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>Movie Spotlight: Bright Star

9 Jan

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                                                                                                                              John Keats portrait
Bright Star is unlike most period films. For one, anyone familiar with John Keats his life can reveal the film will have no happy ending. If the lovers do not live happily ever after, then what is the strength of the film? It has first-class acting, beautiful poetry, colourful costumes and lovely scenery. The film starts as Keats moves next door to Fanny Brawne and is far from successful as an author. Reviews for his poem ”Endymion” are bad – humiliatingly so. But his fashionista neighbour, who makes a living designing clothes, sees his potential when she hears the first passage:

A THING of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.       

To say that their relationship soon blossoms into a passionate romance would sell the affair short for they did not immediately get on well. However, once they ceased to dispute, it allowed them to form a friendship which transitioned into a life-altering love affair. As lovers, they corresponded and never consumated their love as circumstances prevented them from getting married.

After a long night out in the cold, Keats grew weak and sickly and soon began to exhibit the symtoms of consumption. Despite her best efforts, Fanny is unable to cure him and he is sent away to Italy to test the warmer climate. Unfortunately, it is too late and Keats quickly dies, leaving Fanny heartbroken and reciting the poem he dedicated to her in between sobs:

Bright Star

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 stedfast, 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.

Excerpts from the film:  

     



Costumes in the film:

Fanny Brawne, a budding fashionista, designs all her own costumes. As such, the picture is filled to the brim with interesting costumes and experimental designs. It gives the film a unique look that sets it apart from its fellow period dramas. Below you see a few of Fanny’s lovely outfits as seen in the film. Some of them are plain outrageous, while others catch my attention due to their simplicity and elegance.







That is some collar, Fanny!

Regency Barbie?

Possibly the most beautiful image in recent film

Interviews with the Cast and Crew:


 



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