Page 6 of 21

Re: Bright Star reviews, ratings etc. *SPOILERS*

PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 1:08 pm
by Saturn
So I've had a peek...

Unfortunately trailer dude is present and correct with the usual banal, all-purpose synopsizing [is that a word?] but hey all trailers have that, I was expecting that.

As for the guy playing Brown, Paul Schneider's Scottish accent...oh dear me :roll: and far too much hair for one thing.

Otherwise from the little we see Wishaw acquits himself well in conveying the passion of Keats, if not the look of the man.

Re: Bright Star reviews, ratings etc. *SPOILERS*

PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 2:22 pm
by Malia
:lol: Yes, Brown has indeed *way* too much hair--on the top of his head, at least :wink: And the accent is thicker than I'd ever imagined Brown would have. I always imagined Brown as having had Scottish ancestry, but if he ever had a Scottish accent, it would have been extremely mild or long gone from having lived in England and abroad much of his life. Ben Whishaw really studied Keats for his role and he is a great actor--especially when it comes to physical acting--glances, body movements, etc. So, I expect he will have great intensity for the role and at least have an "aura" of Keats about him. It is funny to hear a movie narrator talk about *Keats* of all people, it was kind of strange and surreal. . .for years I'd hoped, but never thought, a movie that even *mentions* Keats, let alone features him to a large degree, would ever be made. And now, here it is. Wow.

Re: Bright Star reviews, ratings etc. *SPOILERS*

PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 3:15 pm
by Saturn
Yes, Brown was actually born in London and spent most of his life there, so any trace of Scottish accent he may have had would have been subsumed, if the guy playing him had had a convincing Scottish accent that would have been fine, but that's a pretty bad attempt at a Scottish accent.

Of course I should shut up and stop grumbling at all the little faults with detail and just be happy like you Malia that we actually have had a film about Keats made, but I'm a pedant for detail :mrgreen:

Re: Bright Star reviews, ratings etc. *SPOILERS*

PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 4:13 am
by dks
Malia wrote::lol: Yes, Brown has indeed *way* too much hair--on the top of his head, at least :wink: And the accent is thicker than I'd ever imagined Brown would have. I always imagined Brown as having had Scottish ancestry, but if he ever had a Scottish accent, it would have been extremely mild or long gone from having lived in England and abroad much of his life. Ben Whishaw really studied Keats for his role and he is a great actor--especially when it comes to physical acting--glances, body movements, etc. So, I expect he will have great intensity for the role and at least have an "aura" of Keats about him. It is funny to hear a movie narrator talk about *Keats* of all people, it was kind of strange and surreal. . .for years I'd hoped, but never thought, a movie that even *mentions* Keats, let alone features him to a large degree, would ever be made. And now, here it is. Wow.


I, too, just watched it--Edward made me close my eyes while he 'unveiled' it to me over the web...I agree with your sentiments, Malia, about it being surreal and strange. It was even more difficult to fathom a film with the nucleic focus being Keats in any fashion at all while watching an official trailer for the movie finally. Whishaw will not disappoint, of this I am sure (Keats fans, I mean), but the sense of uneasiness I feel is, I'm afraid, concerning accuracy. Call me a stickler, but I think it is because I've read so much biography and whatnot--and I think the same is true for all of us here. I mean, it would probably be blissful to be ignorant of so much fact while seeing it. The story has been fictionalized on a cinematic level--whether or not that was necessary is not for me to judge, I suppose. I will, however, say with hard fisted conviction that I didn't like that omnipresent, Hollywood trailer overvoice dramatically, yet distinctly calling him a "dreamer..." I didn't like that at all...it undermined--in a strange, posthumous way--his monolithic passion...plus, it was over the top and icky. :?

Re: Bright Star reviews, ratings etc. *SPOILERS*

PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 8:24 am
by Saturn
I think Jane Campion in her defence would say that we're all just a bunch of Keats nerds who know far too much for our own good :mrgreen:

It's like anything else; each of us have a pet hobby or interest, or something we care a lot about and if these things are brought to a wider public consciousness by being turned into a film our own vision of them changes by the imposition of another's viosion of the same material.

