Friday, December 07, 2012

Like a Brontë tragedy

Reviews of Wuthering Heighs 2011, and not only French ones:

[Andrea Arnold's] "Wuthering Heights" feels like the work of someone who loves the wild passion of the book and wants to correct previous movies'impressions that it's just a lot of pretty scenes of lovers emoting on the shores of bogs.
It's a strikingly modern take on a timeless story, and I like it. Unfortunately, her inexperienced cast isn't as skilled as Arnold. Sometimes it feels like Arnold has to cut to those rain-drenched flowers so often because there's more feeling there than in her actors, and the result is a "Wuthering Heights" where the atmosphere is vivid but the romance is not. (Chris Hewitt in Pioneer Press)
Arnold drastically pares back dialogue and exposition, telling the classic tale of passion and revenge with probing, harshly sensual camera work and a minimum of sentimentality. Where the novel's Heathcliff was dark, Arnold's is black, a twist that deepens his sense of tragic isolation and vengeful resentment. James Howson is compelling in the role, and Kaya Scodelario makes Catherine's aching love for this damaged, angry man as raw as a wound. If you insist on word-for-word fidelity, stay far, far away. (Colin Covert in the Star Tribune)
The film will be screened at the British Film Week in Beijing, China next week.

BoxOffice reviews Anna Karenina 2012 but makes the following passing comment:
Could 2012 be the year when people finally and forever abandon the notion of the "unfilmable" novel? From the temporal Cuisinart of Cloud Atlas to the feral elementalism of Andrea Arnold's Wuthering Heights, some of this year's most rewarding and audacious films have savaged great literature to make good cinema, breaking their books apart at the spine and reassembling them with a new set of tools. (David Ehrlich)
A Jane Eyre quote in the Bath Chronicle:
It was a day that reminded me of the opening words in Charlotte Brontë's novel Jane Eyre. "There was no possibility of taking a walk that day. The cold winter wind had brought with it clouds so sombre, and a rain so penetrating, that out-door exercise was out of the question".
The Wall Street Journal discusses why women writers still feel the need to write under male pseudonyms:
Ever since the Brontë sisters adopted male pseudonyms for their novels, publishers have advanced the idea that more people will read authors who are men than are women. This week, "City of Dark Magic" debuts by the author Magnus Flyte, a pseudonym for Christina Lynch and Meg Howrey. (...) The Brontë sisters published their 19th-century masterpieces as the Bell brothers, because, Charlotte Brontë wrote, "we had a vague impression that authoresses are liable to be looked on with prejudice." More than 150 years later, women are still facing the same "prejudice" in some sectors of the publishing industry. (Stefanie Cohen)
The Stuff's Reading is Bliss lists favourite literary bad boys:
Heathcliff: The classic trait of a literary bad boy is an inexplicable darkness of the soul - and who can get more mysteriously dark than Heathcliff, whose thwarted love for Catherine Earnshaw caused him to turn into a villain of the nth degree, to the point where he married the sister of his nemesis just so he could enact his revenge upon Catherine's family, whom he blamed for standing in their way. In the novel, it is hinted that Heathcliff could be the child of a demon. Scary, but also kinda hot. (Karen Tay)
The Washington Post talks about the possible MTV replacement of Jersey Shore, Washington Heights (no relation with the In the Heights musical).One of the new characters is
Frankie is little in stature, but has a “big personality” and “boy crazy tendencies”; she acts touch and is always ready with the snappy one liners, MTV said. And she hopes to become an English professor. I swear -- it’s in the MTV news release!
Anyway, she’s got the hots for Ludwin. But Ludwin dreams of a career as an artist. It’s like a Brontë tragedy.
American Civil Liberties Union complains about schools teaching stereotypes:
But say you’re a girl. You’re shown into a dimmer classroom with significantly more students than the boys’ classroom and expected to sit quietly – in a chair. You are not given headphones or stress balls. The teacher looks you in the eye and disciplines you if you talk out of turn or leave your desk. She generally speaks in a “soft, soothing voice and gives large amounts of explanations for assignments,” leaving you no space to make discoveries for yourself. There are no role models provided to your class, and your teacher does not talk to you about being heroic or the ways in which you can be essential to your community’s development and care. You want to sit with your neighbor at lunch, but seeing as he is a boy, and lunch tables are assigned based on academic classes, you’re not allowed to.
Think I’m painting a picture of a school from Jane Eyre?  (Allie Bohm)
Unreality Primetime talks about recent developments in Hollyoaks:
[Mercedes McQueen] embarked on a dangerous game of cat and mouse with an ex-client, Dr Browning (Joe Thompson) which developed into a relationship that was more dark and twisted than Heathcliff and Cathy’s in Wuthering Heights, before getting Riley back and staging the kidnap of her own son in order to fleece him. (Anna Howell)
The Sydney Morning Herald opens the season of the "Best-Of-the-year". Best page turners:
Where novels are concerned, a lot more attention should be paid to Susan Hancock's The Peastick Girl (Black Pepper). Written in prose of eloquent intensity, this does for New Zealand passions and landscapes the kind of thing the Brontës did for Yorkshire. (Chris Wallace-Crabbe)
Blkosimer's Book Blog interviews the writer Emma Eden Ramos:
--What are some of your favorite books? Do you still have much time to read?
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison, The Giver by Lois Lowry, Wuthering Heights Emily Brontë and Summer by Edith Wharton are among some of my favorite books. I am and always will be a voracious reader. Reading is an activity I cherish.
--If a fairy godmother told you could be put into the world of your favorite book for 24 hours, which book would you pick and why?
I would probably ask to be placed in Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights. I wouldn't be greedy and insist on taking Cathy's place in the story. I'd just want to follow the young pair (Cathy and Heathcliff) on their wild adventures on the moors.
L.M.Brown interviews another author, Elizabeth Morgan:
What is your favourite character from fiction (not including your own characters)?
Mr Rochester from Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë. He is moody, and brooding, and so tortured, and I completely love him. I love the way he teases Jane and how everything he does and says is him trying to figure out how she feels about him.
And Christine Hugues talks to Aneesa Price:
What is your favorite book?
I have many in all genres but I ultimately lean towards romance… some that pop to mind first are… Archeron by Sherrilyn Kenyon, most Nora Roberts books, Gone With The Wind, Much Ado About Nothing by Shakespeare, Anais Nin’s general writing style and of course, Wuthering Heights
Le Podcast Journal devotes its daily post to Kate Bush's Wuthering HeightsVirtual-Strategy announces that the Classics Illustrated Jane Eyre comic is available as an app on the Apple store; The Herald highlights the closing lines of Wuthering Heights; Bookends briefly posts on Wide Sargasso Sea; Le Projet d'Amour discusses Julia Callon's Houses of Fiction work; Elizablog, Outcries and Asides Revisted and A Year of Reviews post about Jane Eyre; Les Livres, Une Passion (in French) talks about Wuthering Heights; analyzemaster didn't like Jane Eyre 2011.

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