Thursday, March 29, 2007

True Yorkshire women

Tamar Yellin, author of Kafka in Brontëland, appears in a couple of newspapers today. From Forward:

In a certain sense I am, and have always been, a true Yorkshire woman. I love the English countryside. When I was about 10, I fell in love with the Brontë sisters and it was my dream to live on the Moors. (Juliet Lapidos)
This is in perfect accordance with what she says to The Jewish Week.
Yellin describes her home as “Bronte country, ‘Wuthering Heights’ country.” Every morning, she goes walking out on the moors, where she does a lot of her creative thinking. (Sandee Brawarsky)
On a different format - that of comic books - Strange Embrace is reviewed on Comic Book Resources and its author, David Hine, is quoted on its influences.
As readers might have guessed, "Strange Embrace" is a very dark toned tale. "There are elements of nineteenth century novels in there: Dickens, the Brontes and Wilkie Collins, any authors who write about terrible family secrets and mad relatives locked away in the attic," Hine stated. "There's a madhouse scene that was heavily influenced by the film version of 'Suddenly Last Summer' too; so gothic horror and mystery are the predominant moods. The movies of David Lynch and Roman Polanski figure as influences too, with an unhealthy dose of existential angst that comes from reading too much Kafka and Sartre when I was a teenager." (Dave Richards)
And we discover one more influence today, via Trashionista. Author Sheila Curran is interviewed and when asked about her future project she replies:
The working title is Lucy Vargas is Turning Around. Romantic comedy set in the south. Jane Eyre meets Bleak House.
Like patience on a monument - great name for a blog, by the way - talks about Jane Eyre as a novel and then about Jane Eyre 2006, which she likes a lot.
This 2006 [adaptation] is the best. Toby Stephens is excellent as Mr. Rochester--manly, brooding, violently emotional. And newcomer Ruth Wilson is superb in the title role. Previous movies, it seems to me, have had awful judgment about the casting of Jane Eyre. There is a 1940? version in which Joan Fontaine plays the role, with Liz Taylor as Helen Burns. But frankly, Joan Fontaine playing a plain, poor English governess is quite laughable. There is also a 1996 version with William Hurt as Rochester and Anna Paquin as Jane. But Paquin is deeply unattractive. It's not just her face, which is admittedly plain, but her basic lack of power. Whatever else Jane is, she is forceful in her emotions. She bursts out in anger, she cries, she raves, she resists--Paquin did none of these things. She was positively milquetoast. Ruth Wilson, however, was perfect. She's cute, I think, with no pretensions toward sophisticated beauty. She plays the part with the fullness of feeling without crossing over to melodrama. In the proposal scene she cries about leaving Rochester and the full works are on: tears, read face, snot. And in the scene where Bertha Mason is revealed, she gives us silent, stoic tears. I love it.
Another thing that really puts this version over is that the sexual tension is at the perfect pitch. Jane and Rochester are in the intriguing position of "having the hots" for each other without being able to do anything about it. The audience can feel the strain and it's delicious. And Ruth can play Jane as an awful tease. There is another wonderful scene, in the carriage ride to town, where Rochester keeps reaching for Jane's hand and she keeps pushing it away before situating young Adele between them as a barrier. The ending scene, too, is always a favorite of mine. Jane plants seeds of sexual jealousy in tantalizing fashion, though not cruelly. (QueenMah)
Just let us point that Anna Paquin played Jane Eyre only as a child. The adult woman was Charlotte Gainsbourg and this half of BrontëBlog agrees with this blogger regarding her lack of power (and lack of facial expression).

And finally Scarborough Evening News reports the controversial opening of a new tea shop.
“It is very close to a lot of Scarborough’s heritage such as the castle and Anne Bronte’s grave.
“The tea room will have superb views.” (Chris Nixon)
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