Dear Readers,

I now consider this blog to be my Juvenelia. Have fun perusing the archives, and find me at my new haunt, here.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Google Search

that sent a reader here and basically sums up my entire blog:

"Bosoms on PBS."

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Live-Blogging PBS' "Jane Austen Season": Part 3, Mansfield Park

The main issue I always have with Mansfield Park and all its adaptations is the COUSINCEST. But I'm a mini-expert on it, having written my 30-page junior paper on the changes feminist post-colonialist film director Patricia Rozema made to Austen' original in her 1997 adaptation. It' a problematic adaptation of a problematic book, but with moments of brilliance.

From what I've heard, this is supposed to be a wanky-ass adaptation with no moments of brilliance.

9:03--Ohmilord. Mr. Bertram is LYDGATE from Middlemarch! He looks old. Life with Rosamond Vincy will do that to ya.

9:05--What is with the voice-over narration? Also, what's with Edmund's Beatle Haircut and Fanny's Courtney-love dye-job? Edmund and Fanny do look like the two leads of an indie-rock hipster band.

9:08: "His life is one long party." 'it may not count, but..." Okay, they're talking like it's like, 2001.

9:10 I know they're the resident baddies, but as characters go in this irritatingest yet endlessly intriguingest of all Austen novels, I LOVE those nasty, scheming Crawfords! Don't reduce them to stereotypes, please. They're too witty for that.

9:12 This is Gossip Girl in corsets. Couple here, couple there. The Crawfords are well on their way to being stereotypes.

9:16 Mary discusses Edmund's career prospects: "Don't be a clergyman; you'd make such a good frontman in an indie-rock band."

9:19 That Mary Crawford, so manipulative, so flirtatious, so bold! God Edmund is such a douche for falling for her. No other word for it.

9:20 Does Fanny do anything in this movie except pout and look sad? Actually, does she do anything in the book except that and have her mind be astutely described by free-indirect discourse?

9:26--Orgy party play's over.

9:31--Everyone in these ITV production is too pretty.

9:32--Fanny has kind of a savant-like quality to her in this adaptation. "Me plain and simple Fanny. Me chase children through library.Hee hee."

9:33--Sez Henry: "All I'm asking is to make a small hole in fanny Price's heart." What un-Austenlike, ridiculous prose. And even a bit too rakish for Henry Crawford.

9:35--Come to think of it, Henry Crawford looks a bit like the lost fifth member of Led Zeppelin. This might a well be re-named Live at Mansfield Mark! So many rockstars.

9:36--A pic-nic instead of a ball. How heretical. At least they included brother William's visit and Henry's sick manipulation of Fanny's fraternal love for her bro to open a hole in her heart.

9:38--During a spirited game of blind mand's buff (ahh, 19th century entertainment) Edmund realizes that Fanny has boobs. Something we all knew quite well already. His entire world is turned upside down. 9:42--Edmund to Fanny: I'm just a cheerful Beatle, but Crawford, Crawford is the granddaddy of heavy metal. His hair is awesome.

9:46-- Oh, smack. Mr. Bertram pulls the I-want-a-word-with-you-but-I'm-gonna-leave-you alone-with-Mr. Crawford-so-he-can-propose trick.

9:50--Lydgate Mr. Bertram is peeshed.

9:55--"Whine, Whine, whine I love Mary." See, this is the thing that always bugs me about Mansfield Park. Edmund is such a drippy drippy douche. He's like the anti-Tilney.?

10:01--This is a terrible terrible sequence of dialogue. Dear god. This is devolving into high melodrama--and it's boring to boot.

10:05--Leeches, Eww.

10:10--Blah blah blah. Now Bertram sees the error of his ways. It's the end of a Hallmark movie.

10:14 In which Edmund finally grows a pair.

10:17 In which E-edmund become H-h-hugh Grant.

10:19--Fanny the savant chases children--AND DOGS!

10:20 First we had the Bath marathon. Now we have the Mansfield one.

10:11--And the movie ends with a kiss!!... between Mr. and Mr. Bertram?

