Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Willy-nilly Brontës

Many websites talk about the upcoming concerts by Kate Bush and of course her Wuthering Heights signature song is mentioned. Not all of them write as sarcastically as The Sydney Morning Herald:

But you don’t need to be a fossil who remembers all the words to Wuthering Heights to have a sense of why Bush, who pointed out she’d chosen a modest theatre holding about 3000 rather than an arena or stadium for these shows, said eschewing the now ubiquitous camera phones would “allow us to all share in the experience together". (Bernard Zuel)
CinemaRetro reviews the Cohen Collection Blu-Ray edition of Les Soeurs Brontë 1979:
I approached the 2013 Blu-Ray edition of André Téchiné’s “The Brontë Sisters” (1979) with mild interest, (...) But I was pleasantly surprised. Relating the formative events in the lives of the three sisters and their brother Branwell (Pascal Greggory) in straightforward, episodic form, Téchiné’s interpretation is first-rate: excellently acted, emotionally moving, and visually striking with starkly beautiful cinematography by Bruno Nuytten on the Yorkshire moors where the Bronte siblings lived their sadly short lives. (...)
In addition to the making-of documentary, the Cohen Film Collection Blu-Ray includes two trailers and an excellent audio commentary track by film critic Wade Major and Brontë scholar Sue Lonoff de Cuevas. If you’re as unfamiliar with the subject matter as I was, I might almost suggest that you listen to the commentary before playing the movie, since Major and de Cuevas illuminate many details about Brontë history and about the production aspects of the movie that deepened my appreciation of the film. Although the making-of documentary doesn’t include Adjani or Huppert (Pisier died in 2011), many of the other key cast and crew are interviewed. This is an excellent Blu-Ray package, highly recommended. (Fred Blosser)
Margaret H. Laing discusses the expression 'willy-nilly' in Chicago Now:
Willy-nilly in English originated from "will you, nil you" -- if you don't believe me, check Charlotte Brontë's "Jane Eyre." It's a way of saying "whether you want to or not" if you take it literally. Using my French-English and all-French Larousse dictionaries, I found it defined as at random  in English -- but n'importe comment (it doesn't matter how) in French.
Well, we have checked Jane Eyre and, as far as we know, Charlotte Brontë doesn't use the expression in any of its variants. We wonder if the confusion comes from here.

The Times and The Telegraph publish obituaries of the actor and writer Neal Arden (1909-2014) where among his credits a touring production of Wuthering Heights in which he played Heathcliff is listed.

The Scotsman celebrates Emily Brontë's anniversary today. It seems that they have the dates a bit mixed. On August 20th, 1818, Emily Brontë was baptised. The Parsonage Twitter remembers it here. April Lindner's Catherine appears in paperback. The author talks about it on Novl and on Goodreads you can win a copy. TeenInk has a review of Jane Eyre. Ruth's Walking Blog has visited Top Withens. K.M. Weiland, editor of the Writer's Digest Annotated edition of Jane Eyre posts about it on Romance University.

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