December 21, 2009 at 6:49 pm (Blog:Harriet, Bright Star, Fanny Brawne, Jane Campion, John Keats, Poetry Foundation, Uncategorized)
Jane Campion’s gorgeous film, Bright Star, as noted here on Scarriet [click here and here for our 2 articles], was hardly discussed on the Poetry Foundation’s Blog:Harriet despite the well-written and timely article by Abigail Deutsch [click here] — yet another example of the failure of Harriet to discuss anything to do with poetry after the blood-letting of September 1st.
We at Scarriet had a feeling this sobering, sad, but breathtakingly beautiful effort on behalf of the poet John Keats and his friend Fanny Brawne, by one of the best directors in the business, would be ignored by the entertainment industry’s honoring system as well.
Avoiding every pitfall of the Hollywood bio-pic, Bright Star features an intelligent script, extremely moving performances by Ben Whishaw, Abbie Cornish, Kerry Fox, Paul Schneider, and Edie Martin, (as Fanny’s little sister) and is a feast for the eyes and ears.
The old days, when films such as Amadeus and Room With A View earned major nominations and awards, seem to be gone.
Let’s skip the rant on the increase of cultural ignorance—for such a thesis could only be a rant.
We’ll just recommend you get the CD soundtrack, or see Bright Star, with its moving depiction of Keats, Charles Armitage Brown, Fanny Brawne and her family.
And switch from Harriet to Scarriet, of course, to stay abreast of what’s really happening in poetry!
October 31, 2009 at 4:10 am (Bright Star, Camille Paglia, Edgar Allan Poe, Horror, John Keats, Poetry Foundation, Scarriet, Thomas Brady, Uncategorized)
HORROR, the genre, must be horrible because horror, the reality, stalks us daily; the relief of laughter, and the relief of revery inspired by beauty, both exist partially as an antidote to anxiety. Directly confronting fear (in a horror film, for instance) triggers a physical response which competes with laughter–a bodily response–and pleasurable swooning–also a physical response. The comedic, the beautiful and the horrific are sisters. Art deftly combines them, and the skill in combining these three marks the great artist.
Fictional horror gives a crude psycho-physical pleasure in the use of contrast as it diminishes the banal horror of ordinary worries and anxiety–the less intense dread we feel in varying degrees in our own lives.
The cure is the poison itself; fear in life seeks out more intense fear in stories; ironically, more palpable fear comes to us through fiction; the horror genre is a vaccine of ‘dead’ (fictive) horror for our ‘live’ (real) anxieties.
But why does horror have to be horrible when it can be comedic and beautiful too–and not merely full of horror? We can have our poem and eat it; the art that is beautiful and comedic and terrifying all at once is the greatest gift art can give.
Alfred Hitchcock won no Oscars, and the terrifying film “Bright Star” will win none, and Poe, who they say ‘is not really that scary’ (of course not! his genius was not merely out to scare) was the Hitchcock of his day, winning no ‘Oscars’ (Poe was shut out by the literary establishment, despite his popularity). I’ll name one more figure who fits into the category of aesthetic balance–and for that reason gets rejected by various camps: Camille Paglia. A highly controversial, contradictory, but rich, thinker, (who has wasted her talent on political blogging to some extent) Paglia provides more than single-genre types can chew on.
On this Halloween, here’s to celebrating books, films, and art that are scary, funny and beautiful in tasteful, ingenious combination.
Take fright and add a little light. The dark doesn’t have to be so stark.
September 20, 2009 at 9:15 am (Abigail Deutsch, Blog:Harriet, Bright Star, Christopher Woodman, Gary B. Fitzgerald, Jane Campion, John Keats, Poetry Foundation, Travis Nichols, Uncategorized)
Poor fellow! His was an untoward fate:—
‘Tis strange the mind, that very fiery particle,
Should let itself be snuffed out by an Article.
Keats didn’t actually die because of a bad review. But if he had, how would he feel now that Bright Star, Jane Campion’s film about him, is garnering so much positive press? 09.18.09
Now this is a very fine article just posted on Blog:Harriet. If you would like to read the rest of it click here. If you’d also like to read the unlikely comments click here. If you’d like to comment on a comment with impunity (no Red Thumbs, no Poetry Board intolerance) you can post it just below.
And don’t worry either, if you say something especially beautiful Gary B. Fitzgerald can still post a poem here, and you might even get to share a few pints with Desmond Swords or a billet doux with Thomas Brady. On the other hand, if you say something that annoys Travis, Nick, Noah, or John Oliver Simon, you won’t be Voted Down or be put on “awaiting moderation.” I mean, even if you say something really nasty about Chicago you won’t get Deleted, even if it’s “curate!”