Thursday, 2 June 2011

Encore’s Birthday Marathon: Day 16

Part of my ongoing Birthday Marathon (four days to go until D-Day. And my birthday is on D-Day.)
   
After I finished my poetry course this semester I gave my lecturer a copy of Bright Star. Keats was one of the 19th century poets we were studying so I considered it apt. Bright Star, after multiple viewings, still leaves me entrance and I’d wager that it’s not just because of the excellent cinematography. Cinema might be my biggest love, but literature was my first. So, even if it doesn’t retain primary residence in my heart anymore it does have irrevocable tenancy. This is why I’m so fond of films where the two coalesce.
            
ours, Even though Bright Star is hardly Keats’ story – not exclusively, at least, Campion still manages to retain that saturation of bliss that I’ve come to think of when I remember the Romantic era. It reminds me of that other gem on a literary figure – Shakespeare in Love.It’s odd, like Bright Star there are moments when Shakespeare in Love seems more fascinated by its heroine that the great man behind her (or in front of her?). Fanny and Viola both get the juiciest bits of the film and both films end with them taking a walk of solitude. Abbie might not have gotten an Oscar nomination (she and the film were egregiously absent from the awards that year) but her performance like tends to endure much more than Whishaw’s in the same way that almost everyone seems top have forgotten how brilliant Fiennes was. Unfortunately.
         
I love The Hours and I think that the triage of women dole out some of their finest performances but like any film which has the narratives divvied up, I can’t help but pick a favourite and it’s Virginia’s portion which I find most appealing. You’d think that something like writing a novel would make for a tedious viewing experience but Stephen Daldry (shamefully underrated, despite those three Oscar nods) some keen visionary concepts on making it work.
        
I’m willing to bet that any assiduous director could make a fine piece on some literary stalwarts. (Just as there are some which are less than exemplary.) I’m not certain as to the precise shortcoming of Becoming Jane but it’s an incredibly turgid experience. I’m almost certain that any target audience of such a film would be a literary fanatic and Becoming Jane seems to have forgotten that (which is a shame, because Austen seems like a capital woman). Even though it’s hardly an impeccable cinematic entity the honesty with which Richard Eyre approaches the life of Iris Murdoch makes for an earnest (if occasionally docile) tale. And he manages to churn out three excellent performances. So, kudos there.
        
Whatever became of that F. Scott Fitzgerald movie? I could probably put forth a host of literary folk I’d like to get their cinematic treatment, beginning with Tennessee Williams. What say you?

2 comments:

Robert said...

Gosh, I love Bright Star and The Hours both so much. ABbie's performance is really unforgettable and her complete lack of awards traction last year was unforgivable!

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

and of course bright star is just one of the many casualties of awards' season.