Bright Star reviews, ratings etc. *SPOILERS*

Join in the discussion of the 2009 film Bright Star.

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

Postby Credo Buffa » Fri May 22, 2009 4:40 pm

What I find really encouraging about those audience comments is how much they enjoyed the poetry. This is really the biggest thing that this film can do for the Keats world: introduce his work to a new audience that might not be exposed to it otherwise. The fact that people are coming out of screenings talking about the poetry as much as anything else is wonderful to hear.
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Re: Bright Star reviews, ratings etc. *SPOILERS*

Postby Saturn » Fri May 22, 2009 4:57 pm

Credo Buffa wrote:What I find really encouraging about those audience comments is how much they enjoyed the poetry. This is really the biggest thing that this film can do for the Keats world: introduce his work to a new audience that might now be exposed to it otherwise. The fact that people are coming out of screenings talking about the poetry as much as anything else is wonderful to hear.


Indeed, from the very beginning, as soon as I read about this film, despite any reservations I have/had, my main hope was that a whole new audience would be exposed to Keats' poetry.
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Re: Bright Star reviews, ratings etc. *SPOILERS*

Postby johnkeatspoet » Sat May 23, 2009 6:49 am

Malia wrote:http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/video/2009/may/19/bright-star-ben-whishaw

Above is a link to an interview with Ben Whishaw and how he embraced Keats's philosophy of Negative Capability when playing him in the movie. It also contains the now many-times seen 3 snippets from the movie; the interview part is interesting, though.


Thanks so much for the interesting Ben Whishaw interview link, Malia. I thought the actor captured quite well the essence of Keats' character - perhaps even too faithfully on screen to some reviewers' liking. Yes I know hoping that "Bright Star" will win the Palme d'Or was just wishful thinking. But again it would be a unique homage to Keats as a poet. Anyway what I find most encouraging is to know that, whatever the outcome of this year's Cannes Film Festival, Jane Campion's "Bright Star" has already accomplished its main purpose, regardless of whether or not the audience or movie critics can relate to Keats' poetry. Indeed, is it not astonishing even to this day to have Keats' life depicted in theaters worldwide, knowing that he himself thought his name was "writ in water" ?
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Re: Bright Star reviews, ratings etc. *SPOILERS*

Postby Malia » Sat May 23, 2009 4:43 pm

I'm glad you enjoyed the interview, johnkeatspoet :) While Bright Star might not win the Palme d'Or, I am both heartened (and slightly amazed) that it is one of the top-rated movies at the festival; at least in the top 5 out of 20. It is wonderful to think that after 200 years, Keats's story can still inspire creativity in other artists and touch the hearts of many in our cynical, fast-paced and "instant gratification"-driven 21st Century generation. It's interesting to think that Jane Campion just randomly picked up Motion's biography of Keats and found herself transported by his and Fanny's story. She was as wary of poetry as the next person, but found herself able to listen and learn and grow to love not only Keats's story, but his poetry as well. I love the idea of a movie that tells us in a beautiful, quiet way to just sit back and "listen" a little--let the story come to you and silently press up and unfold within you as naturally as leaves come to a tree. There are so few movies that promote that philosophy these days!

You know, sometimes I think that if Keats were around today--were able to see into a crystal ball into the future--he would be both amazed and mortified by his fame and this film. I think he would be extremely upset to see his relationship with Fanny dramatized and displayed all over the world. But I think he would be surprised and humbled by the fact that he and his poetry could still touch the depth of the human soul after nearly two centuries.
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Re: Bright Star reviews, ratings etc. *SPOILERS*

Postby johnkeatspoet » Sun May 24, 2009 3:35 pm

Malia wrote:You know, sometimes I think that if Keats were around today--were able to see into a crystal ball into the future--he would be both amazed and mortified by his fame and this film. I think he would be extremely upset to see his relationship with Fanny dramatized and displayed all over the world. But I think he would be surprised and humbled by the fact that he and his poetry could still touch the depth of the human soul after nearly two centuries.


