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Bright Star Trivia *Spoilers!*

PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2009 8:11 am
by Aquarius
I thought I would start a topic on Bright Star trivia. Other than the obvious quotes in the film taken from Keats letters to Fanny, and other tidbits of biographical fact, I thought it would be nice to see if anyone noticed any interesting trivia from the movie.

I noticed that in the film, Brown asks Fanny if she found Milton's rhymes "pouncing or pouncy". The phrase "pouncing rhymes" is actually taken from something that Keats wrote in his letter to George and Georgiana Keats on Feb 14th 1819. In it he writes how he's trying to create a better and new sonnet form:

"I have been endeavoring to discover a better Sonnet Stanza than we have. The legitimate does not suit the language over well from the pouncing rhymes-the other appears to elegiac..."

Re: Bright Star Trivia *Spoilers!*

PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2009 2:17 pm
by Malia
Neat topic, Aquarius! :)
Well, it has been a few weeks since I've seen the movie, but there is one little piece of trivia that struck me. I think it occurred just before the concert when everyone was gathered together. Keats and one of his male friends (I'm thinking Reynolds?) start play fighting with celery stalks.

In a letter to George and Georgiana, Keats says that he had to leave off writing for now as Mrs. Dilke was knocking on the wall to tell him tea was ready and he assured them that he would later tell them what kind of tea it was. When he comes back to his letter, in talking of the tea, he says that he and Mrs. Dilke had a battle with the celery stalks. I'm pretty sure that little scene in the movie was inspired by that incident.

I think that fleeting scene caught my attention because I had always enjoyed the image of Keats and Mrs. Dilke battling it out with celery; I remember thinking years ago that it would be a very cute scene in a movie :)

Re: Bright Star Trivia *Spoilers!*

PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2009 3:34 am
by BrokenLyre
Fascinating topic Aquarius - having people note some "Interesting trivia from the movie" as you state. I am not sure what qualifies - but I had some thoughts about it. For what it's worth, I thought the scene where Charles Brown acts like a gorilla (ape) complete with chimp sounds was a bit anachronistic. I believe that gorillas and chimps were not really understood by Europeans in 1819. Since they were really described until 1847, there is no way for Brown to know what they acted like or how they sounded. I decided to check this and found the following from the web:

"It was as an amateur naturalist in Africa, though, that Savage gained fame. He was an inveterate collector, and by 1834 had already written a paper on chimpanzees with Jeffries Wyman, a rising young star at Harvard Medical School...... Wyman and Savage’s paper (another different paper), published in the Boston Journal of Natural History in December 1847, was the first full description of the creature that Wyman, ... named Troglodytes gorilla. Savage provided anecdotes about the gorilla’s behaviour and habitat, while Wyman wrote sections that carefully demonstrated the substantial differences between the gorilla and other great apes."

Not trying to be critical folks, just an interesting point of fact. You can see the link where the quote comes from here:
http://www.cryptomundo.com/bigfoot-repo ... -timeline/

I would like to verify this of course. But I do remember that Keats's friend, Joseph Ritchie didn't go to Africa to explore it until 1819. He never lived to come back to England, as he died on the the return trip, as I understand it. At any rate, Charles Brown would not have known much about apes - if anything at all. And he certainly couldn't know what they sounded like because tape recorders didn't exist. Hope I didn't disappoint anyone with this silly info. Just thought it was "interesting."

Re: Bright Star Trivia *Spoilers!*

PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2009 5:00 am
by Aquarius
Nice investigatig, BL! Brown's ape impersonation was very realistic, and you're right, the only way he could have done it was if he had seen and heard an ape before. I guess, Campion or the actor added it for comedy.

Another thing I noticed was at the party with the "human orchestra". Some friend asks Keats if he has his bassoon, and he replies something about having in his coat pocket as always. I remember reading about how Keats, Haydon, Reynolds & C. would get together and "play" music, with each becoming a human instrument. Keats was always the bassoon.

I thought it was a nice touch for Campion to incorporate that into the scene and translating it by way of the male acapella.

Re: Bright Star Trivia *Spoilers!*

PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2009 6:07 am
by BrokenLyre
Yes, you are correct. Keats is asked on the way into the party if he has his bassoon. He taps his coat pocket and says so. I read it somewhere in my books that he actually played the part of the bassoon. It is mentioned so quietly and briefly that I didn't catch it until the 2nd or 3rd viewing. Nice catch. Can't remember where I read it however.

Re: Bright Star Trivia *Spoilers!*

PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2009 3:11 pm
by Malia
Interesting piece of trivia about Apes, BrokenLyre! I had no idea they weren't "discovered" until closer to the middle of the century. I guess the movie wasn't *totally* a period piece, then! :wink: Oh well, the sight of Brown pretending to pick nits out of Keats's hair was worth the fudging of history, I suppose!

Great catch regarding the bassoon! I noticed that one, too. And I'm pretty sure it was mentioned in the Ward Biography and probably also the Gittings (can't be absolutely sure until I check it).

