Non amo che le rose che non colsi…

Cocotte – Guido Gozzano

I try to translate these verses into the English language.

“My dream feeds on abandonment and regret.

I love only the roses that I didn’t reap, I love only the things that could have happened and they didn’t.

I see the house, here are the roses of the beautiful garden of twenty years ago!”

Guido Gozzano was an Italian poet leader of a poetic school known as crepuscolarismo, a poetic current of the early twentieth century, characterized by the use of a simple and confidential language and by the search for small things in common use and daily gestures that become imbued with melancholy in memory.

The excerpt from this poem (Cocotte) expresses regret and nostalgic memories and every time I look at this scene, with the protagonists who are so close and yet so distant, that although they love each other so much they have never even managed to call each other by name, this poem always comes to mind.

Quotes

Non amo che le rose che non colsi… Guido Gozzano

I try to translate these verses into the English language.

“My dream feeds on abandonment and regret.

I love only the roses that I didn’t reap, I love only the things that could have happened and they didn’t…

I see the houses, here are the roses of the beautiful garden of twenty years ago!”

Guido Gozzano was an Italian poet leader of a poetic school known as crepuscolarismo, a poetic current of the early twentieth century, characterized by the use of a simple and confidential language and by the search for small things in common use and daily gestures that become imbued with melancholy in memory.

The excerpt from this poem (Cocotte) expresses regret and nostalgic memories and every time I look at this scene, with the protagonists who are so close and yet so distant, that although they love each other so much they have never even managed to call each other by name, this poem always comes to mind.

TIFF Tribute Actor award

Congrats to the wonderful Anthony Hopkins who received the TIFF Tribute Actor awards.

Anthony Hopkins

The gala was held virtually due to COVID-19.

This award is yours,” Hopkins told first responders and front-line workers. He stars in The Father, a drama film directed by Florian Zeller in which he plays an old man who is losing his mind. The film also stars Olivia Colman, playing Anthony ‘s daugther who has to face her father’s mental deterioration.

Anthony Hopkins is astonishing. In a recent interview, when Emma was asked why it’s so good to act with Hopkins, she answered “He watches and listens and he’s completely without defenses or any internal systems that might get in the way. He’s not protecting himself. You know that you can do anything and what will come back from him has nothing to do with the actor and everything to do with the part. He’s remarkable in that way”.

For me Hopkins/Thompson remains the most close-knit couple of the cinema.

The father starring Anthony Hopkins

King Lear (2018)

King Lear is a 2018 British-American television film directed by Richard Eyre. It is an adaptation of the play by Shakespeare, starring Anthony Hopkins, Emma Thompson, Emily Watson and Florence Pugh.

The movie also features Jim Broadbent, Jim Carter, Anthony Calf.

King Lear

The story is set in an alternative universe in the 21st-century; in a highly militarised London, the sovereign and military dictator King Lear gathers his family in the presence of his troops to make arrangements for his will and he announces the division of his kingdom among his three daughters.

The two elder daughters, Regan and Goneril, declare loyalty to the sovereign while the youngest of the sisters, Cordelia, fails in her filial flattery and is disowned and ousted from the inheritance, which is now entirely divided between Regan and Goneril and she will have to rely only on his own devices to survive.

Emma Thompson – Goneril

Later Goneril will accuse her father of dotage.

Anthony Hopkins is brilliant and mesmerizing in his performance, his monologues are overwhelming and touching, he careens from furious to sentimental, his madness is imbued with humanity and vulnerability.

Emma Thompson – King Lear

Emma Thompson is stunning as the ambitious Goneril, and her presence gives luster and elegance to the film.

Emma and Tony demonstrate once again how well they work together.

Emma said of Anthony Hopkins’ performance “I will never see a better Lear, I know that. I will die not having seen anyone do it better.”

King Lear – The cast

The unattainable Mr Stevens (he shields himself using ordinary objects as a tool to create a physical distance)

In-depth study of Stevens personality and barrier objects (The remains of the day).

Anthony Hopkins – The remains of the day

Mr Stevens pays maniacal attention to his duties as a butler. He is meticulous and impeccable at all times and nothing escapes his expert eyes. He never takes off his butler suit, even in private.

He sets the table down to the tiniest detail, his focus is dignity and lack of external emotions. To achieve perfection he sacrifices his private life until an external factor comes to upset his routine: is the new housekeeper, Miss Kenton, a young woman who, day by day, develops an emotional attachment to him.

He perceives Miss Kenton as threatening and intrusive especially when she invades his private time by entering the room bringing flowers to brighten the parlor.

He is frightened because Miss Kenton might raise emotions and distract him from his duties, so he admits that he places his thoughts elsewhere while she chatters away.

In fact, although they always are “Mr. Stevens” and “Miss Kenton” to one another, the pair develop strong feelings for each other without stating them directly.

His restraint prevents him from revealing his feelings to Miss Kenton but maybe he’s not even aware that he loves her.

This undeclared, compelling romance wears down Miss Kenton, who craves his love, threatening to wed another but he denies his feelings and he always wears his mask made of a proper inscrutable facade.

He always knows what he is doing, he knows if he is allowed to talk or if he just has to serve at the table but Miss Kenton is unpredictable and often disrupts his plans forcing him to batten down the hatches.

So he puts barriers to their closeness to keep the distance, but what are the main physical obstacles between the two protagonists?

The desk, the window, the keyhole and the smoke of his cigar.

The desk is the place behind which he hurries to seek shelter when she comes too close. It also reminds the formal nature of their relationship as butler and housekeeper and his highest position than she at Darlington Hall.

The window is the glass barrier that allows him to look at her when she leaves the house.

The keyhole is the slot through which he looks at her secretly.

The thick smoke of the cigar is a ruse to keep her at a safe distance and he often puffs smoke towards her while speaking.

Hopkins makes his character’s vulnerability visible in the eyes, and in the smallest of gestures but his attitude remains professional and detached.

Anthony Hopkins, as well as Emma, is able to give his best in the speechless scenes, they are both able to speak with their eyes and their facial expressions better than any other actor in the world.

Stevens shows no emotion but we can feel his suffering when he gazes at the departing Miss Kenton from the window.

Actually Mr Stevens is extremely attracted to Miss Kenton and he constantly stifles his desire for her. The audience perceive his inner turmoil, feeling sorry for him. His heartbroken expression at Miss Kenton’s harsh words and the wounded pride written on his face when she later apologizes, always bring tears to my eyes because I feel his despair despite his usual exterior coldness.

Mr Stevens, as he listens to Miss Kenton’s hurtful words and shows imperturbability while he’s dying inside
Mr Stevens during Miss Kenton’s apology speech

The moment they fail to declare their love they miss the last chance for happiness and even in that moment, when she goes over the desk and reaches him behind it and they are so close that their faces almost touch, he raises a hand, as desperate defense, to protect himself from a dreaded kiss and he brings back the arm by his side only when she has left the room releasing him from his fears.

Although they are in love with each other, their feelings will never lead to engagement: their chance is lost, Miss Kenton cannot overcome the barriers created by Mr Stevens, the erected wall is saved forever.

In the last picture the flowers she brought stand out overbearing ironically towards him almost to blame his inadequacies becoming the umpteenth fence that separates him from life and love.