Not much time left, only a few hours before the Awards Ceremony... So then IMHO-

I'd like to think that Keats' life-- however brief-- and his poetry-- all the more intense-- are very much intertwined, somewhat like lines of a short but well-put together sonnet. But was this not also the case regarding his relationship with Fanny ('I almost wish we were butterflies, and lived but three summer days')? Hopefully the Cannes Film Festival Jury will see how "Bright Star" the sonnet (i.e. the movie title) was the tragic embodiement of all that Keats held most dear-- his poetry and his love for Fanny. The irony being that at the end of his life, he thought both had eluded him, close as they were within his grasp. Though I'm still holding on to what I said earlier as essential, I think that if "Bright Star" wins the Palme d'Or and/or Abbie Cornish gets the Best Actress award for her role as Fanny, Keats may not be so "extremely upset" after all ("were he still around today" ;-)-- his poetry having gained the recognition it rightly deserves, what better way for him to now renew-- and thereby perpetuate-- the idyllic relationship he once shared with his true love?

Still keeping my fingers (and toes) 'star-crossed'... :-D
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Re: Bright Star reviews, ratings etc. *SPOILERS*

Postby johnkeatspoet » Sun May 24, 2009 8:21 pm

I have watched the Awards Ceremony and am sad to announce that "Bright Star" has not won any prize. :-(
The Palme d'Or went to some austrian film and a french actress won best role, while best actor went to someone in the Tarantino movie. It is a disappointement to be sure but in a way also half-heartedly expected. Nevertheless it is noteworthy the film was a selected feature at the Festival and I still very much look forward to seeing it when it comes out this summer in Europe.
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Re: Bright Star reviews, ratings etc. *SPOILERS*

Postby Saturn » Sun May 24, 2009 8:28 pm

Keats didn't win any awards either, doesn't mean anything :mrgreen:
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Re: Bright Star reviews, ratings etc. *SPOILERS*

Postby BrokenLyre » Mon May 25, 2009 5:52 am

It is interesting the Keats' work was not highly recognized nor valued in his own day - when poetry was far more acceptable and appreciated than it is today. Within his social and cultural milieu, Keats was certainly not embraced widely. With this in mind, I find it just amazing that Keats would enter into a movie for an audience living nearly 200 years after him and so far removed from his culture. I just appreciate that and am thankful to Campion for "getting it."
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Re: Bright Star reviews, ratings etc. *SPOILERS*

Postby johnkeatspoet » Mon May 25, 2009 12:19 pm

Saturn wrote:Keats didn't win any awards either, doesn't mean anything :mrgreen:


Thanks for the reminder, Saturn. You're right, Keats was never really keen at winning awards... in his living that is. "Bright Star" the movie being part of the Cannes Film Festival was mostly due to its history with Jane Campion who, incidentally, has *already* won it. With this now in mind, I'd still like to think that, "were he still around today" (as Malia said), Keats would have simply wanted to turn his "Bright Star" sonnet into a movie as a tribute to Fanny, so as to perpetuate the love they had for one another. As such and true to himself as always, having "Bright Star" win at this year's Cannes Film Festival just wouldn't quite fit in with the posthumous praise Keats has received for his poetry...
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Re: Bright Star reviews, ratings etc. *SPOILERS*

Postby Malia » Mon May 25, 2009 3:10 pm

I won't deny that I am disappointed Bright Star wasn't awarded *something* at Cannes. I mean, even the kooky movie about the vampire won an award! Best actress went to a woman who played a character who *mutilates* herself . . . ugh. All I can say is it seems that the Jury at Cannes only appreciated movies that slapped them upside the head and spat in the face of actual, respectful love. Most of the movies that won awards were, to use a word, "twisted". And then we have Bright Star, which didn't even have a sex scene in it--let alone any porn or blood drinking. (A movie about Byron would have absolutely fit the bill at this year's festival.) :roll:

I appreciate everyone's taking the high road on this one. People have said Bright Star is boring or too long or not emotional or sexy enough . . . but it seems to me that, out of all the nominated films, Campion's is the most daring simply by virtue of being the *least* shocking! As far as awards go, there is already Oscar buzz for Bright Star--and perhaps the Oscars is more this movie's venue when it comes to awards--especially for cinematography. It should be nominated at the very *least* for that.

