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Keats – as seen by Jane Campion


Jane Campion has directed another film. This, at first sight, from reading the NY Times review appears to be yet another of her boring movies complete with Pseud’s Corner reviews, for example:-

The music is so intricate and artificial, even as the emotions it carries seem natural and spontaneous. And while no film can hope to take you inside the process by which these poems were made, Ms. Campion allows you to hear them spoken aloud as if for the first time.

After all let us remember that Campion directed one of the most boring and over rated films in recent memory – The Piano, a film that seemed to last forever and foisted the gap toothed Anna Paquin upon the world, complete with nauseating beret, and condemned Sam Neill to making good pinot noir and Harvey Keitel to Steinlager adverts.

The review concludes:-

Ms. Campion, with her restless camera movements and off-center close-ups, films history in the present tense, and her wild vitality makes this movie romantic in every possible sense of the word.

It is possible that this is still a disaster movie, in the sense that comments like this in the review might presage:-

Ms. Campion is one of modern cinema’s great explorers of female sexuality, illuminating Sigmund Freud’s “dark continent” with skepticism, sympathy and occasional indignation. “Bright Star” could easily have become a dark, simple fable of repression, since modern audiences like nothing better than to be assured that our social order is freer and more enlightened than any that came before. But Fanny and Keats are modern too, and though the mores of their time constrain them, they nonetheless regard themselves as free.

After all unless the reviewer was present and viewing the events when Keats was alive how the hell can he/she know what was meant.

Yet despite all this there just might be something worth watching. Maybe this time Campion has made a movie and not a tract!

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