Tiff 2016. Correspondences #5

  • MUBI
Salt and FireDear Danny,Funny you mention genre, as A Quiet Passion would seem to belong to my least favorite one: the biopic. Or not really, for directors create their own genres, great ones do, and Terence Davies is among the greatest now at work. His Emily Dickinson, splendidly embodied by Cynthia Nixon, is no genteel figurine reciting favorite verses but a sharp and unyielding intelligence twisting in a severe body and a severe era. Right from the start, refusing to move to one side or another when her seminary is divided according to faith, she will not give an inch. (“You are alone in your rebellion,” snaps the headmistress, crucifix looming in the background.) At her Massachusetts family home, words—not just the budding poetess’ stanzas, but bon mots, barbs, any curlicues of witty verbiage—are cherished cracks in staid domesticity, like the songs in Meet Me in St. Louis.
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