Bright Star is Jane Campion's own vision, her own interpretation of how she sees Keats and that period of his life; it does not and should detract from the facts as we know them, or our own internal sense of what Keats was really like.

Anybody who's ever had their favourite novel, play or TV series turned into a film will have mixed feelings about the results.
A lot of you guys love Harry Potter; I'm indifferent to it but I know a lot of people have been very disappointed by the film adaptations of those novels.
I love history, and ancient history and I balk when Hollywood makes historical epics with very little history in them at all.
When we care about, and have explored a subject in depth to such a degree that all the tiny minutiae become part of our entire conception of that subject we are unwilling, nay reluctant to see these things discarded in the name of populism [not that bright Star will become sort of runaway blockbuster].

We each of us have our internal vision of what is most important in Keats life story, of what is the essential pith and marrow of the man and when someone from outside the world of Keatsiana appears and claims one part of his life to weave a story around for a wider audience our own hackles are raised; like a cat we show our claws and are ever at the ready to defend our own little patch of ground.

It's a matter of us trying to disregard our own visions of Keats and his story, and learning to love another's.

Many of you are Keats scholars, teachers, professors even who have studied these things in much more depth and with a lot more perception than myself and I can understand your disappointment, and I share your, and have many of my own concerns about how Keats is served up and shown to the world, that this may lead to a false impression of him, somehow lessen him in our own and the general public's mind.

This is the fate however of any figure from history or art; while it may present them as different to our own eyes, it may ignite a new interest and passion in those who had never known of, or cared anything about Keats, may lead to a whole upsurge in people wanting to read and study and learn more the man from seeing his portrayal as a character in the film.

So here's to making our peace with this new film, this recreation of a kind of Keats [not our own, but we all have a different Keats in mind] and to hopefully seeing a new group of people becoming as interested and passionate as we are about the life and work of Keats.

Re: Bright Star reviews, ratings etc. *SPOILERS*

PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 2:37 pm
by Malia
Thanks for those well-spoken and oh-so-true words, Saturn :) You're right; Keatsians will look through this movie the way a surgeon cuts through a body--with a certain amount of precision, detail-focus, and extreme care. I've loved Keats since I was 15--that's (hmm. . .doing the math. . .processing. . .) that's nearly *20* years now! And, like so many of you, I've read all the main biographies, plus a few obscure ones. I've analyzed his poems and considered his life and personality for years. I have "my" Keats--my image of him, my philosophies about his poetry, my psycho-analysis of his nature--all of it, and "my" Keats is precious to me. My Keats is probably not going to be Jane Campion's Keats--but I'll tell you, I think it is fabulous that Keats (and Fanny) so captivated Jane Campion that she wanted to do the hard work to get a *movie* made of an aspect of his life and poetry. Now Jane has *her* Keats; she has *her* Fanny and I'm excited to see what she sees. And it is intriguing to me because Jane C. is relatively new to Keats--she only read one biography (and commissioned Ben Whishaw to become the resident Keats scholar and read all the other great bios, which he did). While I'm a little apprehensive that Jane's Keats will be more the "wilting flower" than the vigorous man who could beat up a butcher's boy twice his size, I am still thankful to her for loving Keats and the story of Keats and Fanny enough to go against convention (nothing new for her! LOL) and introduce a wider audience to our Poet.

I agree with both of you--heartily agree--that the voice-over bit in the trailer is ridiculous. It would have been nice *not* to have had the voice-over and do something a little more "art house" to introduce the movie; maybe a trailer with *just* the visuals and dialog and some great music to back up the emotional aspects of the film--but "in a world of film trailers" (imagine baritone, over the top voice here) *no* movie is safe--from the voice-over!" :wink:

Re: Bright Star reviews, ratings etc. *SPOILERS*

PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2009 5:48 am
by dks
I can't wait to see it--truly. Any book, film, poem, story, cartoon, advertisement, painting, song etc. about him makes me excited and eager...I'm just grateful he is subject matter for the big screen in any capacity--even amidst all of my opining about it...and it is important, too, to talk about it in the way of preference and individual perspective--that only further cements the significance of the film, really.

