Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Makes you Wonder

IndieWire's The Playlist makes the following comparison:

Contrast this with Andrea Arnold’s “Wuthering Heights,” which drastically reinvisioned that story by lopping off the second half and concentrating on the working-class brutality between the romance of Heathcliff and Catherine, creating a visceral, hard-to-watch love story that removes the usual trappings of period love stories. “Les Misérables,” which seems to preserve its story in amber, thematically and visually, is being pushed as a major Oscar contender and potential box office hit. “Wuthering Heights,” meanwhile, has already begun to fade from the critical discussion. Makes you wonder. (Gabe Toro)
Well, it's not being reviewed as much as when it opened but reviews are sill trickling in. Such as this one from the Daily Trojan:
Arnold’s version is something else entirely. It begins with an angry boy banging his head on a wall and ends with a Mumford & Sons song.
This film is bare bones, using its visuals to encourage impressions and feelings. It focuses more on a seemingly trivial crude painting on a wall or a moment of meditation in nature more so than on the décor of a house or the style of a dress. In fact, Arnold transforms the imposing Gothic edifice of Bronte’s imagination into a dilapidated hilltop farm. It is atmospheric rather than melodramatic, bleaker and more brutal than all previous adaptations in which a swooning heroine and a brooding hero were enough. (Mallika Dhaliwal)
And this one from the East Bay Express:
But there has never been a Wuthering Heights like the new one by filmmaker Andrea Arnold. In its scope, its ambition, its social conscience, and its raw, electric daring, Arnold's film reinvents Brontë's 1847 tragedy as if it had never been filmed before, from the damp ground up. [...]
This dank, impetuous, stormy Wuthering Heights is clearly one of the very best movies of 2012 — one to stand with Cary Fukunaga's Jane Eyre in the Brontë sweepstakes, but somehow purer, cleaner, more naturalistic, altogether more tormented, never an easy piece of light entertainment. Miss it at your peril. (Kelly Vance)
Cine Vue reviews the Electrick Children DVD and  coincidentally says that,
With close-ups of crawling ants and wide-angle prairie landscapes, the film shares the goose-bump inducing beauty of Andrea Arnold's Wuthering Heights (2011) and similar attention to detail as Cate Shortland's Somersault (2004), with which it also shares an equally vulnerable protagonist. (Leigh Clark)
Reel Life with Jane looks at 'Strong Females in Film and Fiction' and lists Jane Eyre among them.
There are many forms of “strength” in men and women, boys and girls. We’re all measured in the same way. There’s 1) literal strength (the skills to kick butt); 2) emotional strength (the ability to fight through hard times); and 3) moral strength (the need to sacrifice for others or what is right). These are not just male traits, and it’s not news that females possess these traits.
So, based on those three traits, here are my top ten kick-ass females in film and literature:
Jane Eyre is definitely not a damsel in distress. No matter what, she relies on herself. (S.R. Johannes)
The Telegraph also finds a Brontë source of inspiration when reviewing Der Ring des Nibelungen at the Royal Opera House in London.
Sieglinde from the second opera in the cycle, Die Walkure, for example, is stuck in a loveless marriage to Hunding, which she rebels against by running off with Siegmund. You can hardly blame her, especially when in this production Hunding (played by a superb John Tomlinson) keeps her in a Jane Eyre-style Red Room. (Sameer Rahim)
The Daily News (Sri Lanka) uses Wuthering Heights to highlight the differences between Debussy and Beethoven.
With regard to his comment above about the ‘Pastoral’ Symphony, what Debussy evidently meant was that Beethoven's personality interfered with the direct experience of nature that a mere passive contemplation of it would afford. This puts one in mind of a beautiful passage in ‘Wuthering Heights’ where the younger Cathy is talking to her sickly cousin, Linton:
“One time we were near quarrelling. He said the pleasantest manner of spending a hot July was lying from morning till evening on a bank of heath in the middle of the moors, with the bees humming dreamily among the bloom, and the larks singing high up overhead, and the blue sky and bright sun shining steadily and cloudlessly.
That was his most perfect idea of heaven's happiness: mine was rocking in a rustling green tree, with a west wind blowing, and bright white clouds flitting rapidly above; and not only larks, but throstles, and blackbirds, and linnets, and cuckoos pouring out music on every side, and the moors seen at a distance, broken into cool dusky dells; but close by great swells of long grass undulating in waves to the breeze; and the woods and sounding water, and the whole world awake and wild with joy. He wanted all to lie in an ecatasy of peace; I wanted all to sparkle and dance in a glorious jubilee.”
Perhaps it is not too far-fetched to conjecture tnat Linton's and Cathy's markedy different approaches to nature correspond to those of Debussy and Beethoven respectively; the former passively receptive, the latter actively participative. The point is that Beethoven's insistence on participating makes the ‘Pastoral’ as much about himself as it is about nature. ‘A glorious jubilee’ neatly sums up the experience of this symphony.
Debussy, on the other hand, was content to keep his personality out of the picture and give himself wholly up to ‘the mysterious accord that exists between nature and the imagination'. (Priya David)
Yesterday both Musings of a Bookworm and Vá se for ler! (in Portuguese) celebrated the 165th anniversary of the publication of Jane EyreWTF Are You Reading? has reviewed Tina Connolly's Ironskin.

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