Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I Was Floating Above the Trees

Image from the Academy of American Poets

Ooh la la. Look what movie the Academy of American Poets featured in their Best of 2009 feature. That's right! "Bright Star!" You know it! Even though it left the theater long ago and it's been snubbed in most film award nomination lists, it still lives on. For example, it was featured in the Sunday New York Times' Oscar section in the segment, 'Script Excerpts: From Their Pens to Actors' Lips.' Click here to read the excerpt and once you get to the page, scroll down a bit. It's the 3rd one after "Inglorious Basterds" and "A Serious Man" (Both haunting in different ways, those are two other movies I have seen and very much enjoyed). I know I've mentioned this a couple of times, but aside from the poetry and the art direction, another aspect of "Bright Star" that I adored is the score. And, for the record, if you're ever wondering why I linger so long on this film, just look at this picture:

There is Keats (aka Ben Whishaw) reclining on the top of a tree, spouting poetry. Is there anything better than this? Back to the music. After many sample listens on iTunes, I finally brokedown and bought the soundtrack this weekend. It's such a lovely album. Not only is the music beautiful, but it evokes every glorious moment that the film offers and immediately took me back to that afternoon in October when I went solo to see "Bright Star." Have I ever told the story about how it all came about? Please, indulge me for a minute.

Back in the day when I worked less hours, I had a free day here and there. One day I decided to go to a 4 o'clock movie at the Kabuki in Japantown (one of my favorite theaters). I had the following to pick from: "Capitalism" @ 4:15 "Whip It" @ 4:20 and "Bright Star" @ 4:15. I knew I wanted to see "Bright Star," but nothing was pulling me to go. Obviously, I had no clue. So, I picked the 4:15 Capitalism because I thought it would be super thrilling and entertaining. I bought my ticket and was ready to get angry! As I approached the auditorium, I saw that "Bright Star" was playing one theater over. I took one look at the "Capitalism" poster and one look at the "Bright Star" poster and like a moth to a flame, ticket gripped in hand, I walked into the other theater. I was unaware of what it was, but something strongly urged me to chose the other film. And there I went. And there I was held captive for a, thus far, indefinite amount of time.

Anyway, thanks for letting me share that story. It's silly really, and I did eventually see "Capitalism" a few weeks later. I just feel like sometimes you don't know what you want but...I don't know how to finish that sentence. Forgive me. So, the score. Graced upon many of the songs are poems and letters spoken from the movie. The luminous, gorgeous and heart-warming nature of the words linked to music makes you want to frolic through fields. So go do it. Frolic and swoon.

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