David Leans Brief Encounterwas filmed in 1945, but it still resonates with audiences today. The chronicle of a love affair between a middle-class housewife and a doctor, the intense, steamy film established Lean on the international film scene. It was based on Still Life, a one-act play by frequent Lean collaborator Noël Coward, and starred Celia Johnson as a stifled wife desperate to escape her cold, loveless marriage, and Trevor Howard as the exciting, dashing and very married doctor who sweeps her off her feet. Set mostly in a railroad station, Brief Encounterhas a noir look to it.
Lean went on to make epic films like Lawrence of Arabia and The Bridge on the River Kwai, but it was this smaller womans film that earned him his first nomination for an Academy Award (the first ever for a British director). The film, part of Passionate Encounters: The Cinema of David Lean, screens at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1001 Bissonnet. For information, call 713-639-7515 or visit www.mfah.org. $6 to $7.