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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2008 5:15 pm 
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It's Masterpiece Theatre, Cerin, which has been Sunday night in most places, I think. This Sunday is Northanger Abbey; next in some order come Mansfield Park, Emma (a production they've shown before), P&P for three weeks, and S&S for two (and there is also an Austen biopic in the mix somewhere).

I will have to look out for North and South!

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― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2008 5:21 pm 
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Thanks, Prim! (Our local newspaper, in a fit of unparalleled Scrooginess, decided to stop putting the TV guide section into non-subscription Sunday papers!) So how was the 'Persuasion'? (I did love the Ciaran Hinds version.)

Yes, do look for North and South. I'd love to know what you thought of it.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2008 6:05 pm 
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It was enjoyable, Cerin, though I still prefer the movie version. It was just a little bit "meh" by contrast. Anne and Captain Wentworth were fine, but the rest were good precisely insofar as their performances resembled the ones in the movie. Some of the characters had had most of their distinctive traits filed off (the Musgroves were too young and too thin, and Admiral Croft was not eccentric at all). And there were too many blonde women who appeared more or less the same age—Mrs. Clay, Elizabeth, and Lady Russell, who really should be of very differing ages at least.

Of course, they had less time even than the movie. And I read on the boards on Republic of Pemberley that it was cut for its showing over here--bad PBS! It will be complete on the DVD. I don't know how much was taken out, but it may have suffered as a result.

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2008 6:52 am 
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Here is an interesting interview with Andrew Davies on CNN, including in part:

Quote:
Davies relishes driving home the idea that a long-ago author's message is relevant to the modern audience, while also taking a contrary tack from the traditional interpretation of the book.

This calls for a certain measure of invention on his part.

"Quite often I'll find that I'm writing scenes that aren't exactly in the book," he says. "All these novelists choose the scenes that they're going to write, and imply the scenes that they don't write -- and quite often I think the scenes they DON'T write are the scenes I want to see."

In "Sense and Sensibility," he points out, "There's a reference to a duel, but it's very much offstage in the novel. I thought, 'Bloody hell! If there's a duel, let's SEE it!' So we do."


You know, I am looking forward to that duel very much. :D

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2008 7:17 am 
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Well, I just finished watching Northanger Abbey, and I must say I liked it very much. Ninety minutes was just about perfect for this particular bit of ivory. Very light, very bright, very sparkling.

The naive and gullible heroine was genuine and likable enough that she didn't annoy me. (Austen manages this in the book but has the advantage of being able to tell us everything she thinks, not merely showing us what she says.) And the hero was perfect. :love: The most swoonable English clergyman since forever; quite outdoes Hugh Grant's Edmund in the film version of Sense and Sensibility.

There was premarital sex—nonmarital, really—between two non-heroic characters (happening offscreen but the aftermath seen), but that could certainly be one reading of the story as written; Jane Austen would never spell such a thing out, but she was no fool.

Northanger Abbey was too big, and I'm sure I'd have recognized it at once, joltingly, if I were English. But everything else was delightful. Very fine casting, and of course with Andrew Davies writing the script, we were in good hands.

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2008 3:45 pm 
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Primula Baggins wrote:
Northanger Abbey was too big, and I'm sure I'd have recognized it at once, joltingly, if I were English.


I didn't. :D

But then we have so many cool manor houses like that, see. :P

(An Elizabethan manor house I live very close to, Knole Park, features in The Other Boleyn Girl, starring Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johanson.)

Yeah, I enjoyed Northanger Abbey: in fact, that's the only decent adaptation of it I've ever seen. A bit cheeky! But then the novel is quite cheeky. :D Felicity Jones was adorably wide-eyed as Catherine!

The new Persuasion: well, I love the 1995 Persuasion, with Amanda Root and Ciaran Hinds. But the new one had some merits: the Lyme Regis scenes were wonderfully shot, with those wild seas, and the chemistry between Sally Hawkins' Anne and Rupert Penry-Jones' dishy Captain Wentworth was lovely.

Mansfield Park: bleh. Bleh story too. Billie Piper miscast as Fanny. Fanny such a boring, insipid heroine anyway. And no way as pretty as Billie Piper.

