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Poetry, Passion, the Postman: The Poetic Return of Pablo Neruda (1996)



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Complete credited cast:
Herself - Host
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Hugo Arévalo ...
Himself - Documentary Film Maker / Folk Singer
Charo Cofré ...
Herself - Folk Singer
José Donoso ...
Himself - Chilean Author
Humberto Duvauchelle ...
Himself - Chilean Actor and Friend of Pablo's (as Humberto Duvachelle)
Himself (voice)
Himself (voice)
Los Jaivas ...
Themselves (as Los Javias)
Herself (voice)


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Plot Keywords:

f rated | pablo neruda | See All (2) »







Release Date:

1996 (USA)  »

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A little bit on the movie, and a love-fest for Pablo's poems
2 January 2017 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

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 role.

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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