Keswick Film Club - Reviews - Corsage

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Reviews - Corsage


Reviewed By Roger Gook

Empress Elizabeth of Austria, living 150 years ago, was perhaps one of the first celebrities. She was a renowned beauty throughout Europe and held power by using this beauty, but within a very constrained system. This came at a great personal cost and growing old became problematic for her.

This story has resonated through the years and been told endlessly in books, music and films. The latest – 'Corsage' – was shown at the Keswick Film Club on Sunday and focussed on how this constraint by society and her need for identity ultimately destroyed her. It's a story of timeless appeal and in our time, we have had Princess Diana who was similarly constrained and tried subversion in her own way. Even today we have the ongoing saga of Megan Markle who has refused to accept this system and is still paying a high price.

To give herself the freedom to tell the story in her own way, the director, Marie Kreutzer, made no attempt to be historically accurate. Contemporary music and odd glimpses of modern paraphernalia jolted the viewer and reminded us that the story still holds true today. Major changes in reality, such as showing the Empress committing suicide rather than her actual death by assassination years later, were more difficult for some to accept.

The conundrum of how much of ourselves we give up to be accepted in society has become very relevant in today's online world, particularly for young women. This film offered no answers but gave a very clear warning of the danger of not being true to yourself.

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Keswick Film Club won the Best New Film Society at the British Federation Of Film Societies awards in 2000.

Since then, the club has won Film Society Of The Year and awards for Best Programme four times and Best Website twice.

We have also received numerous Distinctions and Commendations in categories including marketing, programming and website.

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