Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Bright Star

Bright Star.  D: Jane Campion. Abbie Cornish, Ben Whinshaw, Paul Schneider. (2009). Impossibly lush, voluptuous film about the doomed romance of the poet John Keats and his muse, Fanny Brawne. Director Campion beautifully contrasts the ordered stateliness of English country life and its underlying conflicts with the glories of the countryside. It's as if the former stands as a metaphor for the writing process while the latter signifies the result. The movie is all about the power of art to unify and elevate above petty squabbles and social constraints.

Thus, we listen as the exchanges between John and Fanny develop from the arch flirtations of the typical of the times until they consummate in recitation of his poetry to each other.  Imagery of sexuality and mortality abound -- sometimes together, as with a transcendent sequence involving butterflies. The two leads are up to the demands of their famous parts, from their tentative probings of each others' interests to their inevitable parting, and the direction and cinematography are stunning. Why this film wasn't on the Best Picture 2009 list is beyond me. Highly recommended.

Corner of Laurel and Webster...

How an engineer eats oysters (thanks, Editilla)...

Let me tell you, that Pope Alexander knew how to throw a party!...

Darlene reviews the historical roots of the Second Amendment, including commentaries from Constitutional scholars. Among other things, the arguments show that there is no absolute interpretation of the Second Amendment: Like everything else in the Constitution, it's open to debate...

Why is Hank Williams' stature continuing to grow?...

3 comments:

Darlene said...

Thank you for mentioning my post. I find the Second Amendment to be the most frustrating of all.

The movie looks like one I would love. I am off to NetFlix to add it to my queue. Thanks for the tip.

The evil elf is busy messing with my computer again. I have tried four times to add your blog to my 'blogs I'm following' list. BlogSpot keeps saying it has been posted, but when I open my blog it isn't there. Arrrrgh 1!!!

willow said...

I gobbled up this film. I totally agree with what T had to say about it...a Campion/Keats hangover is right!

K. said...

So glad you liked it! We thought it was pitch perfect. In actuality, Fanny's relationship with Mr. Brown was evidently not as adversarial as shown in the film. But, what is art without conflict?