Friday, July 23, 2010
More on Bright Star
Excellent posts, all! Please weigh in if you haven’t already.
I mentioned that I loved the clothes. I thought the costume director did an outstanding job of using clothing to fit the characters. Fanny’s costumes were gorgeous, of course. Did you notice in the scene near the beginning, where she first goes to call on the family living near the poets, that she’s gowned in very bright white? White was a statement of privilege in the nineteenth century—as Marissa has noted, at the very least you need money to keep it clean! Then again the odious Mr. Brown wears plaid trousers and frumpy coats—small wonder Fanny held him in such distain!
I loved the little touches as well, such as when Keats climbs the tree and lays in the branches after describing such a dream to Fanny, and where Keats and Fanny are walking back with Toots just ahead and they keep freezing every time she looks back at them. The way Samuel and Toots played “chaperone” was perfection.
Keats’ situation made me said, though. “He has no living and no money,” one of the adult women warns Fanny. That was the plight of gentlemen with no inheritance. “No living” meant no one had bequeathed him a position such as at a church or given him a small estate. “No money” meant his family hadn’t seen fit to offer him his own fortune. Gentlemen weren’t supposed to work—as in any kind of labor with their hands. So what do you do? Become a personal assistant to a wealthier relative, paint a picture, become a poet.
Aren’t we all glad he chose the last?