Thursday, August 04, 2011

Jane Eyre's 'really sad life' and other news

One more review of Jane Eyre 2011 from Australia. Limelight gives it 4 stars out of 5:

To its advantage this compelling new version, directed by relatively little known American Cary Fukunaga and scripted by English dramatist Moira Buffini, recognizes both of these imperatives. The moorland setting is beautifully bleak, the cinematography splendid, and the screenplay pitches straight in without plodding through all of the book’s first part. As the self-possessed governess Jane, Mia Wasikowska is perfection – relatively plain, the right age (early 20s) and charismatic, while Michael Fassbender’s Mr Rochester is all glowering vigour. Pure pleasure. (Lynden Barber)
World Socialist Web Site reviewed the film a few days ago and today publishes a letter from a reader commenting on that review:
I agree with the points made by Richard Phillips in the review of the two films Jane Eyre and The Arbor, one bringing out the power of Charlotte Brontë’s novel in film, and the weaknesses expressed in Barnard’s film which does not tackle the underlying social and political issues confronting generations like Dunbar.
There are a number of connections between the two writers which I think are significant.
Both writers were born within five miles of each other in the textile area of Bradford. Charlotte was writing at the beginning of capitalism’s ascendancy in the textiles, in which Bradford became the wool capital of the world within less than ten years; the other one produced during the protracted decline of the textile industry and the impact that had in one of the most depressed and impoverished estates in that area.
The Buttershaw estate, like many of those surrounding the major cities in Britain, suffered from huge decline in infrastructure. However, the fact that Dunbar was able to express in albeit a restricted way the shocking experiences of her family life was due to the fact that her generation was still educated in the great novels of the 19th century such as that of the Brontë sisters—Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, Shirley.
When Buttershaw Comprehensive school was opened in the 1960s on the Buttershaw estate it boasted some of the best facilities of the schools in Bradford with its own swimming pool and theatre. Within less than fifteen years estates and schools like Buttershaw were turned upside down by the social and economic crisis from the late 1970s onwards. From that point on, the local council, in response to inner-city riots, sought to divide and rule through targeted spending based on identity politics in which all the outlying estates like Buttershaw were left to rot. The city became a test case for the sectionalisation of “community politics” where a middle class layer benefited from the impoverishment of inner cities.
These are the issues that Barnard fails to bring out.
Colleen S
Britain
2 August 2011
The National has an article on the Venice and Toronto Film Festivals:
Two eagerly awaited adaptations of novels will be launched at Venice. The British director Andrea Arnold changes pace from gritty social realism with her period romance Wuthering Heights. . . (Kaleem Aftab)
Don't forget that the UK opening date of Wuthering Heights was announced yesterday: November 11.

Another film with Brontë 'connections' in The Trip, reviewed today by LFPress:
Among the many attractions: [...] A bit of Kate Bush’s Wuthering Heights by our heroes. Coogan’s brooding at being “too old” to play Heathcliff. (James Reaney)
Geeks of Doom also finds a Brontë reference in the DVD release MST3K Vs. Gamera: Mystery Science Theater 3000, Vol. XXI.
There are references to The Graduate, Soupy Sales, Wuthering Heights, CNN, Geraldo, Shriners, Patty Hearst, An American Werewolf in London, John Sayles, and The Godfather Part II. (Baadasssss!)
The Portland Mercury likes this Brontë mention found in Yannick Murphy's The Call:
But eventually, these strange headers allow a refreshingly full, honest depth. The passages read as stream-of-consciousness musings with subjects like "What I Did" and "What I Felt," including flat-out hilarious one-liners that would be impossible in another novel. In a scene of pure warmth and tenderness, the family reads classic novels by the fireplace. David describes it succinctly: "What Jane Eyre Had: A Really Sad Life." (Thomas Ross)
And USA Today comes across an already-documented Brontë nod in a review of Glen Duncan's The Last Werewolf.
He's read Charlotte Brontë, opening one chapter with a confession: "Reader, I ate him." (Bob Minzesheimer)
And now for the blunder of the day brought to you by WPBF. It's amazing how the most readily-available facts can be so easily got completely wrong:
Emily Brontë was an English poet and novelist who died in 1848 at the age of 30. She's best remembered for her classic novel, "Wuthering Heights," which was published by her sister and fellow writer Charlotte two years after Emily's death. (John P. Wise)
Not that the new version is without its romantic charm but we are afraid that for once things were here quite 'normal'. Emily Brontë saw her novel published months before her death.

YouTube user manliuslibrary has uploaded a Jane Austen vs Charlotte Brontë fight which will take place today August 4 as we published before. Canadian Cinephile reviews Jane Eyre 2011. Abookandashortlatte posts about film adaptations and mentions Jane Eyre.

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jpmel said...
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I will be attending the Bronte/Austen "smack down" at the Manlius library. Hopefully it will be better than that youtube video. LOL.

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