Today is Wonderful Ben Whishaw's 35th birthday and I really thought that scanning through Jane Campion's 2009 film Bright Star, in which Ben plays the poet John Keats, would offer me up a great library with which to celebrate via Ben + Shelves.
But save this early scene in a book-shop, where Fanny's siblings go and buy her a copy of Keats poetry, there are no shelves in the whole movie to be found! Isn't that nuts?
Oh to be sure there are PILES of books everywhere -- books piled on tables and piled on floors and piled on Ben Whishaw's wee little body, looking so big they may crush him like a wee little bug.
But no proper library or anything of the sort. I wonder if this was an active choice by Campion & cinematographer Grieg Frasier & production designer Janet Patterson -- to have them live among books, books as lived-in things with dustless spines -- or just a happy accident. Anyway the movie does get across...
... the sensation of touching a book, the smell practically, and the way that little bundle of paper can change everything, like gangbusters, so I suppose I can't complain. Happy birthday, Ben!