Oh, and a Wedding. And a glittery dress. Nice dress. Oh, and a... waltz? This movie lost me way back there but I just got waltzed back into the action. NOT.

Thursday, January 24, 2008


I don't want to stray too far from any of my blog's twenty or so regular topics, but I felt like I had to say something about Heath Ledger, because I was so shocked and upset about his death, and because his performance in Brokeback may be the most significant, moving performance I have ever witnessed in my entire life if not THE best.

And also of course because his performances in (the highly under-appreciated) Casanova and Ten Things I Hate About You were just so adorable and made me love movies. And also because I may be one of the only Americans to ever have seen his weird but awesome Aussie-outlaw flick Ned Kelly. I was in Ireland hanging with a movie-buff friend and I was sick of Guinness.

He had so much talent, and was so clearly a good guy. It's just tragic.

But I'll let another brilliant actor's words stand in for my own.

As Daniel day Lewis said tonight at the SAG awards:

“In Brokeback Mountain, he was unique. He was perfect. The scene in the trailer at the end of the movie was as moving as anything we have ever seen.”

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Blog for Choice

and a review of Juno.

But first, why I'm voting pro-choice, since that's the theme of the day: I will, always, always, always vote proc-choicebecause the "movement" that seeks to restrict abortion has no real interest in preventing it, no real interest in promoting children's health care, no interest in comprehensive sex ed, or in low-cost birth control, or in anything any step of the way to preserve the autonomy and health of women. The pro-life movement is a sham front for an anti-women movement, and it's amazing how few people beyond the feminist blgosophere grasp to what extent that's true.

I've been thinking a lot about the whole semantics of choice issue recently what with my review of Choice in venus zine and my recent viewing of Juno on a screener at home--thanks hetero-life-partner!

The thing is, everyone here know how much I loathed Knocked Up and its treatment of abortion/smashmortion. But what I hated about it all the more was its gender dynamic: the fact that, to me, it was the stuff of male fantasy: in the guise of a thoughtful, grown-up flick, it presented women as one-dimensional harridans and men as overgrown funnyboys. And Allison's "Choice" was a mere tool, a device for Ben's maturity.

So it was hard not to be charmed by juno, a movie obviously written by a woman with women in mind. A funny, sassy, female character with conflicting impusles and genuine humanity who was more than central to the plot. I wanted to cheer at so many little moments of the movie when it was clear that "a woman wrote that!"

But still, the movie would have been a superior one if they had made Juno's "choice" a little less pat. In both Juno and Knocked Up, there seemed to be a desire on the part of the filmmakers to rush past the choice aspect and get on with the pregnancy because hey, the pregnancy is what the movie is about. My interpretation of Juno's choice was that more than the goth-girl at the desk in the abortion clinic, she was intimidated by her classmate, the girl picketing the clinic, who remembered Juno's earlier embarassing behavior (something about jumping into the mall fountain). But if this was the case--and maybe this is just wishful thinking-- why stack up all the stereotypes? Why leave so much about Juno's choice unexplained, as just another one of her quirks?

I guess what I'm trying to say is I'm tired of women's fertility being a plot hinge, being used as it were, to propel things forward. Because it's used all the time--used as propaganda to get conservatives to the polls, used to smear candidates, used as a moral lecture talking point by ourpoliticians and now supreme court justices. Ick. I guess I feel like it's too bad, because if there's an underlying "choice" message in Juno, a movie in which characters who make all kinds of decisions about their reproduction, it's this: this is personal, and it's nobody's business but mine.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Live-Blogging PBS' "Jane Austen Season": Part 2, Northanger Abbey

Hi again readers fair. I am here again on my couch with my austen-loving boyfriend, and a special guest, his sister who is a fellow Austen-obsessive on the level of yours truly.

We've heard down the blogopipes that this version of Northanger Abbey is not exactly hip to Jane Austen's biting wit but that it's sort of sweet... so here goes.

For those who don't know, NA (which I just re-read) is Jane's "Gothic Parody" but more than just a send-up of the Radcliffe ouvre, it's also a very straightforward skewering of ideals of female friendship, fidelity, and social mores. The heroine of the novel, who is not suited to be a heroine, is the innocent, wide-eyed Catherine Morland, and the hero, Henry Tilney, has a charmingly ironic sense of humor.

