December 3, 2009
Just in time to refresh Oscar voters' memories, and to give people who missed it a second chance to see it on the big screen, Jane Campion's "Bright Star" returns to Los Angeles. This exquisitely done, emotional love story marries heartbreaking passion to formidable filmmaking restraint, all in the service of the unapologetically romantic belief in "the holiness of the heart's affections." Those words belong to the 19th century English poet John Keats, and his romance with the girl next door, Fanny Brawne, is utterly transforming in the hands of writer-director Campion and stars Abbie Cornish and Ben Whishaw.
September 18, 2009 |
"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 affections in question are those of the poet who wrote those words, John Keats, perhaps the greatest of England's 19th century Romantics, and Fanny Brawne, literally the girl next door. They met in 1818, when Keats was 23 and Brawne 18, a little more than two years before his dreadful death from tuberculosis.
January 24, 2010 |
Michael Jackson's This Is It Sony, $28.96; Blu-ray, $39.95 Part performance film, part behind-the-scenes document, part memorial for a fallen star, "Michael Jackson's This Is It" compiles footage of Jackson's rehearsals for the London concerts he never staged. Fans looking for an approximation of those shows will be disappointed; "This Is It" doesn't include that many full performances of Jackson's songs. But for its rare glimpse at the star's creative process -- and its peek at how surprisingly vital Jackson looked just days before he died -- the film is invaluable.
December 2, 2009 |
Abbie Cornish might not have been familiar with the work of 19th century poet John Keats or his muse Fanny Brawne when she first read the script for director Jane Campion's "Bright Star," but she says she immediately fell in love with the couple. Instantly connecting with their story informed her performance in the film, in which she plays Brawne, a spirited woman who carries on a brief and doomed relationship with Keats soon before he loses his life to tuberculosis. "There were so many different facets to [Fanny]
September 24, 2009 |
This very modern romance between a poet and a young fashionista is also a period piece respectful of its 19th century roots -- a neat trick director Jane Campion has managed with something close to perfection. This lush romantic drama puts its filmmaker's talents in sharp relief while it showcases the remarkable trio at the heart of this tale: Ben Whishaw as John Keats, the poet who would be dead by 25; Abbie Cornish as Fanny Brawne, the feisty fashion-centric girl next door; and lastly, the wonderful Paul Schneider as Keats' best friend, Charles Armitage Brown, whose attempts to derail the love affair were too little, too late.
October 18, 1996 |
In David Shepard's solo show "Keats" at the Asylum Theatre, Austin Pendleton portrays the brilliant British poet during the final days before his death in Rome. Attended only by his faithful painter friend Charles Severn, Keats ponders the ironies of his tragically short life, especially the rejection of his works by the British critical establishment--and his rejection by Fanny Brawne, the object of his obsessive passion.