Sunday, September 18, 2011

Charlotte: My Magazine

 A new review (again positive) of Blake Morrison's We Are Three Sisters in The Guardian:

Jessica Worrall's sparse design economically evokes Haworth and universal associations of light and shade, wildness and domesticity. (...)
Catherine Kinsella, Sophia di Martino and Rebecca Hutchinson make a multifaceted trio. If, on press night, Kinsella's was the most rounded performance, the other two seemed about to blossom. Gareth Cassidy as Branwell tended to imprison his frustration and drunken fury in unmodulated histrionics, but shows promise of a wider emotional scale.
Although Morrison's use of the Three Sisters template is as intelligent as it is daring, some changes loosen the overall structure – the transformation of the Prozorov sisters' domineering sister-in-law into Branwell's employer-cum-mistress (a deliciously repulsive Becky Hindley) is sharp, but weakens the dramatic tension; and the final act (the furthest from Chekhov) is dramatically, at times, almost as unsteady as Branwell in his cups. However, Morrison's dovetailing of dialogues real and fictional is superb. (Clare Brennan)
Robert McCrumb describes a horror-like scenario in The Guardian:
The model Jordan, who successfully publishes ghosted fiction with titles such as Angel, Crystal and The Comeback Girl under her real name Katie Price, has always been an innovative figure in the world of contemporary prose. She takes the market seriously and never fails to gratify her fans. Her latest venture is Katie: My Magazine, a glossy publication that explores various facets of La Price's life and sells at £3.99. Will it catch on? Will it inspire copycat publications? I look forward to Martina: My Magazine and perhaps, more upmarket, Jeanette. Or Hilary, or Ali? Who could rule out Jo! The Official JK Rowling Magazine. Alternatively, a commercially minded Brontë estate could launch Charlotte – or, perhaps, Lottie!
Awards Daily reviews Wuthering Heights 2011, seen in Toronto:
Wuthering Heights, is one of the more intellectually challenging films to screen at the festival this year. Andrea Arnold adapts Emily Brontë’s celebrated novel with voracious authenticity. Gone is the languid pacing of many classical adaptations, as are the sweeping score, the heaving bosoms, and the stylized smooching in the rain. This is Brontë stripped and raw.
If not for the title, one might not suspect that Wuthering Heights is based on a book. Arnold conjures up an exciting episodic structure for the narrative, and allows the drama to unfurl in fragmented and synecdochal close-ups as well as disorienting hand-held shots. The film has minimal dialogue, thus expensing with much of the prose that readers assume to be sacred. Wuthering Heights is a wholly cinematic rendering of the literary classic and a wondrous feat of visual composition. Cinematography Robbie Ryan writes the film masterfully through his lens, and offers a markedly original take on the period piece, for his camera rejects the expansive widescreen vistas and swooning pans that usually accentuate such films and instead opts for densely composed frames at the small ratio of 1.33:1. Arnold and Ryan pack as much detail into one frame into Wuthering Heights as a Victorian novelist would into one page. After the success of Cary Fukunaga’s Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights should readily whet the appetite of anyone hungry for another serving of literary cinema. (Patrick Mullen)
According to HitFix, Olivia Hetreed is not very happy with the final version of the film:
All the elements exist in "Wuthering Heights" to have made something good and interesting and special, and yet it's so over thought, so precious, that it's just suffocating.  By some accounts, even the co-writer of the film is baffled by the final product.  A big misstep for a promising voice. (Drew McWeeny)
Imdb users mdrocioscott and caramelitaa don't like the film (we suspect that they haven't actually read the novel):
The director's main aim seemed to be to try and shock audiences who thought they were coming to an Emma Thompson type costume drama by making the film as morose as possible and throwing in lots of swearing, violence and a bit of necrophilia. Unfortunately the only shocking thing was that they had managed to make such a bad film out of a classic novel.
This movie was disturbing. I went to see it because Wuthering Heights is supposed to be a classic and because I love period films. I knew it would be minimalist from the description, so I was not expecting elaborate costumes with frills. Not only was it utterly depressing, but there was a lot of needless violence to animals.
But MSN's The Hitlist thinks it nearly a masterpiece:
As many books as have been burnt by fascists and fearmongers, it's safe to suggest an equal number have been ruined not by hatred but, rather, by admiration -- placed on a high shelf where they can't be touched or broken or sullied or, eventually, seen, and so we pass them by with a vague notion of what they're about each time we breeze by them. Much like this year's earlier adaptation of "Jane Eyre" from Cary Fukanaga (sic), Andrea Arnold's "Wuthering Heights" takes Emily Brontë's sole 1847 novel and reclaims it from that sealed vault of veneration, the airless, sealed space where so much of the canon is placed so the books might be unharmed but instead merely ensures that the books are unread and unappreciated.  (...)
But Arnold's version made me truly think about what I truly knew about Bronte's work and the times it depicted, and truly feel for Heathcliffe's (sic) doomed passion and Cathy's impossible love. The performers are fascinating -- Howson's Heathcliffe (sic) is a glowering force of nature, Scodelario's Cathy a pale shimmer of pure feeling poured into the knots and constrictions of a lady's dress.
Visually, the film is a marvel, shot through with the raw, stark sense of sense that Arnold brings to her work -- the feel of wet earth, the cold of an abandoned room, the lush crimson of Cathy's riding coat, the blasted vastness of the windy moors. Atop the hill where they looked out over the countryside as children, battered and shaken by the wind and the passage of time, Cathy makes what's almost a joke: "How could you leave all this?" Then she breaks: "How could you leave me?" throughout the film, the cool remove of watching passion and feeling through cinema becomes simply passion, feeling and cinema. Arnold could have stayed in what seemed to be her métier of urban grit and modern trials, low-income housing and low-outcome lives. Instead, she's at a stroke reinvented herself, from a director to watch to a major talent, her past ability and intellect and feeling opening up with a burst of new energy that gives her potential future work -- and her current admirers -- a dizzying sense of possibility.  (James Rocchi)
Petronella Wyatt tries to be funny in the Daily Mail:
I have just seen the new Jane Eyre  film with Mia Wasikowska in the title role and Michael Fassbender as brooding aristo Mr Rochester. Why is it that Jane Eyre is of such abiding fascination? Could it be, that despite the narrowing wage gap between the sexes, and the geeky, freaky metrosexual hybrid that helps us  with housework, we women still yearn for a well-heeled primitive man.
The cinema listing section of The Sunday Times says about the new Jane Eyre:
This new version of Charlotte Brontë’s classic novel Jane Eyre, directed by Cary Fukunaga (Sin Nombre), begins two thirds of the way through the story, as Jane (Mia Wasikowska) takes flight across a storm-lashed moor. It’s the standard plot, just not in the standard order. Plain Jane and the pained Rochester (Michael Fassbender) still engage in the seduction of verbal sparring. She is a young woman of character and conviction and Wasikowska does her justice. Unfortunately, Fassbender brings nothing new to Rochester: he growls, he broods and he has outbursts of bad temper, as you’d expect, but he doesn’t make us feel it or sympathise with his plight. This is a wonderfully atmospheric Jane Eyre, but dramatically it’s a bit thin, considering the twists and turns in the plot. (
The same newspaper says that Michael Fassbender is the new Al Pacino:
Two weeks ago, his take on Mr Rochester in Cary Fukanaga’s (sic) Jane Eyre opened across the country. [.] (...) Rochester would have found plenty of avenues on which he could self-destruct. Instead, as Jane Eyre is set in the Peak District in the 19th century...Fassbender went down in history. Jane Eyre is in cinemas now
Indeed, had Charlotte Brontë known her way around New York’s seediest dives, maybe Rochester would have found plenty of avenues on which he could self-destruct. (...) That said, this is a story that has inspired nine television series and 16 films. Andrea Arnold — with whom Fassbender worked on the exceptional British council-estate drama Fish Tank in 2009 — has a forthcoming Wuthering Heights adaptation that strips Emily Brontë’s novel to the barest of bones, adds a black Heathcliff, chucks in ome swearwords and ends with a song by Mumford & Sons. By contrast, Fukanaga’s elegant film is traditional  allowing Fassbender to create something new from a 164-year-old character already played by Toby Stephens, Timothy Dalton and William Hurt.  (...)  I felt there was something bipolar about Rochester, and I wanted to show that unpredictable nature. One minute he can be cruel, the next very engaged, almost excitable. I wanted to show that he is somebody trying to escape from himself and close himself ff, and when Jane comes in, she starts this healing process." (Jonathan Dean)
Jane Eyre 2011 is also reviewed on thefilmkid; Plaza Cinema Dorchester; Greercn's Blog.