9:01: Gillian Anderson talks about gothic novels and Jane Austen: "Shocking; is it possible to read too many novels?" answer: NO!

9:03 Andrew Davies' name just pops right up there on the screen, suggesting great heights and also sordid depths.

9:04; Catherine is so cute; her face oozes naivete.

9:06: Off to Bath--and our first extended Gothic fantasy sequence... robbers, duels, sexy bandits. Oops; turns out it was all in her head, and the only thing acting wild is Mr. Allan's gout.

9:08: When in bath... let's go shopping! It's like Sex in the Regency city.

9:11 At "The Rooms," Mr. Allan ditches the ladies for cards. The intimidating atmosphere of bath is surely too much to be borne.

9:12: Mr. Tilney is joking about various types of muslin. He has a nice dry wit. He also has such an understanding of Muslin. This is my favorite thing about him.

9:13: A dance? with me? Little old Catherine Morland?

9:14 Tilney's smirk: an expertly sarcastic smirk.

9:15 "Perhaps I don't keep a journal at all!" Cut to scene of her writing in a journal. Visual irony, folks.

9:17: Bitchy Isabella Thorpe tantalizes our innocent Catherine with stories of Lord Bryon's peccadilloes.

9:19: Dudes on the prowl stare at Isabella for the second time in five minutes; Isabella, it might be prudent to add, is clad in a very stylish [ahem! low cut] dress: "God, Bath!" say my companions.

9:20: Thorpes vs. Tilneys: there will be blood.

9:24: Putting down my computer to enjoy this for a bit... Catherine is sooo naive. She reminds me of Burney's Evelina even more on screen.

9:27: The "spot of rain" and sheep traffic jam are both so unromantic--however it doesn't seem to have turned Catherine off the novels. Now she's abandoned The Mysteries of Udolpho for "The Monk"--which, if you know anything about gothic novels, is the opposite of Anne Radcliffe: the horror to her terror, the masculine gothic to her feminine gothic, the body behind the curtain rather than the curtain behind the curtain.

9:33: I repeat: Henry Tilney is adorable! "That's a dope outfit" says my boyfriend.

9:36; The Morland siblings are a pair of naive twits, but loveable none the less.

9:39: Isabella's heart may be "40 miles away"... but her boobs are right there! And Captain Tilney is well aware of them.

9:45 The General is so intimidating that even his inviting smirk has a hint of death and mystery to it.

9:50 The shots of the abbey's exterior and exterior lead us to debate the relative merits and disadvantages of living in a regency mansion...good: four poster beds. Bad: chamber pots.

9:56: The secret of the stashed-away laundry bills... I do wish they had given us a close-up of the laundry bills themselves...

10:01: The Tilneys are the sweetest siblings eva... too bad their dad and brother are such douchebags.

10:04: Tilney is explaining his monetary situation to Catherine. This, and all the other hints and money stuff, are a bit of a deviation from the book, but it helps clue the audience in to why the general is such a dick.

10:07: Tilney isn't supposed to be this mad at her. He's breaking character. I know it's all about the narrative tension, but DAVIES!"

10:10: Oh, christ. Are we actually implying that Isabella got seduced? DAVIES!!

10:14; "He may not have killed his wife, but General Tilney is definitely an asshole."-my bf. True.

10:16: The public stagecoach--the Greyhound bus of its time.

10:19: A comforting Austen mother... so rare.

10:24:Happily ever after. Okay, so maybe his speech about ma and pa is a little emo for its time. But still.

I have to admit though that despite the mini-blasphemies, this movie totally charmed me and for the most part, I was at a loss for nasty, snarky comments to make. I thought the leads were pitch-perfect and it did a good job of following Austen's brilliant tightrope between mocking Catherine and taking her concerns seriously.

