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(...) What separates Villette from the other book fans know well comes from a place where Brontë’s expedition traverses the darkest shadows away from the slightest sliver of light. A strong narrator emerges, one who toys with sentence patterns to create a transformative work—a distinction Jane Eyre cannot claim. The familiar markers of marginalization and suffocation of desire still lurk. Villette takes the reader beyond the nexus into waters no one wants to chart.The Stage reviews We Are Brontë as seen at the Edinburgh Fringe:
Lucy Snowe: the presciently named character enters the imaginary Kingdom of Labasscecour in a town called Villette. She enters the town with nothing more than her name. Described by Brontë as a woman with “no attractive accomplishments—no beauty”, she enters the city as the stereotypical outsider. Between the cracks of her character lies an astonishing courage to venture into a town where she knows no one, and where no one knows who she is. (Read more) (Stephen Wyatt)
This silly-sweet pastiche is as much about contemporary theatre conventions as it is ‘about’ the life and work of the Brontës. Angus Barr and Sarah Corbett carefully explain that their show is meant to be an expressionistic take on the Brontës rather than an adaptation of any one novel.Flavorwire retroreviews Kenneth Branagh's Dead Again 1991:
Dressed in black, and with only a handful of props at their disposal – keys, doorknobs and books (of course books) – they proceed to layer gothic cliche on top of gothic cliche. They waft about, windswept, and wave black feathers around in a vaguely symbolic manner. It’s all done with tongue firmly inserted into pallid cheek, and with a lingering wink at companies such as Shared Experience, which has churned out its fair share of Brontë shows over the years. (Natasha Tripney)
The Gothic horror aesthetic owes more than a little to the Welles-starring 1943 Jane Eyre, as well; the photography of the moody opening scene, in which Garcia visits Branagh on death row, recalls scores of similar scenes in various films noir. (Jason Bailey)Pitchfork lists the best music videos of the 1970s, including Kate Bush's Wuthering Heights:
Fittingly for a song with two striking videos—one each for the British and American markets—Kate Bush wrote “Wuthering Heights” not from Emily Bronte’s novel, but after catching the end of a BBC adaptation on TV. The first single from Bush’s debut album got a chart boost from a performance on the UK chart show “Top of the Pops” (that Bush later described as “watching myself die”), which sent it to #1.Ripley & Heanor News is eagerly awaiting the performances of the ChapterHouse Theatre at the Nottingham Castle; Amberley's Book Blog posts some thoughts about Anne Brontë's Agnes Grey; Nick Holland has visited the Ashley Collection in the British Library and post about it on AnneBronte.org.
The British video directed by Keith MacMillan, however, does an infinitely better job of representing what made Bush and her breakthrough song so great. Having studied with English actor and mime Lindsay Kemp (who worked with David Bowie as well), her training is reflected in the video’s stunningly expressive choreography, a combination of ballet, mime, and theater. MacMillan dials back the urge to layer on visual effects too heavily, and when he does, it’s only to multiply Bush (always a good idea), or emphasize her movements. Otherwise, she’s just performing for a video camera on a soundstage drenched in dry ice, but Bush plays to the rafters: Her fluid movements and facial expressions are as exaggerated as her vocal performance. Bush would go on to make several more great videos, but “Wuthering Heights” remains unique for its pre-MTV simplicity and grand unveiling of a peerless musical talent.(Eric Harvey)