Jon Holmes's flight was not a pleasant one according to The Sunday Times:
[U]nlike BA (which I had booked), American (which I had not) was charging for drinks and had very little in the way of films — we had no seatback screens, just a distant overhead monitor showing Jane Eyre with the brightness turned down.
The Daily Pioneer (India) interviews the actress Sonam Kapoor:
She is a fan of classic romances of Jane Austen and the Brontë sisters and Sonam Kapoor says that portraying the coy beauty Ayaat, a Kashmiri girl, in Mausam felt like being part of a period novel.(...)
"I am a very romantic person and the film, which is about four seasons of love, reinstated my faith love. This is why when I was in Edinburgh, which is the second season in the movie, I felt like I was a part of Emily Brontë's 'Wuthering Heights'," says Sonam.
The last installment of The X-Factor included a cover of Kate Bush's Wuthering Heights:
Next up was Ceri from Bridgend. Wuthering Heights was her choice of song and it was a very odd performance. Gary told her “It wasn’t human, that voice.” Ceri didn’t get through.  (
Ceri Hoey, from Bridgend will make her X Factor debut on tonight’s episode, and her audition is far from run of the mill.
The Welsh wannabe sang Wuthering Heights for the judging panel when she tried out for the ITV show, though we use the word ‘sang’ in the loosest possible way.
Actually it was more like a wail, like a dog howling at the moon and it seems that the judges agreed. They didn’t seem impressed when she left the stage and screamed in their faces either. (Lisa McGarry in Unrealitytv)
[A] women doing Wuthering Heights, in the ‘mad old person’ vein that X Factor loves so much. (BeccaDP in HolyMoly!)
A Day in the Life reviews Jane Eyre 1983; Ann's Snaps has uploaded to Flickr a set of Haddon Hall pictures.

And finally a belated alert for today but which is a good idea for any other day in the area. As reported by the Todmorden News:
SUNDAY
Get on your bike for a 45-mile ride exploring Brontë country and crossing the watershed into Lancashire before returning via Widdop reservoir. The route follows the one featured on TV programme ‘Britain by bike’, based on the books by Harold Briercliffe. Meet at Hebden Bridge Visitor and Canal Centre at 9.15am. For more information, contact Graham Joyce on 07713 242345
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