8.2/10
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1 user

Keats and His Nightingale: A Blind Date (1985)

| Documentary, Short

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(as James Wolpaw)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Credited cast:
Alan Powers ...
Alan Powers
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poetry | See All (1) »

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Documentary | Short

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At last! A real film about poetry and readers.
25 April 2004 | by (Atlanta, GA) – See all my reviews

Wolpaw has given us a gem of a film, a real film about poetry and readers. After more than 20 years of teaching both high school and college students, and having to suffer with films about poets so sugary that they were destined to insure an on-going supply of diabetics, a friend of mine sent me a copy of Wolpaw's film. College students in my Intro to Lit course cheered when the people interviewed in the film said they didn't like reading poetry, had difficulty with it, asserted it made no sense to them, and then demonstrated their inability to deal with Keats' Nightingale Ode in terms of both mere reading aloud and understanding. Wolpaw reveals a delightful sense of humor, moving swiftly from hockey teams to the Poetry Olympics to satirizing the traditional film about poets and their poetry, and the various cinematic techniques which he uses (cross-cutting, sound editing, cinema verite interviewing, etc.) underscore not only how much he is enjoying himself, but also how much he appreciates the complexity of Keats' magnificent Ode. For teachers of literature, this film is definitely worth owning. Poetry lovers may have to purchase this film since I have yet to find either a library that circulates it or a commercial outlet that rents it. Whatever it takes to get a copy, do it!


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