I re-watched Jane Campion’s Bright Star today. Once again I am filled with a powerful need to track down people who claim Avatar was visually interesting and punch them in the stomach.
Avatar, at best, managed to put together a cinematic spectacle (and even then, I’ll argue); Bright Star, which was released at the same time, is put together by folks who understand how to speak in the visual language of film and create images that are meaningful in and of themselves.
It’s been four years and this still pisses me off. Avatar remains a constant disappointment, a reminder that occasionally I hope too much. Bright Star remains a delight , a film rather than a movie, and one that over-delivers on every expectation.
I don’t often watch movies that qualify as art these days. I’m not entirely sure you see that many out there, in the wild.
Bright Star qualifies as art. It’s worth seeing.
It’s also a very measured film, approaching its subject matter with a kind of stately pace that unfolds like a blooming flower. In this respect it’s done a great deal of violence by the trailer, which attempts to compress the films qualities into two minutes: