Hi everyone, yesterday I watched Bright star, a stunning movie, an incredible work from the too-great-to-be-real New Zealander director Jane Campion. The movie tells the tale of the delicate yet passionate and softly spoken love between the poet John Keats and miss Fanny Brawne.
English Romantic poet, mister Keats dedicated his short life and his vibrant work to a continue and most serious research of the perfection: a perfection obtained by the unique use of words, of a liquid and flawless, flowing use of the english language, getting his inspiration from the medieval myth and the legends of the ancyent Greece. Keats admired the value and the appalling emotions deriving from Beauty, from the concept of Beauty, from loving and letting himself being absorbed by Beauty in things and in Nature.
After his beloved brother death, in 1818, John Keats travelled to London and stayed at his good friend Charles Brown’s house. There he met miss Fanny Brawne, guest as well in Brown’s home with her family. At this very moment begins the movie Bright star, and we are taken by the hand and their love is shown to us. With such a delicacy, a fairy like touch, as if the story is pulled on by invisible silk threads.
John Keats is played in the movie by a hypnotical and incredibly charming Ben Wishaw. An actor with such a unique way of acting, that I believe it is the perfect John Keats… You never really can tell what he is thinking and that just enhances the developing and the telling of the romance… In the same way, miss Brawne is played by Abbie Cornish, as well such a misterious actress to me that she is the most right match to Ben Wishaw. Their voices… They…
Well, I must begin at the beginning. This movie is just intoxicating.
It is a … light wing… a flash of pink flowers… It has … the most… exquisite music… It develops itself like the flight of a butterfly. The screenplay is perfection. To me, it’s as if this whole movie is a poem. You lose yourself watching it, you get lost into a beautiful, soothing mist of images, voices reading poems, nature sounds, birds singing… flowers, meadows of blue flowers… And you begin to understand that it is not a movie you’re watching, no, it is a delicate dream, the edge of a ribbon… the… oh, yes… the ribbons, the sewing, the fabrics… Fanny creates and designs clothes. But not ordinary clothing, oh no, they are “charming”, lovely, pleated masterpieces of an utter elegance and avantguarde for their times and she is lulled by her greatness with the sewing. It is her power, it is her nature and it is used as a first way of getting to know poet Keats: talking about the art, the beauty of what she creates. Everything is told to you with such politeness and amiable words, that you are instantly transported into this world. This magical world of love, poetry and tailoring. And then his art, the poetry, and her art, the tailoring, get infused together and create something magical. The days pass, while the two lovers talk about poems, life, love, happiness, summer… And you wish you could live in that world, as light as a flower petal…
And the music… ooh, that music, you have to listen to the soundtrack of this movie, which by the way is also enriched with Ben and Abbie reading poems… oh, so beautiful, so decadent…
After watching the movie I just took a few photographs of little details as though I was seeing them through Fanny’s eyes… Embroidery details… Beautiful fabrics… White lace, trimmings… Fanny is depicted as a fierce young lady who struggles to find something else in her life, like many of the most beloved female characters in books and movies. She yearns for something more and I believe that by sewing she is kind of creating a world where she can hide herself and be alone and content, thinking, planning, dreaming. And so does John Keats with his poetry. It’s their own way of escaping the world. But when they meet, the world opens up and embraces them and they walk through flowery fields and lay in the sun together, finally finding their true natures and happiness…
The highest moment in Keats’ poetry can be found in Ode to a nightingale, where the poet wants to recreate a somehow stupefying work of art, a reading that would lull away his beloved in some kind of daze, of amazement and astonishment for the surrounding Beauty.
ODE TO A NIGHTINGALE
by John Keats
Fanny Brawne: “I still don’t know how to work out a poem.”
John Keats: “A poem needs understanding through the senses. The point of diving into a lake is not immediately to swim to the shore but to be in the lake, to luxuriate in the sensation of water. You do not work the lake out, it is a experience beyond thought. Poetry soothes and emboldens the soul to accept the mystery.”
Fanny Brawne: “I love mystery…”