Saturday, October 17, 2009

I have been changed...

for good, simply by purchasing a ticket, walking into a theatre, and allowing a film to wash over me.

Last night I experienced Bright Star, a thrilling example of filmmaking that contradicts everything that is mainstream.  Nothing violent, nothing lude nor lascivious, no high-energy action. 

As film critic, Kenneth Turan, describes: 
""Bright Star" satisfies a hunger we may not have known we had, a hunger for an exquisitely done, emotional love story that marries heartbreaking passion to formidable filmmaking restraint, all in the service of an unapologetically romantic belief in "the holiness of the heart's affections."

The holiness of the heart's affections.  This may be the theme of the whole movie.  How many of us haven't been touched at some point with tender feelings of affection that are so pure and chaste that they remain on a holy plane, too dear to be muddied by the cheapness of the world's standard on relationships.  John Keats and Fanny Brawne draw us into their sweet, awkward, unabashedly naive love affair, and invite us to feel every heartache, every longing, every exultant joy of young love with them.

In an attempt to help Fanny understand how to approach the study of poetry, Keats uses a brilliant metaphor.  As one would jump into a lake, to experience the exhilaration and heightened sensations to all one's senses, pausing to enjoy the moment for what it was before hurrying back to the bank, so should one immerse oneself into a poem.  Be open to all its sensations.  Revel in the thrill of each element's diversity.  Don't hastily race to the end, hoping that something will jump out at you.  Give it time, if that is what is needed.

That is the way to enjoy Bright Star, as well.  It is a poem unto itself.  It is masterfully crafted, with all one's senses being awash in the beauty of light, of nature, of humanity, and of language.

I was going to suggest you be prepared with a handkerchief, but on second thought, don't take one.  Allow yourself the cleansing sensation, the liberation from our society's tendency to hide and downplay pure emotion and feeling.  Let the tears course down your cheeks unrestrained.  That too, can be exhilarating.

1 comment:

Laura said...

I can't wait to see it!