Friday, March 24, 2017

As expected, there's more on the US broadcast of To Walk Invisible. Variety reviews it:
To Walk Invisible” will no doubt be catnip to a few different subcategories of TV fans: Those who enjoy costume dramas, those who can’t get enough of films about creative types, those who simply appreciate well-made films with strong but subtly conveyed points of view, and those who enjoy the work of Sally Wainwright, the creator of “Happy Valley.”
For those who fall into all four groups, “To Walk Invisible,” which serves up an intense glimpse into the lives of the Brontë sisters, will fly by. [...]
My only substantive complaint is that it’s not a miniseries; certainly the lives of the Brontës could fill up several seasons of TV (and maybe someday they will). [...]
To Walk Invisible” may be about a group of artists, but it is flinty in its realism and quite unsentimental about what Branwell’s decline was like to witness. The Brontës were far from rich, but they had a larger house than most, and somehow Branwell and his unstoppable decline managed to invade almost all of it. Even in the rooms he does not occupy, the sadness and tragedy of his situation is unavoidable, and the sisters’ glances at each other are enough to convey the weight of what they’re bearing. They love him, but everything he puts them through is not only painful, it takes them away from their life’s work (and the household tasks they were still expected to perform). Their ferocious frustration comes through in the fiction and poetry they did manage to finish before the untimely deaths of two of the sisters.
Wainwright expertly explores the idea that while the expectations for Branwell just about crushed him, the fact that nothing was expected of his sisters goaded them into acts of creation that burn with a fire that readers can still sense today.
To Walk Invisible” also sketches a beautiful portrait of the sisters’ connection to the wild landscape around them; a love for the natural world of their beloved Haworth fed into the yearning richness of their work. The film makes it easy to wish for more stories about each sister and the individual experiences she went through before and after all three were finally published. At least we still have their poetry and novels, which allow us to be impressed, as Wainwright clearly is, by what these driven and compassionate women accomplished in such a short amount of time. (Maureen Ryan)
The Wall Street Journal has reviewed it as well:
In this darkly acerbic, and riveting, Masterpiece drama, written and directed by Sally Wainwright (writer of the wonderful “Last Tango in Halifax”), it is the struggle to survive, not literary ambition—though that ambition is a strong one—that takes precedence in the lives of these sisters. (...)
A flamboyant sort, Branwell continues to harbor dreams of literary achievement, with no hope of fulfilling them. He’s a drinker and can’t stop, the chief cause of the somberness that sits heavily on life at the Yorkshire parsonage where the Brontës lived.
He’s not, however the only cause of the gloom and tension that hang in the atmosphere, that seems to touch every conversation between the sisters, each with literary ambitions, each secretly—at least at first—trying her hand at writing. Their ultimate triumph arrives with the emergence of their actual identities after writing wildly successful works, all under male-sounding pseudonyms. (Dorothy Rabinowitz)
 The Californian considers it 'Sunday's must-try' and goes with the (again: non-existent) mumbling trend.
Here’s a fascinating real-life story – strong enough to overcome poor filmmaking: Overshadowed by their clergyman dad and alcoholic brother, the Brontë sisters still managed to make literary history.
The problem starts with the script, which gives way too much attention to the brother and too little to the women who mattered. A bigger problem is the direction: “To Walk Invisible” is visually drab and much of its dialog is rushed or mumbled. Despite its flaws, a great story shines through. (Mike Hughes)
WKAR describes it as 'a beautifully filmed and acted two-hour drama'. WOUB Digital recommends it too.