Re: Bright Star reviews, ratings etc. *SPOILERS*

PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2009 6:41 pm
by BrokenLyre
I just saw the trailer - I've been way too busy this month. Thank you Malia for the link!

My heart aches... as I saw this trailer. I didn't want to analyze this - Saturn and Malia and dks have already said what I think in the posts, so I won't repeat their insightful thoughts. But I must share one thought that keeps haunting me in a good sense. As I saw this, I could almost hear Keats say:

"If I should die" said I to myself, "I have left no immortal work behind me; nothing to make my friends
proud of my memory. But I have loved the principle of Beauty in all things; and If I had had time,
I would have made myself remembered."

This sums up for me so much of what Keats desired as well as the key aspects of his short life. Death, immortal work, friends, love, beauty, desire to be remembered - all these were clearly important to him. This is central to "my Keats" - my own perceptions and feelings about his life and what he thought of it. Now, 189 years after he wrote these words to Fanny Brawne, a movie is out about his life, his love, his ambition, his death. It just saddens me deeply that he never knew the impact he would have. Despite my own domestic critical sensitivities, I cannot criticize the movie - it is a slant, a perspective from Jane Campion, as you well noted. It is an artistic slice of my friend, of our friend. It will be different from what I or you would include. So I am so thankful. One hundred years of movie making and millions of movies later, and now a movie bringing Keats to life. How shall I respond to Keats's reflective quote above? My heart says: I know his "immortal work;" I am a "friend" who is "proud" of his "memory;" I will see the "principle of Beauty in all things" - even in this movie. And I know that Keats has made himself "remembered." That's why we're here.

Re: Bright Star reviews, ratings etc. *SPOILERS*

PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2009 7:23 pm
by Malia
BrokenLyre, your words touch my heart. Absolutely--absolutely Keats wanted to be remembered above all things; he wanted to create immortal work that would "defeat" death, even as he himself succumbed to it. To think that nearly 200 years after he wrote his finest works, we are still reading and analyzing them; that dramas are being constructed from aspects of his life-story; that people actually *care* is truly a "thing of Beauty". And here we are *participants* in that immortality for which Keats longed and strove. Immortality is achieved minute by minute, word by word, person by person, as we read and speak of what we read. Literary immortality is an active experience; not a passive state.

Re: Bright Star reviews, ratings etc. *SPOILERS*

PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2009 6:09 pm
by Malia
Here's an inside look at Bright Star from MTV. There really isn't much here. . .but there is a pic of Charles Brown that you might not have seen. No spoilers here at all, really.


http://moviesblog.mtv.com/2009/08/18/an ... -your-day/

Re: Bright Star reviews, ratings etc. *SPOILERS*

PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2009 4:22 pm
by Aquarius
There is this very well written review of the film by A.O Scott of the New York Times.

http://movies.nytimes.com/2009/09/16/mo ... ref=movies

In it he describes the film as "perfectly chaste and extremely sexy". He also writes that Abbie Cornish is "as good as Kate Winslet", and that he stayed through to the end of the credits to "savour every syllable" of *SPOILER* Whishaw's recitation of "Ode to a Nightingale". The poetry recited, according to Scott, allows you to hear the words as if for the first time. He described the film as incredibly romantic and yet modern, with moments of "startling keenness and disarming beauty". In this, he compares the film to Keats poetry: "His verses can at first seem ornate and sentimental, but on repeated readings, they have a way of gaining in force and freshness."

The film hasn't been released yet where I am, I'm not even sure if I'll see it soon, because it's just on limited release now, but I'm going mad with anticipation!!!!!!!

On another note, I read that Quentin Tarantino after seeing "Bright Star" at Cannes, said that it was Campion's best film and that it made him want to take a poetry class, even though he wasn't really a fan of poetry. Whether or not Campion and John Keats purists decide they like the film, I'm glad that it can turn people on to Keats and poetry in general.

