Friday, February 14, 2014

My heart won't stop beating: a lavish look at 'Bright Star'...


I wasn't sure what I wanted to post in ode this Valentine's Day this year.  Last year I bitched about how the modern idea of romance is 'death, loss, suffering' and how Ernst Lubitsch knows real romance.  This year, Ruth put together a great list of 'romantic movies directed by female directors' and she mentioned (albeit 'honorably') a movie that literally stopped my breath the first time I saw it; 'Bright Star'.  If I could have an affair with ANY movie in the history of movies, it would be this one.  Yes, I know that it goes against my rant last year (yes, Keats dies) but this movie is so much more than 'death, loss, suffering'.  I've been toying with a post dedicated to Jane Campion, who I consider to be one of the most sensually aware directors of all time, and this is her crowning achievement in that regard (not her best film, but her best use of romantic desire in a movie).

This movie is by far one of the most sensually stimulating films I’ve ever seen. That isn’t to say that it is an explicit film (nothing close to ‘The Piano’) but Campion has a wonderful way of eliciting in the viewer a raw and natural emotion, that of longing and desire, and she paints such a beautifully desirous picture that we are left with baited breath.  The way Keats caresses Fanny’s hand; the way she removes a key from her necklace; the way they press their bodies against a wall just to be nearer to one another. Every frame is captured in such a provocative way that we are so entranced and so, excited.

So today, on this Valentine's Day, I leave you with some images that get my heart racing:






It has so much to do with the staging of these scenes, which is really why Campion is so marvelous at what she does.  It isn't so much the cinematography (which is STUNNING) but the complete awareness of the importance of every little detail.  Campion showed this to such effect in so many of her films (most notably here and in 'Portrait of a Lady').  Each look, each movement of a finger, each caress, each breath; everything is perfectly timed, perfectly choreographed to deliver the desired effect.  There are so many more, SO MANY, and some that I even love more than these but just couldn't find online, but really...just watch the damn movie.

And then there is this 'first kiss'...and who doesn't wish this upon themselves...

10 comments:

  1. Hey thanks for being *inspired* to make this lovely post. I feel that I kind of misjudged Bright Star on initial viewing but I just might give it another viewing. It deserves it I think... and seeing your post just confirms it even more. There's so much chemistry between Cornish and Whishaw, and the cinematography equally breathtaking!

    – ruth

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    1. I'm glad you liked my post. I hope you give this a second try. It's a very slow moving film, but that slow burn is so essential to making this feel so alive with passion!

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  2. I saw this film a few years ago and was just ravaged by it. It's my 3rd favorite film of her work so far with The Piano at the top followed by Sweetie. I think Jane Campion is one of the best filmmakers working today though she might be done with film altogether in favor of television.

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    1. RIGHT! Love that woman. I hope she comes back to film. The only film of hers I haven't seen is Sweetie, but it's high on my Netflix queue.

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  3. What a beautiful, beautiful, beautiful movie. One of my favourites of this century, and easily one of the most gorgeous.

    (But, so much heartache.)

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    1. Welcome Andrew! I'm always happy for find fellow Bright Star lovers. Heartache indeed, but getting there is so...beautiful.

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  4. Ooh, great choice! I've seen this 2 or 3 times, but it's been a while. I need to rewatch it!

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    1. Yes DO! I still can't believe this narrowly missed my BP ballot in 2009. What was I thinking?!?!?! That year is so good though.

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  5. I could swoon over these GIFs for many hours but I'll stop myself now. Great post, Fisti, and nice to see that you're a bit more romantic this year :D

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    1. Thanks Mette! Yeah, I was in the mood this year :-D

      Feel free to swoon all you like.

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