Movie script entirely versified

This post was written by Friday guest blogger Emma Garman.

The new film from auteur director Sally Potter (Orlando, The Tango Lesson) is performed entirely in verse, iambic pentameter to be precise. Potter says that Yes, the story of a love affair between an American woman and a Middle Eastern man, was created in immediate reaction to 9/11, and of her decision to write it as a poem she explains:

There seemed no other way to write this story and have these characters speak. Verse is closer to the inner soliloquy, or monologue or multiple monologues that we each carry in our head, than prose. I don`t think that deep in the recesses of our mind, we think in sentences and paragraphs. I think it`s more like a river flowing of ideas and thoughts.

Verdicts so far include:

Anthony Lane, responding in kind:

‘Yes’ is brave; I only wish its beauty/Didn’t come with such a sense of duty./It leaves you looking coldly down your nose/At movies where the people speak in prose./(Should you want a Potter who will carry/The flag for British movies, bring on Harry.)/So just imagine all the table talk/These coming summer evenings in New York:/”Darling, ‘Yes’ is playing. We could go/And skip the ‘O.C.’ rerun. Shall we?” “No.”

And approval from the Observer’s Andrew Sarris:

Yes is ultimately an affirmative love story that is magically enhanced by the ecstatically expressed feelings of the two lovers in the enchanted cosmos that Ms. Potter has fashioned from the politically well-chosen locales of London, Belfast, Havana and Beirut. Ms. Potter has gambled heavily with her ambitious conceit, and the bet has paid off magnificently: The loveliness of Yes is sublime.


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