This week I went with a friend to see the Chilean movie, Neruda, under the stars at the University of Western Australia as part of the Perth International Film festival. It was about the communist poet Pablo Neruda, who is better known for his political poems. In this film, he is portrayed as a hedonistic narcissistic, who thinks he controls the actions of all those about him, in particular, the investigator who is following him. The movie is definitely one I will buy on DVD. It has a subtext about the suffering of the poor Chilean people after WWII. Also, the camera work in this movie was fantastic, with a definite reference to Noir movies of that time, perhaps best served to remind us that Neruda, a man who gropes his secretaries breast, spends half his life drunk and in brothels, and who leaves his long-term partners with debts and ideas that they should commit suicide if they can’t handle him leaving them, is very much the hard-hearted, love them and leave them, anti-hero of his time. Go and see the movie, Neruda. Visually and poetically it is brilliant, and the actors are marvellous at pulling off characters who you may love to hate.
Another movie about a poet I watched at the same venue, the previous week, was Paterson. This was a very slow movie with wonderful one-liners and endearing characters. An enchantingly honest portrayal of love and everyday life, which takes a good dig at mass media and its fear-mongering that leads people to always think the worst will happen (the bus will catch on fire, the jilted lover will shoot his ex-girlfriend etc.…).
And, because I am romantic at heart, here is a love poem inspired by the Peacocks at UWA 🙂
A love Poem by Wendy Beach
The night is the spellbound bliss time that births
New stars, sparks of light over moons and earths
And there within the cosmic horizon
Venus shines lustrous on the two rising
Who meet embodied with lucid wishful souls
In woods where lemon-scented wind unrolls
Fitful gum leaves from high tree-tops above
For night is the best time to fall in love.
There, one moment gives pause for wonderment
At soft spoken words of sweet compliment.
It stirs deep from his heart, slips and rushes
With each whispered refrain in stronger gushes
To flow from his flushed lips with pure intent
Til a creature shrieks, and woods fall silent.
There, with trembling flesh, eyes wide in alarm
She leaps closer in fright and grips his arm.
Perhaps to prove chivalry is not dead
He guides her to the glade and points ahead
Where in moonlight she sees a lost peacock
With tail dragged low in a lonely night walk
Beside splayed ferns, as ancient as creation
As old as love formed from narration…
Now, at night these lovers do not part
They embrace the stars, and each other’s heart.
(Wendy Beach with UWA peacock – Photo by Arran Lodge)