Writer Sara Flannery Murphy has selected the 'Top 10 stories of obsession' for The Guardian. Wuthering Heights had to be there:
2. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë (1847)
Heathcliff and Catherine are the poster children for unhealthy romance, the train-wreck kind of love that’s hard to look away from. Sure, the love affair goes quickly downhill, a destructive passion that never finds a healthy outlet and has damaging implications for their families. But it’s fascinating to encounter someone so obsessed that he’ll alter his lover’s coffin to bring her closer after death.
The Bolton News features the forthcoming stage adaptation of The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.
The Brontë sisters are a viewed by many as the royal family of the writing world.
But the next production at the Octagon Theatre will be bring to life the works of the youngest of the literary lineage, Anne Brontë.
Award-winning playwright Deborah McAndrew is hoping her new adaption of The Tenant of Wildfell Hall will spread the love for the lesser-known Brontë.
She said: “I don’t think 'Tenant' is quite as well known as say Emily’s Wuthering Heights or Charlotte’s Jane Eyre, so there’s an opportunity to bring this story to an audience unfamiliar with it.
“Hopefully people will go away to read the book after seeing the play. There’s so much more in the book.”
Deborah was approached by the Octagon’s artistic director Elizabeth Newman to bring a classic to the stage.
She has adapted numerous stories, as well as writing original plays, and her 2014 play An August Bank Holiday Lark won best Best New Play at the UK Theatre Awards.
Born in Huddersfield, she admits to have an affinity with the Brontes, with the woman appearing on her grandfather’s wall alongside family pictures.
Many scholars, biographers and feminist literary critics have praised Anne for her forward-thinking, creative talent, and ability to genuinely write about issues that affected the everyday lives of women. [...]
Told in first person, then through Helen’s diary, Deborah has had the challenge of adapting the intense story for the stage.
She explains: "There is still a flashback but the first person becomes more of an equal perspective between Markham and Helen.
"Fundamentally it is a love story, that's what makes us care. It is a really satisfying piece of work to work with.
"It has got everything you want from a Brontë story, from brooding handsome men to intelligent serious women.
"I can't wait to see it on the stage." (Rosalind Saul)
ConcertoNet mentions the music of the film Devotion and a recent concert at St. Mark’s Church in-the-Bower in New York:
If this concert had one other star is was soprano Ariadne Greif. The vocal works here were more suitable constellations around Mr. Schoenberg. But the selections were, with few exceptions echt-Romantic, music which was pulling at the yokes of the diatonic scale, sometimes breaking through, but always retaining its passion.
And she was the soprano to essay each one. Coming near to the hysteria of the poems, but always, always keeping hold of her stunning voice.
That was simple enough in Erich Korngold’s song–which he plagiarized for his own music to the Warner Brothers movie Devotion. (Believe it or not, this was a 1946 weepie with Olivia de Havilland and Ida Lupino as the Brontë sisters!) Ms. Greif was not afraid to pull out the Romantic steps from Mr. Korngold, a Schoenberg student whose own genius was in opera and film. Nor did she hold back in the first version of Alban Berg’s Close Both My Eyes. He had written this as a 19th Century passionate song–arranging it much later as a tone-row. (Harry Rolnick)
The Yorkshire Evening Post reviews The Fleece Inn in Haworth.
A visit to lovely Haworth is always a treat. The legacy of the Brontës underpins the long-term survival of its cobbled streets and quintessentially Yorkshire stone buildings, insulating the community against the careless ravages of redevelopment.
The Fleece sits alongside Haworth’s dramatically sloping main street, offering a welcome haven for those in search of decent pub food and traditional hand-pulled beer. The name Timothy Taylor above the inn sign and picked out in gold lettering on the windows is a reliable guarantee of quality.
Legend has it that Branwell Brontë drank here too; some say the ghost of the sisters’ ill-starred artist brother lingers here still. [...]
This hearty dining is a hallmark of Taylor’s pubs and here a menu of pies, steaks, sausage and burgers – as well as plenty of vegetarian choices – should please most people.
It certainly helps to draw in the tourists in a town which attracts thousands, chiefly those who are drawn by their love of Jane Eyre or Wuthering Heights.
The Brontës and fashion. Financial Times discusses sleeves:
Simone Rocha’s frothy taffeta shoulders drew on fashion’s current romance with the 19th century, when sleeve shapes fluctuated wildly from elaborate whalebone creations to straitjacket-esque “imbecile sleeves” (Emily Brontë was mocked for clinging on to the Romantic gigot sleeves long after they had fallen out of fashion in the 1840s). (Johanna Thomas-Corr)
Drapers features the new collection by Alistair James:
The autumn collection was inspired by the novels of the Brontë sisters, known for their haunting narratives in wild settings, and historical references appear as wispy white dresses and structured, almost corseted gowns. (Harriet Brown)
The Sydney Morning Herald talks about Your Always: Letter of Longing:
The exquisite irony of longing is that it feeds on rejection, denial and silence. If the writers of these letters had not been rebuffed, we would not have these intense, eloquent testaments to unrequited and barely contained passion. Charlotte Brontë's increasingly ardent letters to her former teacher, Professor Heger, are a case study in the agony of trying to master overwhelming feelings. "…one pays for eternal calm with an internal struggle that is almost unbearable." (Fiona Capp)
20 Minutos (Spain) describes - rather mistakenly - a street terrace in Madrid:
Perrachica
Obra del estudio Proyecto Singular. Fue sede bancaria y conseva en su interior la puerta del búnker de la caja fuerte. La zona de entrada es una bonita terraza acristalada digna de una novela de Emily Brontë. (Translation)
Pseudonyms in Le Monde (France). Impressions In Ink reviews Wide Sargasso Sea. Nick Holland writes about Anne Brontë in London on AnneBrontë.org.

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