A little bit on the movie, and a love-fest for Pablo's poems
SimonJack from United States
2 January 2017
This short documentary came with a DVD of "Il Postino: The Postman."
Miramax made "Poetry, Passion, The Postman" as a short for TV. Jennifer
Beals is the host, and it has some snippets from the film with
interviewers from a number of people. The best background information
on the movie comes from a couple of sources. Michael Radford directed
"The Postman," and Gianni Nunnari was a friend of Italian actor Massimo
Troisi. They tell how Troisi read the book the film is based on after
it came out in 1985. He bought the film rights and then got Radford as
director. He wrote the main script with himself in mind for the lead
The bulk of this short is taken up by praise for Pablo Neruda's poetry.
It has video and sound clips of more than a dozen movie stars reading
passages of Neruda poems. Alastair Reid, a translator and friend of
Neruda, provides the best information.
In one interview, Harvey Weinstein, then co-chairman of Miramax Films,
stretches his credibility with we viewers. He said that if they had had
Neruda and other poetry like that in his high school English, he
(Weinstein) wouldn't have gotten his D+ grades, but would have gotten
good grades. Well, unless Weinstein attended a very backward public
school someplace, he would have had literature classes that included
reading of poetry every bit as good (or much better) than that of
Neruda. But if he didn't enjoy or take to what he was given in his
English and literature classes then, does he really expect his audience
now to believe that Pablo Neruda's romantic poetry would have changed
his whole character? This little interview piece is one of those
unguarded moments when the big guys with the money unwittingly show
disdain for the viewing public. Does he really think we're all that
gullible or dumb?
Much of Neruda's romantic comedy is illogical, even nonsensical. I'm
not sure he didn't mean some of it to be that way. But, I don't find it
particularly beautiful, memorable or enjoyable. His metaphors and
similes can be far out at times. "You have moon lines, apple pathways."
Or, "Naked, you're blue as a night in Cuba." (It begs the question,
wouldn't one be colder, bluer, further north, or south?) In another
line, is it "specious" or "spacious?" It reads, "You are specious and
yellow as summer in a golden church." Wow! It just tugs at my heart. I
don't mean to offend true poetry aficionados, but these verses seem far
out to me.
This short film is an obvious love-fest for Neruda and his poetry. It
just mentions his communist beliefs and doesn't have anything on any of
his controversial efforts concerning communism. For the information
about the movie, it's interesting. Otherwise, its fluff or a propaganda
piece for Pablo Neruda's poetry.
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