I am so happy that there's a new awesome Austen adaptation to add to the canon.
It wipes the bad taste of last week's Persuasion right outta my mouth.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Live-Blogging PBS' "Jane Austen Season": Part 1, Persuasion

9:12. I arrive late due to a rainstorm and miss Gillian "Lily Bart" Anderson's intro, alas. But just to kick off the post, I'd like to say that Persuasion is pretty much in constant contention with Pride and Prejudice for my fave Austen book, and the 1995 film with Ciaran Hinds and Amanda Root is my favorite 2 hour feature film of all time. So this production, which has gotten "eh" reviews from the Austen blogosphere, has a high bar to reach. But I am still looking forward to it.

Anyway, on with the heaving bosoms, social maneuvering, marital prospects, chance encounters at social watering places, dashing admirals and lonely spinsters.

9:12 I see Anne Eliot and Lady Russell sitting side by side, sniffing and sniffing with high emotion because Anne once yielded to LR's persuasion, and Anne talking about h0w "rich" Captain Wentworth has become. This does not bode well.

9:13 The leave-taking scene between Elizabeth and Anne feels like a shot-for shot budget remake of the 1995 production, as does Anne's reunion with Mary.

9:15 I'm not sure I buy this Mary as a hypochondriac. Her face is too modern. She belongs in a pair of stilettos or on an episode of Weeds or something.

9:17 but I love Louisa and Henrietta. They are so appropriately tittery. A giggly greek chorus.

9:18 Hmm, but on the other hand, why aren't the Musgroves more jolly? They're supposed to be nice, but kinda crazy-happy-country-folk.

9:20 ahh. This is all going too fast. I need some lingering shots. Where is the stuff where all the Musgroves confide in Ann? That's one of my fave passages in the book.

9:21 Aight, here comes perfect lingering shot, with a window, and flowers and streaming light and stuff.

9:22 So much for the lingering shot. Enter Mr. Right. Hmmm, Wentworth's cute, but not weatherbeaten enough.

"Mr Wentworth, this is my eldest sister Anne." Umm, yeah. I think he knows that already.
I miss the shot from the 1995 Persuasion where she grips the chair subtlety.

I need to stop comparing, right? Right?

Resolved; I will stop comparing.

9:22 This Anne's getting prettier and I like her a lot. But what's with the goddamn diary? Since when do Austen adaptations borrow from Bridget Jones?

9:25 OMG TREASON TREASON WHY IS FREDERICK SAYING THIS LINE AT THE DINNER TABLE? "I am ready to settle down and make a foolish match etc etc." This is not his line! This is supposed to be the Croft's territory.
Also, this is also way too much personal info for the recency era, innit. "I want someone with firmness of charcter, not open to persuasion." Ohhh. I see now. I'm looking at you, Anne.

UPDATE: Okay so as commenter Julie reminded me, it is Frederick's line. But he's not supposed to say it at dinner. He's supposed to say it during a quiet heart to heart with Sophy. Hmmph.

9:26 Anne is playing a funereal dirge on the piano. Such subtlety.

9:28 Charles and Mary argue about which sister Wentworth will marry while Anne walks just ahead of them and emotes. Awk-ward!

9:29 Mary's got no love for the, erm, Hayters.

9:30 Anne falls and Wentworth's marvelously sculpted face floats above her. He lifts her up, scowls.

9:32 Trying to figure out when Anne rejected Charles, Captain Wentworth calculates the intervening years in his head... "I'm not so good at Math you see, but I do look damn fine in a pair of breeches."

9:34 Wentworth roughly pushes Anne forward, lifts her up, and shoves her onto the carriage. How forceful. All women want a man who can put them in their place, right?

9:35 They're already going to Lyme. Damn this movie moves zipplily through hundreds of pages of Georgian prose. It's like Austen on speed. Hello. The camera is supposed to be a substitute for free-indirect-discourse. Everybody knows that.

9:40 A panoramic Lyme shot--what ominous walls leading down to the sea.I wonder who will fall down them and provide a major plot point.

9:42--What happens when you put two ex-fiancees on a winding staircase? Aw-kward x2!

