The new movie Colette, starring Kiera Knightley as the novelist Colette, is a wonderful telling of a powerful story about identity, sexual mores, gender, and of course, writing.
Colette was one of the most successful fictional authors of 20th century France, a woman revered for her series of Claudine books, spicy novels that challenged public views of marriage and bisexuality. The books were originally released under her husband’s name even though she penned them.
The film covers some important topics in a serious and interesting way. The sexual antics can be titilating, but what drives the movie is her determination to live her truth and assert not only who she really is but for her to follow her true passions.
The movie is also an interesting study of the book publishing world back in the 1890s. Colette’s husband, Willy, ran a writing factory, hiring ghost writers to publish essays, articles, and books under his name. He used personality and charm – and the advantages of being a man in a society that defined roles by gender – to successfully promote and market the works under his name. But it also reveals how he forced his wife, into writing books that she neither wanted to write nor to be published under his name.
We get to see how the real-life events play in the inspiration of writers’ fictional stories, and the symbiotic connection between creativity and reality, how art drives life – and life drives art.
Keira is so beautiful and just dominates the screen visually. But her strong-willed character and intensity take over the story and she leads us not just with her looks but her convictions and pursuit of a truth that resonates with each of us.
Colette had been praised by the New York Times as “the greatest living French writer of fiction, and that she was while Gide and Provst still lived.”
She had a scandalous life, which included an affair with her 16-year-old stepson, ala Woody Allen. But she lived passionately and found a way to channel all that she experienced into her voluminous writings that earned her a nomination for the Nobel Prize in Literature.
Brittainica.com says of her: “An outstanding French writer of the first half of the 20th century whose best novels, largely concerned with the pains and pleasure of love, are remarkable for their command of sensual description. Her greatest strength as a writer is an exact sensory evocation of sounds, smells, tastes, textures, and colors of her world.”
Go see the movie.
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Brian Feinblum’s insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are his alone and not that of his employer or anyone else. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at email@example.com. He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2018. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s Independent. This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America and participated in a PR panel at the Sarah Lawrence College Writers Institute Conference.
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