Everyone, here is a recent article from the Telegraph on-line about the upcoming Bright Star movie
Very interesting stuff.
Bright stars portray Keats's doomed love
By Amy Iggulden
Last Updated: 12:48am BST 10/04/2007
Bright Star, would I were steadfast as thou art -
Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night,
And watching, with eternal lids apart,
Like Nature's patient sleepless Eremite,
The moving waters at their priestlike task
Of pure ablution round earth's human shores,
Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask
Of snow upon the mountains and the moors-
No-yet still steadfast, still unchangeable,
Pillow'd upon my fair love's ripening breast,
To feel for ever its soft fall and swell,
Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,
Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
And so live ever-or else swoon to death.
A young couple meet, fall in love and overcome all obstacles until untimely death wrenches the man from his lover's grasp.
Ben Whishaw, left, will play John Keats in the movie whose title is taken from his poem
The plotline, for the Oscar-winning director Jane Campion's new film, hardly sounds original.
Except that the boy in question is John Keats, the girl is Fanny Brawne, and their doomed love affair inspired some of the most beautiful lines in English poetry.
Such ingredients should ensure that Bright Star, which begins filming in September and stars the up and coming British actor Ben Whishaw, 26, becomes a major literary cinema hit.
It follows a resurgence in the popularity of literary biopics, including Becoming Jane, starring Anne Hathaway as Jane Austen, Miss Potter, with Renee Zellweger as Beatrix Potter, and The Libertine and Finding Neverland, in which Johnny Depp played the Earl of Rochester and James Barrie respectively.
Bright Star will tell the tale of how the young Keats first set eyes on Miss Brawne as she was walking in her Hampstead garden, in north London, in the early 19th century.
Fanny Brawne, who was the inspiration for Bright Star, will be played by Abbie Cornish
She lived next door with her family and was initially regarded as a "minx" by Keats. The poet was enjoying a period of intense creativity between 1818 and 1820, producing works including Ode to a Nightingale and The Eve of St Agnes.
But, baffling as she was, Miss Brawne eventually won Keats's heart, and in October 1819, the young lovers became privately engaged.
Then tragedy struck, when Keats fell ill with tuberculosis and left Britain for Italy to convalesce in a warmer climate.
Struggling with an illness that would prove to be terminal, he wrote of his love for Miss Brawne to a friend: "The persuasion that I shall see her no more will kill me... I can bear to die - I cannot bear to leave her... O that I could be buried where she lives. It surprises me that the human heart is capable of such misery."
He was never to see her again, dying in Rome in February 1821, aged 25 and largely unrecognised as the celebrated poet he would later become. His final poem was called To Fanny.
For her part, Miss Brawne went into mourning for three years. She later married and had children but never took off the ring that Keats had given her, and never revealed her past to her husband.
Yesterday Ben Whishaw, who came to fame through his role as Hamlet in Trevor Nunn's Old Vic production in 2004, said he was expecting the portrayal of the intensity of Keats's love to be demanding.
"I have never done a real love story before. Keats was an incredibly passionate man, capable of very intense love, so that will be a challenge. [But] I do have some experience of that to draw on.
"I was really thrilled to be asked to do this film. Before I auditioned for Jane [Campion, the writer and director] I didn't know very much about him, but I have been doing a lot of reading and I know that he was a beautiful human being and poet, it will be a privilege to play him."
Before filming begins for the Pathe production, in September, he will play a role in a big screen adaptation of Brideshead Revisited. The young Fanny Brawne will be played by the 24-year-old Australian actress Abbie Cornish, who was made famous for her role as a 16-year-old runaway in the independent film Somersault.
Mr Whishaw said: "I have heard that she is really astonishing, something really special."
The film's title, Bright Star, comes from a love poem for Miss Brawne which Keats wrote in the flyleaf of his copy of the works of Shakespeare.
It begins: "Bright star, would I were steadfast as thou art" and finishes with the line: "And so live ever - or else swoon to death."
Jane Campion, who was born in New Zealand and lives in Australia, is best known for The Piano, for which she won the Academy Award for best screenplay in 1994. She is said to regard Keats as "somebody who had something almost angelic about him".
Note from Malia: At least this shows Campion doesn't see Keats as as too much of a misogynistic beast as she might other male characters who have populated her movies. Looks like she's really going to focus on a "Romeo and Juliet"-type tragic romance. Promising!