zaterdag 23 mei 2009

Bright Stars at la Crossette

There was a time that I was really into movies! I did spend a fortune on movie tickets, soundtracks and magazines that covered the latest developments in blockbuster-country. Next to that I also tried to read the books that the movies were based on in order to compare the movie to the original storyline. Ever since that A turned up movies is not my most developed field of interest anymore. Not that I don't try but I now most of the time have to settle for the DVD-version when it comes out.

So when the film festival of Cannes comes up my curiousity is still stimulated a bit. I seem then to be able to catch up with what is going on in Movie-country. I totally agree that some of those movie stars just show up because it's mondaine to walk down that red carpet in front of La Crossette with in the background the Côte d'Azur! Cannes then seems to be place to be. But still, Cannes is not the Oscars because it seems to be able to create an atmosphere that is perhaps more geniune and less tacky!

Also are the contenders for the main prizes more diverse and not that easy to grasp. I still remember the day that QuentinTarentino won the Palme d'Or with 'Pulp Fiction'. It was one of those moments that suddenly a little guy with an outspoken idea for a storyline and a different way of filming suddenly became a real star!

This year the list of competioners is very appealing. But there is for sure one candidate that I really cheer for and that is Jane Campion. In very far past she is the one who directed 'The Piano' and took you to the shores of New-Sealand where a heart breaking love story takes place accomponied by the soul-touching sounds that an instrument can produce.

Now she is in Cannes with the movie 'Bright Stars', telling the less known love story between he now so much quoted poet Keats and Fanny Brawne! Keats is now a poet beyond recognition, he is right up there in the sky. His star is still shining bright because most tormented souls that are in love will have for sure encountered some of his lines! Though I challenge you do tell me a bit more about this notorious English poet who took poetry to a higher level!

'He died too young!', is what most people will then answer! Yes, Keats only made it to the age of 25. But only a few of you will be able to be specific about his love intrests. Keats is one those hard to grasp classic poets. His creations are not straight forward. You have to take the time to let his poetry come to terms with your emotions. Every word, every line is an expression of a very complex personality. Keats is the ultimate temptation for many analists out there.

The average poetry lover will agree with me that his verses are not the eassiest. So Jane Campion did once more something daring to direct a movie about this guy. But once more she seemed to pull it of with using actors that still have not the weight of a Pit or Jolie. Campion wants to take us along the journey that Keats went on during his last years of his tormenting life! And this without touching the so beloved heritage of words he left behind.

Poetry of Keats needs to be handled with care, it has to be nurished, taken in with small breaths, without haste, giving the space to blossom! Only then it will it will be ablo to touch your heart and stay with you. Not an easy job! So I was happy to hear that the actor (Ben Whishaw, known of the movie 'Perfume') who plays the part of Keats is aware of one very important fact when trying to understand poetry. 'I realise that you don't have to understand every single word or meaning. That is not the essention of a poem! It goes beyond understanding, it's trying to travel along in the mind of the creator!'

So I keep my fingers crossed for Jane and hope that once more this lady will win. To me a director who manages to make a movie in the 21st century in a time of crises, where poetry seems not to matter is worth already an extra round of applause. Campion invites you on a journey but with a destination unknown! Keats star will be shining bright the months to come!

"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."

(Keats, 1819)

P.S.: 'Bright Star' didn't end up winning the Golden Palm but still she gained once more my respect of being a very daring female director in a very macho director's world!

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