I'm looking forward to seeing it on the big screen--hopefully they'll play it at our Independent movie house here in Spokane (I'm going to make a call in to request they play it ;) ).
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Re: Bright Star reviews, ratings etc. *SPOILERS*

Postby Credo Buffa » Tue May 26, 2009 7:19 pm

Meh, I'm not going to make anything of it until I've seen it, and I'm not going to slam any of the other films that did win awards without seeing them either. Awards are great, yes, but plenty of great films don't have high honors attached to them. No need to feel down about it, folks. Trophies aren't everything. :)

Looking at the big picture, anyway, it's wonderful for the film simply to have been in competition at Cannes. We should be

Malia wrote:You know, sometimes I think that if Keats were around today--were able to see into a crystal ball into the future--he would be both amazed and mortified by his fame and this film. I think he would be extremely upset to see his relationship with Fanny dramatized and displayed all over the world. But I think he would be surprised and humbled by the fact that he and his poetry could still touch the depth of the human soul after nearly two centuries.

I don't think anyone in Keats' day could possibly have foreseen the level of celebrity that we attach to our most beloved figures today. To Keats, Byron would have been the ultimate example of that "rock star" status--the absolute epitome of fame--and while it's still impressive today to look at the kind of reception Byron had, there's really nothing from that time that can compare to the instant, mass communication and variety of media that are all a part of being famous in our time. Indeed, when Keats hoped to be included among the "English poets," there's little doubt that he imagined that would refer solely to his poetry, not his personal life in any way. But alas, here in the 21st century, a person's private, day-to-day existence is just as much a part of the equation as his or her public work. I have to believe that most anyone in that time, Keats or otherwise, would find the microscope under which we scrutinize our celebrities to be pretty appalling.
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Re: Bright Star reviews, ratings etc. *SPOILERS*

Postby Malia » Wed May 27, 2009 3:00 am

Credo Buffa wrote:and I'm not going to slam any of the other films that did win awards without seeing them either


I apologize if I sounded harsh in my message earlier--I understand that one should watch a movie before judging it but I was disturbed by the level of violence that many of the award-wining movies contained. I feel a sense of anguish about it, that's all. I'm sure all of the movies were well made . . .it's just the heavy focus on violence and despair that dominated the winning entries touched me in a deep and sad way and that anguish unfortunately showed itself as bitterness in my post. It would be nice if, someday, love were considered cutting edge.
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Re: Bright Star reviews, ratings etc. *SPOILERS*

Postby Wynn » Thu May 28, 2009 12:12 am

People in Elizabethan London used to delight in the most horrible execution. At least people knew that if they didn't watch themselves, it could be their heads on the London bridge. Now moderns delight in watching gory violence labeled "Art," without even a sense of warning. It's shameful.
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Re: Bright Star reviews, ratings etc. *SPOILERS*

Postby riverborn » Thu May 28, 2009 5:50 pm

Keats may have seen Byron as a media darling, but he didn't like him or his poetry much (nor was he in any way tempermentally aligned with Shelly- his advice to him in a letter to "curb his magnamanity and load every rift with ore").
It is fairly certain that when Moneta/Keats speaks of "careless hectorers in proud bad verse" he is referring to Byron. Keats once said "Byron writes about what I sees, I write about what I imagine- mine is the hardest task". After his death Fanny Brawne remarked that Keats did not care much for Byron.
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Re: Bright Star reviews, ratings etc. *SPOILERS*

Postby Malia » Thu May 28, 2009 7:49 pm

You are so right, riverborn, there was absolutely no love lost between Keats and Byron. I must admit, I am prejudiced to a degree against Byron simply due to my love for Keats (which is horribly un-scholarly, isn't it?) Byron may have had the money and fame--but Keats would have whipped him in hand-to-hand combat. :lol: And, seriously, I prefer Keats's poetical style and philosophy to Byron's. *However* as I speak of my prejudice against Byron, I hear a little voice in my head telling me to not knock Byron until I have read at least one biography and analyzed a trove of his poems--so, until I've done my research, I will remain silent on this subject :P
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