9:43--My boyfriend, a big Persuasion fan says: "Down goes Louisa--this sure went quickly. Are you sure this goes til 11?" ...And he adds "I agree, Mary doesn't look Regency at all, and Wentworth is some pretty boy, he isn't a hardened sailor."

9:45 Me: "Where have we seen Wenthworth before?" My boyfriend, "In an Abercrombie and Fitch catalog?" Snark. UPDATE: True Answer: He played St. John Rivers, and Jane Eyre dumped him for Rochester/Ciaran Hinds in the '97 Jane Eyre. Which is weird because he's now lost out to Ciaran in two (count'em, TWO) separate categories.

9;46. Aww, by asking Anne whether she approves of his plan to tell the Musgroves about Louisa's fall while she remains with Henrietta, Wentworth is implicitly showing her that he trusts her. And she's so happy! Aww. They are such a good team. Aww.

9:48: My gosh, Henrietta has a Williamsburg-hipster haircut. Killer bangs.

9:48: Don't bring up Lady Russell in front of the ex-fiancee whose engagement she helped break off, Anne! That's mad not smart. It might even make Wentworth jump on his pacing steed and ride off into the night. Haven't you read "The Rules?"

9:50 Well the Camden-place snobs are pretty snobby. I'll give you that.

9:51 OMG Mr. Eliot is totally Brutus from Rome! Anne, beware the Ides of March!

9:52--Oooh, a scene between Wentworth and Harville that was only hinted at in the book. How daring, how irreverent. How pointless.

9:53--That Brutus Mr. Eliot. He's so smooth, so charming, but he'll stab you in the toga back when you're not paying attention. Also, does anyone else find it ironic that his character betrays and stabs Ciaran Hind's character on Rome? Just like this movie is betraying and stabbing my favorite movie of all time which starred Ciaran Hinds? Just like he's going to betray Anne?

9:56--That is a looong hand-kiss on the part of Mr. Eliot towards Anne. Elizabeth, needless to say, is not too happy.

9:58--This version is certainly milking the "poor Anne" sentiment" even more than the book, and the 1995 version, dared to. So let's all say it together: "Poor Anne!" However, I'll admit that this Sally Hawkins person is a very good actress. She's doing a good job with the part. They're doing a lot of close-ups of her face and she's handling them in the true Anne Eliot spirit.

9:59--Come on, Anne. Are you going to stand for this treatment of the part of your papa? Say your famous "not the only widow in Bath with little to live on and no surname of dignity" line! Say it.
She said it. Yay.

10:02: Here's a long long scene where the Crofts show up, Anne thinks they’re talking about Wentworth and Louisa and gets all breathless, but oops! they’re talking about Benwick and Louisa. Whew.

Now she knows her ex-fiancee is free once more, and she’s all heaving bosom and tears.

10:04—Bath. Rainy day. Tea-shop. Ex-fiancees are stuck together, mere inches apart. Speechlessness ensues. Then speech. Good speech. Soulmate speech. Austen-penned speech, for once.

10:05—Well, this is a sweet moment. I acknowledge it. Way to show your chops, British actors.

10:06--Mr. Eliot shows up. The men stare each other down. Is this like a reverse catfight for the benefit of the ladies?

10:08--Oh pant, pant, pant, run, run, run right out of the concert Anne. But be warned. You want a proposal from one man, but you're gonnna get one from another.

10:12 Ok, this ticking clock thing is just ridiculous.

10:13 Why do they keep talking about "Haters?" Snark.

10:14--They are adding the deleted scene where Wentworth comes to be an emissary from the Admiral under the mistaken belief that Anne is engaged to Mr. Eliot. Not a happy job on his part. It's almost like that time when Jane Eyre said "screw you and your missionary work. I'm goingback to that blind cripple, Rochester Ciaran Hinds."

10:15--Some nice Firth-esque micro-facial movements on the part of the good Captain when he realizes his ex-fiancee is free. No panting and heaving for him. Still, he loves his Anne so much.

10:17: Why is the invalid Mrs. Smith running through Bath? Shouldn't she be hacking up a lung in a sanitorium somewhere?