It's funny, when it comes to historical detail in movies, I've caught a few things myself--not in Bright Star, per se, but in other films. I remember watching a movie once and I recognized the pattern of china they used to pour tea in one scene; I own that same pattern and know for a fact it was created in 1962, whereas the movie took place around 1900. But only a total "tea-nerd" like me would probably have caught that! :lol:

Re: Bright Star Trivia *Spoilers!*

PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2009 9:52 pm
by BrokenLyre
That "tea" example is so funny, Malia. I'll bet the director thought no one would catch it :)


I am planning on seeing the movie this Monday with a few people. Maybe I'll see some more things.

Re: Bright Star Trivia *Spoilers!*

PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2009 7:52 pm
by Aquarius
More trivia:

in the scene where Keats and Fanny say their goodbyes on their last night together, and they are lying in bed, Keats says to Fanny, "Touch has a memory". I think this is a line from one of his poems to her. I can't remember which one, but I'm sure it's in the Ode to Fanny or Lines to Fanny.

Also, Fanny says to Keats in the film "we were not made for this kind of suffering" or something to that effect. The line is taken from one of Keats last letters to Brown?

Re: Bright Star Trivia *Spoilers!*

PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2009 9:57 pm
by BrokenLyre
You are right Aquarius. Keats wrote to Charles Brown on September 30th 1820 and stated:

"Is there another Life? Shall I awake and find all this a dream? There must be we cannot be created for this sort of suffering."

I do not know where the "touch has a memory" statement comes from. Sounds like something he would say :)

Also I believe the statement that Charles Brown makes while standing by the fireplace is a quote from "The Eve of St. Agnes." After he quotes Keats' poem, he says, "You are so far above me." If I am recalling this correctly, he is quoting section 27 of the St. Agnes Eve Poem - the first few lines.

Re: Bright Star Trivia *Spoilers!*

PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2009 11:14 pm
by Aquarius
I just looked up the "Touch has a memory" quote, and it's in "Lines to Fanny".

I think Campion wrote the screenplay, which makes me think she must have really done her research, or she had help with researchers.

Re: Bright Star Trivia *Spoilers!*

PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2009 4:24 am
by BrokenLyre
Thanks Aquarius. I appreciate you finding that quote.

Re: Bright Star Trivia *Spoilers!*

PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2009 9:18 pm
by BrokenLyre
Not that it matters all that much, but I looked up the "Touch has a memory" quote from the movie and it is in the poem,

What can I do to drive away

which was written in 1819 (according to Jack Stillinger's Complete Poems).

And yes, I also checked last night -- Charles Brown does indeed quote St. Agnes Eve - stanza 27 first two lines while at the fireplace.

Re: Bright Star Trivia *Spoilers!*

PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2009 5:15 am
by Aquarius
Oh, in my Modern Library edition of his complete poems, the same poem, "What can I do to drive away", is titled "Lines to Fanny". It's the same poem, but with a title. I'm wondering if that title comes from Keats, or if the title was added later in the edition I have for convention's sake if it isn't in your edition, Brokenlyre?

I'm reading Grant F. Scott's ed. of the letters, and discovered that the line Keats says to Fanny in the film about walking all the paths in the woods that are as innumerable as your eye lashes, actually comes from a letter to Reynolds, Sept 21st 1817:

"For these last five or six days, we have had regularly a Boat on the Isis, and explored all the streams about, which are more in number than your eyelashes."

It's nice to think it was something said to Fanny instead, but it's still a pretty phrase anyways.

Re: Bright Star Trivia *Spoilers!*

PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2009 2:09 pm
by Malia
Aquarius, I don't think that the Lines to Fanny that you mentioned ever had a proper title. I don't think Keats had any intention of publishing (or even sharing) that particular poem with anyone--save, perhaps, Fanny herself. I'm pretty sure the title was added by editors to help identify the poem in later publication.
It's interesting and strange to think of what disease (and the hyper-sensitivity and obsessions that it induced) did to Keats and his writing. It hurts to see his deterioration, especially regarding lines that were supposedly inspired by Fanny. What a change--in so short a time--from Bright Star to the Lines to Fanny!

Re: Bright Star Trivia *Spoilers!*

PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2009 4:19 pm
by Aquarius
Thanks for clearing that up, Malia. I guess, it's not correct then to call that poem "Lines to Fanny". Thinking about it, it doesn't sound like a title Keats would make up.

Off topic, the Grant Scott ed. of his letters that was recommended by you and others in the forum on his letters is truly fascinating. I like how he writes in his preface about how Keats could get "magnificently pissed off" and about his last days with Severn. Reading about his last days is so heart-breaking and harrowing. Really, I'm glad I discovered this forum-there's so much written about Keats, some of good quality, and some of not so good quality writing, that it's hard to know what to read. It's always good to refer to experts!

I was looking on some person's web page about her visit to Keats' grave (can't remember where I found the site) and she had photos showing a pair of cats that lived near Keats' grave site. Campion described Ben Whishaw as like a cat, and there's the Cat, Topper, Campion's own cat in the movie, and then there's Keats' poem to Mrs. Reynolds Cat. Just thought I'd point out all the cat connections. I don't know if Keats had a thing for cats, but there you go. After seeing the cat in Bright Star, I've suddenly grown a liking to them, since before I've always been more of a dog person.