my review as well that it took me a LONG time to figure out those were flashforwards…

  4. Just realized that I’d asked you that before….

    Have you heard of Hilary Harris’s short films? I just reviewed one of them, 9 Variations on a Dance Theme — he’s quite interesting….

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