Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Making a movie about a poet

For ages, I've imagined the idea of creating a movie adaptation of an enigmatic and beautiful book by Rainer Maria Rilke with a curious title: The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge. In my article of 19 June 2009 entitled Work in progress [display], I described my project in this domain. Since the end of summer, when I finally got around to completing a French-language movie script, I have imagined naively that I would rapidly encounter individuals who would be delighted to collaborate with me on this project, or to at least encourage me in various ways. Sadly, this has not been the case. Certainly, Christine has helped me greatly with the technical task of producing decent French, but she remains essentially opposed, I believe (for reasons that I can vaguely fathom), to the very idea that Rilke's novel should or could be brought to the screen.

I was reassured to learn that the New Zealand Academy Award winning cinéaste Jane Campion has created a movie about the English poet John Keats [1795-1821].

Here's the trailer:

Jane Campion explained to a journalist: "When I was blocked by such-and-such a situation, I asked my fifteen-year-old daughter Alice for advice. She is sensitive and intelligent, and she's not afraid of expressing her emotions and her sentiments. That spontaneity, that freshness and that naturalness were most useful for me."

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to develop my script on Malte in such a sympathetic environment. And yet I'm persuaded that Rilke and his hero Malte are vastly more interesting personages than Keats, particularly from a cinematographic viewpoint. I remain confident. We'll see...

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