10:17--Wha? Huh? "Mr. Eliot has promised to set Mrs. Clay up as his mistress when he marries Anne." Said out loud, on the street, to an unmarried woman. What happened to whispers and gossip and Mrs. Rooke?

10:18--She's running again. Is this Forrest Gump or Persuasion?

10:19--She's running again again.

10:19--She reads the first two lines of his note: "You pierce my soul. I am half-agony, half-hope." At least they keep this Austen-original gem in.

10:20--Still running. Damn girl. In a corset no less.

10:20--Haha Charles keeps talking about a gun but Wentworth and Anne are all half agony half hope and shit and he... has no... idea!

10:22--She's determined. Get it? She won't be persuaded anymore. She's come full circle. What a character arc.

Let's omit the fact that Anne felt she was right to refuse him those eight years back, even though on some level she regretted it, and that had his pride allowed him to re-propose two years after that, she would have totally said yes.

10:22 Kissssssssy kiss kiss.

Hey, remember the scene in the 1995 version where he takes her hand and the sexual tension jumps off the screen and it's the most important hand-taking of all time ever? Yeah, me too. I liked that scene.

10:22 "Dear Diary. Today I ran a marathon and got re-proposed-to-by my ex-Fiancee."

10:22--She's got a blindfold on. Kinky.

10:23--"I'd like you to to see your wedding present. I got you Wuthering Heights! Not the book, the, umm, house." Camera pans to huge gothic mansion. Austen-ending as real estate commercial. Not entirely inappropriate, actually. Austen was a big fan of real estate.

But what happened to the SEA, Austen's great romantic reconciliation/post-aristocratic utopia?

10:24--Apparently, there's a merry-go-round in front of the new digs, cause they keep spinning.

10:26--Credits roll, previews for next week. Northanger Abbey looks good.

Final verdict: eh. Even badly-adapted Jane Austen is good, and the two leads did a really excellent job of acting. But I'm not sure I get the point of this sped-up, relatively unoriginal production. I bet the un-deleted, sophisticated British version was better. But anyway, with the exception of proving some really good thespian talent, particularly Sally Hawkins, it didn't do enough that was new to wow me. I respect it, but don't adore it, and oh how I long for Amanda Root and yes, Ciaran Hinds.

See you next week, same time/place, for much more unbiased, earnest coverage of Northanger Abbey.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Middlemarch and Electioneering

I love nothing better than drawing parallels between my myriad obsessions, as you know!.
In this case, my sig other and I have been enjoying my parents' awesome Hannukah present (The George Eliot DVD collection--yep it exists, and don't they know their daughter well?) by watching the "Middlemarch" miniseries courtesy of the BBc and--who else?--Andrew Davies. I think Davies missed a few key points of Eliot's masterwork, particularly the final scenes between Will and Dorothea and Will and Rosamand, which is surprising--who would have thought that prince A.D. himself would omit a really sexy scene from a novel whilst adapting it? I mean Eliot has handed it to him on a platter here, with the lightning and the thunder and hands clasping and kisses and embraces and lots of "spasmodic movements" and sobbing. Sam Mendes, are you listening?

But... enough about love! George Eliot's novels were about a lot more love, and given that this is high primary season I found all the politicking and electioneering in the adaptation refreshingly well-done and relevant. There was a particular scene between Will and Lydgate, these two young, slightly arrogant but well-meaning idealists who share the goal of genuinely reforming their corrupt society, testing each other by talking about their respective "obligations" to less-than perfect men who are giving them the one thing without which real change is impossible: money. It's such a transcendent moment--in a simple exchange, Eliot and Davies have given us this universal truth about change, corruption, idealism, compromise. As the presidential candidates jostled about who was the real change agent and criticized each other's past votes this week, Eliot's relevance and insight hit home once more.

Which brought me to the question I always come back to: of all my favorite novels, the battle for the one that's numero uno always comes down to Middlemarch vs. Pride and Prejudice, with Jane Eyre and Persuasion being the equally beloved but less perfect silver medalists (And yes, I still say that I've read Gatsby and Ulysses and Sound/Fury and all that stuff).