Re: Bright Star reviews, ratings etc. *SPOILERS*

PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2009 5:33 pm
by Saturn
Blimey! It has no guns, violence or swearing [I'm guessing there] and Tarantino likes it. Now that is a compliment! :mrgreen:

Re: Bright Star reviews, ratings etc. *SPOILERS*

PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 5:08 pm
by BrokenLyre
I just saw the film Bright Star last night in Buffalo. Oh - MY HEART! MY HEART!I will write a review as soon as I have the time - maybe later tonight - but I don't want to spoil it for any of you, so I will be careful what to say.

Re: Bright Star reviews, ratings etc. *SPOILERS*

PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 5:13 pm
by Malia
BrokenLyre, was it a good movie? Did it work for you? That's what I want to know most of all. So many reviewers have said it was boring or that most of the characters (esp. Keats, himself) were not worth watching. I *pray* that's not true.

Re: Bright Star reviews, ratings etc. *SPOILERS*

PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2009 4:55 pm
by BrokenLyre
OK - I saw Bright Star this past Tuesday. From my highly subjective viewpoint - I enjoyed the movie tremendously - but this is mainly because I was ecstatic to see and hear Keats on the screen. From beginning to end I found that I had to hold back tears, just because I know too much of the Keats story - so I tried not to anticipate the next event in the movie. I let the movie come to me. I really enjoyed the movie and loved hearing Keats' letters and poems - no matter who quoted them. There are wonderful moments in this film that should touch anybody with its sensitive realism, cinematography, and music. I just loved seeing it - but that is primarily because of what I brought to the film and my desire not to expect too much.

On the more objective side (my honest critical concerns), it is true that Fanny Brawne is the center of the movie. Keats is very prominent - he's mentioned all the time ("Mr. Keats....") and seen quite frequently. But his character is not really developed as it should have been to introduce who he was for the viewing public. I spoke with some people after the show - and their questions centered more on who Keats was, why was Charles Brown protective of Keats, etc.... So this confirmed what all the reviewers were saying: That it is a lovely movie ("insufferably exquisite but placid" to quote one movie critic) but that Keats was not developed in the beginning of the movie to give the viewers a sense of his ambition, passion, desire and commitment to poetry.
In short, he is a weaker character that Fanny. However, I really enjoyed the energy that Paul Schneider (Charles Brown) brought to the movie. It added a sense of depth and passion the movie needed.

After I reflected on the movie, I felt it simply needed 3 things (at least) to help deepen and round out the story: 1) It needed about 12-15 more minutes at the beginning to present Keats and explain him better so the viewers could get more attached to him and know his character. 2) It needed more music. The music was beautiful - but too sparse (for my taste). More background music throughout the movie would have been a better contrast with the scenes that appropriately had none. At times, it felt like a play on a stage. 3) It should have spent 5-7 minutes in the Rome scene with Severn. That would have explained some things for people who don't know the story.

At any rate, I think you will all enjoy it to the extent that you don't go in with high expectations about seeing Keats' character explored. (Frustration is a result of a deviation from an expectation). He is prominent as I said, but I can see us all being disappointed because we all want more. As Malia said ( I think it was her :?: in a post some time ago - we all have our "Keats" - our own take on him. This movie is Jane Campion's take on Keats. (I would rather have seen Peter Weir direct the movie (he directed "Dead Poets Society" and many other movies).

Despite all I have said (and could say more on positives and negatives) I was almost in a daze for hours afterward. I was just emotionally dumbfounded. Just couldn't think about anything else all day. If I tried to speak about the movie afterward, I couldn't because of my emotions. So the movie certainly struck deep chords in my own heart. As I said, I brought a lot to this movie - which made it wonderful for me. If you treat your own knowledge of Keats as complementary to the movie - your will enjoy it immensely!

Now that the movie is out, there are a number of reviews to see - even in Newsweek. I saw on TV that the critics gave it 2 thumbs up (with the qualifier that it is placid etc...). I do hope you will all enjoy it. There are some wonderful points in the film that I will not mention - so as not to spoil it.