Monday, September 20, 2010

The much-awaited picture supposedly being unveiled on the allegedly official Facebook page of Jane Eyre 2011 has been a fiasco. It is the same picture of Mia Wasikowska released months ago. Even the behind-the-scenes 'fact' is already known:
Did you know? After reading & admiring Charlotte Brontë’s novel Jane Eyre, Mia inquired of her agent if there was a movie version being planned. There wasn’t – but a few months later, there was, and Mia’s agent quickly sent her the script. A few months after that, production was underway with Mia in the iconic lead role of the heroine.
Rupert Christiansen, opera critic of The Telegraph, is a good example of that particular breed of scholars who love to expose their philias and phobias as if they were based on well-reasoned theories when they are nothing more than a matter of taste, and not particularly original one:
About the second-division Victorians, however, I have mixed views. Vanity Fair is great fun, but no more. Jane Eyre and Villette are gripping in their sheer passionate intensity, but I can’t imagine ever reading the over-heated, over-rated Wuthering Heights again.
Anyone is entitled to their own opinion of course but to qualify the Brontës, Emily Brontë in particular (over-heated? come on!) and Thackeray and Thomas Hardy as second-division Victorians just below the Premier League of Austen, Dickens and Elliot is certainly something, say, a bit misleading.

Chicago Now reviews the Lifeline Theatre's performances of Wuthering Heights:
Wuthering Heights is what happens when a turbulent love goes tornado destructive. It's an epic twister that sucks up everybody in its path...including the audience!
Revenge over generations can get complicated and confusing especially when cousins marry. Cameron Feagin (Nelly) begins the show with introductions and guides the audience through the story with relevant narration. Feagin transitions perfectly from telling the story to being in the story with insightful ease. As a sage, she cuts to the essence with 'who should forgive and who should be forgiven?' Director Elise Kauzlaric stages the beginnings and endings of acts with all the characters, dead and alive, on stage. It's a haunting visual that reinforces the supernatural love story. Under Kauzlaric's direction, the entire cast engages with a lingering poignancy. The eye of the storm, Lindsay Leopold (Cathy) is verbally and physically commanding. Her attempts to 'go home to Wuthering Heights' are thwarted with spooky misery. Gregory Isaac (Heathcliff) is the tormented turned diabolical. Issac's complicated portrayal is a man so obsessed with love for one woman that he hates all others, including his own son. The entire ensemble provides classic novel performances adding to the gusty page turner pace. Initially and sporadically, the cast chants 'who are you?' and 'don't let me go' seemingly random statements that connect the beginning to the end with a deliberate finality.
Set in the moors of Yorkshire, Scenic Designer Alan Donahue gives the stage a mystical quality with swirling metallic greens, golds and browns. Mesh screens and circular layered platforms illustrate the woods and houses separated by a hanging door. The costumes by Branimira Ivanova are stunning. The elaborate finery is showcased against the simple backdrop to conjure up the gothic drama unfolding. Wuthering Heights is a literary masterpiece that overwhelms potential readers by its cult following and ominous reputation. Playwright Christina Calvit blows the mystique away with manageable Bronte bites. This show captivates from preface to epilogue. Lifeline Theatre promises and delivers 'big stories, up close.' Having never read Wuthering Heights, I left the theatre amazed at the powerful story and crossing it off my bucket list. (Katy Walsh)
Time Out Chicago also recommends the production:
Wuther or not you’ve read Emily Brontë’s only novel, you can enjoy Christina Calvit’s new stage adaptation of Heathcliff and Cathy’s doomed love story. (Mark Bieganski)
And Chicago Critic reviews it with several pictures (like the one on the right).

The Seymour Herald presents a talk by author Amy Greene:
Her literary creativity expanded while attending Morristown East High School. There she became influenced by the works of William Faulkner, Carson McCullers and the Brontës.
Casaubon's Book reviews Sissinghurst: An Unfinished History by Adam Nicolson:
Just as Jane Eyre ends ambiguously with the word "Jesus," ending a book about a started but deeply unfinished agrarian work, in an era that resists agrarianism and is largely hostile to it, in a place that depends on tourism and the oil that enables it, just as oil becomes scarce cannot but be at least a little ambiguous in its invocation of hope. (Sharon Astyk)
BollySpice talks about the actress Sonam Kapoor:
Sonam is actually quite fond of poetry. A fan of the Mahabharata, Jane Austen and the Brontë sisters, not many have seen her private collection poems. (Githa Vanan)
Clare B. Dunkle continues her House of Dead Maids blog tour with a guest post on In Bed With Books (where you can find also a review of the book). Wuthering Heights is discussed by Apenas Uma Vez (in Portuguese). Jessica McFarland posts about The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. Reflexionem-hi writes (in Catalan) about Jane Eyre and Stalking the Belle Époque reviews the 1944 film adaptation. Cinema OCD traces a history of Jane Eyre screen adaptations. Pensa Outra Coisa reviews Sparkhouse 2002 (in Portuguese). Rebecca Reads discusses Agnes Grey. Finally, fiftytwo is not thrilled about Wide Sargasso Sea.

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