Monday, May 2, 2011

Poetry in Movies - The Proposition, Before Night Falls

I've been seeing a lot of amazing movies lately that use poetry in such an amazing way. Here are two of my favorites.

The Proposition (2005)

"There's night and day, brother, both sweet things; sun, moon, and stars, brother, all sweet things; there's likewise a wind on the heath. Life is very sweet, brother; who would wish to die?" from Lavengro (1851) by George Borrow

Before Night Falls (2000)

For Spanish speaking friends out there, this one from the amazing Before Night Falls. I'll put it here with a translation below. Even if you don't understand Spanish watch it anyway and read along. The music really brings it to life.

"Walking along streets that collapse from crumbling sewers. Past buildings that you jump to avoid because they will fall on you. Past grim faces that size you up and sentence you. Past closed shops, closed markets, closed cinemas, closed parks, closed cafes. Sometimes showing dusty signs, justifications: "CLOSED FOR RENOVATION," "CLOSED FOR REPAIRS." What kind of repairs? When will these so-called renovations be finished? When at last will they begin? Closed... closed... closed... everything closed. I arrive, open the countless padlocks and run up the temporary stairs. There she is, waiting for me. I pull off the cover, and staring at her dusty, cold shape I clean off the dust and caress her. With my hand, delicately, I wipe clean her back, her base and her sides. In front of her, I feel desperate and happy. I run my fingers over her keyboard and suddenly it all starts up. With a tinkling sound the music begins, little by little, then faster; now full speed. Walls, trees, streets, cathedrals, faces and beaches. Cells, mini-cells, huge cells. Starry nights, bare feet, pines, clouds. Hundreds, thousands, millions of parrots. A stool, a climbing plant, they all answer my call, all come to me. The walls recede, the roof vanishes, and you float quite naturally. You float uprooted, dragged off, lifted high. Transported, immortalized, saved. Thanks to that subtle, continuous rhythm, that music, that incessant tap-tap." - Reinaldo Arenas

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