Posted in Books, Holidays, Movies, Political, Televison, Uncategorized

Look Back At Me

Look Back.

Look back at me.

Have you ever thought, said, or wanted to say this as someone walked, drove, or flew away?

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On this Labour Day when people march forward to celebrate how far workers have come and how much further they need to go, it’s good to look back on the brave people that fought for workers’ rights.

The BBC miniseries North & South is based on the book by Elizabeth Gaskell; screenplay by Sandy Welch and directed by Brian Percival, yes, same title, different show than the American Civil War miniseries, North & South. This North & South refers to the North and South of England, and focuses on industrialization and the inequality between classes.

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A couple hundred years later, not much has changed.
The lower classes work themselves into an early grave while the upper classes pay them less than they should to work themselves into an early grave.

Gaskell does an amazing job of showing both sides; some of the upper class want to be fair and some of the lower class want to be more.

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Elizabeth Gaskell, considered by some as less romantic than some writers  in the Regency-era, after all, she dared to tackle the subjects of: poverty, discrimination, unsafe working conditions, the multiple health hazards of working in factories, unions, child labour and welfare, daycare, nutrition, pollution, inequality between the classes and more, head-on.

Her work, now seen as classic wasn’t beloved by all, still isn’t, many factory owners and the rich didn’t like the truth being exposed or their methods questioned. That hasn’t changed much either.

1north16We feel Gaskell’s conviction in the strength of Margaret Hale (Daniela Denby-Ashe). She’s not a simpering miss who’s only thought in life is to marry, but a woman of principles, faith, and compassion. She has feelings for John Thornton, well, duh, it’s Richard Armitage, but she stands resolved to be true to herself and others.

Supporting cast is incredible, including Brendan Coyle (now well-known as the enigmatic Bates on Downton Abbey, also Larkrise To Candleford and so much more – I think he’s one of those British actors who probably have their own period piece costumes at the ready).

If you can’t get enough of British period pieces, check out Gaskell’s Cranford series, familiar faces for Downton Abbey fans, Carson (Jim Carter) and Michelle Dockery (Mary), and even an Asgard god (Tom Hiddleston)…one of fav TV games, spot the actor to see if they became a star.

Yes,  North & South is at times a grim visage of lives suffered, but with just enough seething, barely contained Victorian passion, fingers lingering as a cup of tea is passed and obligatory smouldering looks to keep it interesting. Have I really been crushing on RA in N&S for 10 years? Wow.1north7

Sometimes it’s the simplest of words, murmured with brooding passion, that capture and inspire, as Armitage admirers (sure, let’s call us that) around the globe believe.
Look Back.
Look back at me.
I won’t tell you if she does.
I can tell you what I would have done.

So as another Labour Day marches on and another summer draws to a close, we look forward. On the off chance you actually believed companies and corporations willing give their workers: fair wages, reasonable hours, days off, health or safety benefits, vacations, or well, anything good workers enjoy, think again. Those were paid for in blood, sweat and tears.

Be thankful and vigilant.

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Author:

Very me

37 thoughts on “Look Back At Me

    1. You guys always forget the U lol That’s ok, labour is labor is labour no matter how it’s spelled. Hope you’re having a great vacation, I won’t ask if your writing is going well, it clearly is by all your posts. 🙂

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      1. True…. It’s a classic masterpiece of industrial revolution so well woven with a heartwarming love story ….. I find the acting so intense yet revealing life’s simple truths in the scene towards the end when the actress revisits her old countryside home…. And yet the scene where he says look back…. Oh I can really just go on saying why I love this movie soo much……

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      2. This is one of those movies where it would be close to impossible to pick just one best moment, line or scene.
        It was done so well, I’m always a little disappointed when it’s over, again. 🙂

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  1. There have been several times in my life when i wanted to say…Look Back!
    I loved this post.
    I also wanted to thank you for stopping by my site today and liking my post about being a Luminary on InspireMeToday.com.
    I hope you will come back on Thursday and read my featured essay.
    Also, if you will share that post with your readers, that would be awesome.
    Hope to see you on my site again in the future.
    Have a great evening!

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  2. Great piece! My heart skips a beat just reading about it. The N & S effect is that intense, eh? I just loved how the series wrapped an intense, gratifying romance around some very real, social problems. Many period dramas tend to exclude those strands from each other, or make sub-plots out of them, but with this story you have to care very much about the cotton mill to understand the trajectory of their relationship. I love that scene too (and any scene with RA, if I’m being honest), but it’s Welch’s brilliant screenplay, more than Gaskell’s gentler novel, that makes it such a captivating watch from start to finish.

    Did you see the extended proposal scene on the DVD? It didn’t have any music, which made it all the more palpable.

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    1. Gaskell though a tad preachy, but more on par with many of her male counterparts concerning social issues.
      I agree, the screenplay was excellent and RA’s performance mesmerizing (as always).
      Any “look back at me” moment works for me. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s wonderful. If you weren’t already crushing on Richard Armitage, you will after this, but seeing Brendan Coyle might make you wistful for ‘Downtown Abbey’. 🙂 There’s so many amazing period pieces out there. Have you seen ‘Paradise’, it only got two seasons, but it was lovely.
      Hope this weekend treats you kindly. 🙂

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    1. That’s fascinating, Janice, I love history. I’m sure you’re an amazing teacher, you’re excellent at explaining things and making difficult things seem easy. People love the new and modern, but we can learn so much from the past. 🙂
      Thanks for having me, hope to drop by there later today. 🙂

      Like

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