Pride and Prejudice is by far the most flawlessly crafted novel ever written IMO, without a word, a note out of place, with this symmetry of character, events, and understanding that's breathtaking. It also has a far better sense of humor, economy of words, and lack of didacticism than the much more traditionally 19th century Eliot.

But the perfection of Middlemarch is different--it's the scope of it, the way she crafts this world of co-dependence between people of different classes and creeds and describes the way the same problems affect poor and rich alike, and this damningly accurate understanding of the way gossip and perception filters and thwarts good intentions. It's just so complete a portrait, so complete a novel... and that last line:
for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.
I can barely read it without choking up. It's so full of both the tragedy that Dorothea's sex kept her from being all she could, but also the triumph that she achieved so much by lifting up those around her. It's a question we still deal with today, no? Whether to strive for great change or just to be kind to the humans we come into contact with. Neither are easy, both are nearly impossible--look at the personal failings of our "great men."

Anyway, I still think in my heart of hearts I prefer P&P, but I'm again awed by Middlemarch. I can't wait for the feature film.

British humor at its best

Via Austenblog, I present to you this brilliant parody of the period romance genre, from Austen to Thackeray and back again, featuring Alan Rickman, Imelda Staunton , and more.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Two Quick Notes on Subjects Near and Dear to EBC Hearts

1-The BBC's Andrew-Davies=penned three-parter adaptation of Austen's Sense and Sensibility premiered overseas today... the folks at Austenblog are giving it their snarky best analysis.

Personally, and I know I've blogged this opinion a thousand times, but I'm a huuuge fan of the Emma Thomspon/Ang Lee Sense and Sensibility (S&S 05) as a standalone film, because while it has obvious flaws and departures as an adaptation there are too many amazing performances and moments--I've seen it upwards of ten times and it still makes me laugh, cry, shout "Mairanne, you idiot!' etc etc.

So far, this adaptation sounds like an unfunny Soap-Opera-ish 'do, but without any major transgressions. Andrew Davies, why hast thou jumped the shark?

2- Amanda Marcotte at Pandagon, my favorite liberal/feminist blogger, nails Maureen Dowd for her column treating the Democrats as "uppity" gatecrashers with gabby wives. Maureen really is a piece of work who should be fired, pronto. But that's a rant for another day.

Also, Shakespeare's Sister tells MoDo to "shut up." True, she should.

Stay warm, bookworms!

Happy 08 Readership

Greetings, reader-land. Hope you've recovered nicely from your hangovers and irritating headaches caused by too many people shouting "08, mannn! wooo!" from assorted rooftops, balconies, couches and dance floors.

Personally, like the Dashwood sisters before me, I've been spending my break moving with my hetero life-partner from my isolated palace up in north Manhattan to a tiny but cozy cottage/apartment ("I am excessively fond of a cottage") in North but less-north Manhattan, a wee bit closer to the bookshops and cafes of Universityvilleland and of course, closer to ma, pa, and work.

My new years resolutions are basically to unpack all my boxes and keep writing and blogging, and ignore the fifteen or twenty comments I got at social events over break about how--it is implied--my unorthodox career choice (freelance writer for the indy press-cum-tutorer of wealthy teens) must be a disappointment and I should really hook up with so and so over at such and such a corporate publication. To which I am always tempted to reply: I will sell out when I f-ing want to sell out, and not a second before, you nitwits!

In this first post of deuce-double-ought-eight, also want to add a heartfelt shoutout to my candidate, John Edwards, on the eve of his caucusing in Iowa. Not that he needs me after liberal heavyweights Michael Moore and Ralph Nader big-upped him this week, but one more positive vibe can't hurt. I support him because I love the anti-corporate, pro-union message he espouses, because I identify with his anger at the status quo, and because I think we're in a serious emergency here in the US of A, and conciliatoriness is not the way out. I want a Fortinbras, not a Hamlet, yo. Also, I don't care if he gets expensive haircuts, cause he be looking fine, and Elizabeth deserves herself a handsome man, if any woman ever did.

Anyway, that's all from the new digs. Best wishes for a peaceful and serene '08 with a heart-poundingly exciting Democratic victory at its end.