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Popcorn & Prejudice: A Movie Blog

Seattle Times writer Moira Macdonald muses on moviegoing. Email Moira: mmacdonald@seattletimes.com.

August 26, 2009 at 11:52 AM

A moment of poetry at “Bright Star”

A movie dazzled me yesterday. I loved Jane Campion’s “Bright Star,” about the brief life of the poet John Keats, and his love for his neighbor, Fanny Brawne. More about this film later; it’ll open in Seattle in late September, and I’m hoping to talk to Campion before then. But I did want to share a moment from yesterday’s screening, a crowded event at the Seven Gables. At the end, the credits began to roll and people began to gather their belongings and head for the exit. But then, rather than the usual end-credit music, we heard the voice of actor Ben Whishaw, who plays Keats, reading a poem. (I think it was “Ode to a Nightingale,” but it’s been a very long time since I’ve read Keats and I could well be mistaken. Re-reading his work will be a pleasure that this movie inspires.) The exodus, for the most part, stopped, and many of us just sat, pausing our lives for a moment, to listen to a poem. And how often do we stop for that? Just lovely.

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