Thursday, May 09, 2013

"Walking, walking on alone"

The Los Angeles Magazine goes on a books-to-films tangent while discussing the latest adaptation of The Great Gatsby.

As revolutionary a book as was written in the 1800s, Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights has been filmed six times. Each director has seemed keenly aware of his predecessors’ failure to get it right, the biggest botch being the ’39 Laurence Olivier hit that turned a story of monstrous obsession into a gothic romance and ended just when Brontë was getting started. Brontë plunged her tale into an interiority blacker than what film can externalize, Heathcliff so determined to punish the world for the loss of his love, Catherine, that he sucks the life out of everyone in his path. In the ’70s, an 18-year-old woman-child named Kate Bush, who clearly felt inhabited by the doomed Cathy and looked more like her than Merle Oberon or Juliette Binoche ever did, distilled the wild and unforgiving vortex of Brontë’s tale into five minutes of song that came closer than any movie has, the point being that the visuality of movies can render too explicit scenes and exteriors that words or even music convey more powerfully. Some tours de force simply defy adaptations worthy of them because they’re either too primal, like Wuthering Heights, or too refined, like The Great Gatsby (though if anyone can coax Daniel Day-Lewis into playing Ahab, a fourth attempt at Melville’s hallucinatory Moby-Dick might be worth a shot). On the other hand, if Baz Luhrmann’s entire modus operandi as a filmmaker—as based on the evidence of his work typified by his best picture, 2001’s Moulin Rouge—is a certifiable assault on the very subtlety that distinguishes Fitzgerald’s novel, let’s be real: Does anyone really want from him a mature or, God forbid, tasteful Great Gatsby? As Kate Bush did to Wuthering Heights’ Cathy, Luhrmann would appear to personally relate to the mysterious con man and romantic at the center of Fitzgerald’s story, delivering in the process exactly the lollapalooza that we expected and couldn’t wait to see. Luhrmann has the temerity to believe the novel is in the service of his madness rather than vice versa. Jay Gatsby may feel the same about the author who wrote him. (Steve Erickson)
VnMedia (Vietnam) reports that Wuthering Heights 2011 will be screened at the Europe Film Festival 2013 in Hanoi, Da Nang and Ho Chi Minh City from May 15th-26th. Too bad that the picture they have used to go with the article is from Wuthering Heights 1992. The film is reviewed by Upcoming Discs, which gives it 2 stars out of 5.

STV reports that actress Helen Flanagan
revealed that she has told her agent that she would like to tackle a period drama like Romeo and Juliet or Wuthering Heights.
And Las Vegas Weekly includes Jane Eyre 2011 on a list of 'Five recent movies that successfully captured classic literature'.
Jane Eyre (2011)
Cary Fukunaga brings a brooding, eerie atmosphere to his adaptation of Charlotte Brontë’s gothic novel. Mia Wasikowska is tough and haunting as the title character, and Michael Fassbender is perfectly tortured as her anguished object of affection. (Josh Bell)
The Portland Press Herald features the work of artist Sophia Narrett, who discusses her inspiration:
Narrett finds inspiration for her work through literature and song. Many of the titles of her pieces come from favorite books, and the scenes sometimes stem from passages.
"No Matter How Many Skies Have Fallen" comes from D.H. Lawrence's "Lady Chatterley's Lover." ("We've got to live, no matter how many skies have fallen.") She also cites Willa Cather's "O Pioneers" and "My Antonia," and Emily Brontë's "Wuthering Heights."
"I love early 19th-century fiction," she said, "and I enjoy making work that is full of literary references." (Bob Keyes)
The Guardian reviews comedian Eddie Izzard's latest show:
Elsewhere, the wacky juxtapositions feel less inspired, and the callbacks – to a chicken masquerading as Marc Anthony; to a Highland ex-lover of Emily Brontë's Heathcliff – are mechanical. (Brian Logan)
Policymic discusses 'The Bizarre Sleep Habits Of 8 Highly Successful People':
1. Charlotte and Emily Brontë:
OK, so that’s two people, but both suffered from insomnia. In fact, it was so bad that they reportedly would walk in circles around the dining room table until they got sleepy. While insomnia is never a comfortable state of affairs, it certainly didn’t hurt either of their writing chops. (Heather Price-Wright)
First of all, we do wonder whatever happened to Anne in this story. Didn't she suffer from insomnia and go to bed early? The actual story is that they walked around the dining room table wile reading and discussing their works (whether that made them sleepy or not is up to each reader's imagination). When Emily died, Charlotte and Anne continued to walk around the table. When Anne died, Charlotte still kept up the habit. As Martha Brown told Elizabeth Gaskell,
For as long as I can remember - Tabby says since they were little bairns, Miss Brontë & Miss Emily & Miss Anne used to put away their sewing after prayers, & walk all three one after the other round the table in the parlour till near eleven o'clock. Miss Emily walked as long as she could; & when she died Miss Anne & Miss Brontë took it up, - and now my heart aches to hear Miss Brontë walking, walking on alone.
Royal Reviews posts about the Charlotte Brontë Paperblank journal.

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