The new Sense and Sensibility has just finished on BBC1. Despite the distressing lack of Alan Rickman :D I think I can say that I liked it as much as the Ang Lee film. And I love the Ang Lee film.

Hattie Morahan and Charity Wakefield are both absolutely excellent as Elinor and Marianne: lovely, lovely casting, just as good as Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet. And in Hattie's case, she is much closer in age to Book Elinor.

I also hope you guys over the pond get the fabulous Jane Eyre which was broadcast here in autumn 2006 ...

Cerin wrote:
I recently rented another BBC production that I just loved -- 'North and South' by Elizabeth Gaskell (I believe). I thought Richard Armitage was wonderful as Mr. Thornton (and Sinead Cusack -- wow!), and the final scene was just about the most beautiful I've ever seen. I watched it again and again and bawled each time. It was so understated and genuine.


North and South! I loved that. :)

Sinead Cusack as the Mother from Hell. :rofl:

Those cotton mill factory scenes. Authentic wowsville.

Quibble about final scene: no well-bred young Victorian lady would openly snog her gentleman like that, in broad daylight! :shock: You have to be kidding me. :shock: But hey. It's Richard ARMITAGE, damn it! =:) He's HOT. :P

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2008 4:46 pm 
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Well, I look forward to actually seeing NA—when it comes out on DVD! The version shown over here was 82 minutes long, and I see from Amazon.uk that the DVD runs 120 minutes! :shock:

The cut they showed here was crowded and fast-moving, but I didn't miss anything essential. But I definitely want to see it as written.

Di, your comments on S&S are making me drool all over my keyboard in a most unseemly manner. The fact that a Rickmanless production can draw such praise from you leaves me breathless with anticipation. :D

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2008 5:00 pm 
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Di's right. It's pretty good (pretty good, what am I saying - it was wonderful) though against my better judgment I actually preferred Hugh Grant's Edward. It amused me to see Andrew Davies inserting a signature cameo of the hero doing something manly, in this case chopping wood sweatily. The duel is OK dramatically but brief and flurried and I'm sure, Prim, your son could polish them both off the way they left themselves open.
Hattie Morahan has a wonderful open face that even though guarded you could read everything into.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2008 5:28 am 
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I taped PBS starting at 8:00 on Sunday, and found a show about elephants when I eagerly sat down to watch the tape.

Apparently I am not destined to see these particular adaptations.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2008 6:23 am 
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Maybe 9:00? In any case, they'll be out on DVD and rentable from reputable outlets. I'll post here when I know the deal.

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2008 10:01 am 
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Primula Baggins wrote:
Well, I look forward to actually seeing NA—when it comes out on DVD! The version shown over here was 82 minutes long, and I see from Amazon.uk that the DVD runs 120 minutes! :shock:


What's up with that? :rage:

Quote:
Di, your comments on S&S are making me drool all over my keyboard in a most unseemly manner. The fact that a Rickmanless production can draw such praise from you leaves me breathless with anticipation. :D


:rofl:

Everybody in this production looks like they're really in love. :)

I preferred Edward Ferrers in this production too. 8) Hugh Grant's Edward drives me crackers. =:)

Tosh is right about Hattie Morahan's face being like "an open book". :)

The duel is ... OK. :) It's cool that they included it!

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"Frodo undertook his quest out of love - to save the world he knew from disaster at his own expense, if he could ... "
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2008 7:18 am 
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Well, having watched the previous sped-up versions of Persuasion and Northanger Abbey, I was up for Mansfield Park, and I ended up enjoying it immensely. A charming (extremely charming, wow) and soulful Edmund; spot-on casting everywhere else; a more awake and observant Lady Bertram in service of the story; and Billie Piper (whom I loved as Rose on Doctor Who) played maidenly surprisingly well. She is such a capable and likable actor, and I'm even more impressed with her gifts given how physically wrong she is for the little mouse Fanny. The tiger spirit of Fanny is there, as I thought it would be; but still I see the mouse, which I didn't at all expect. No "untrammeled sexuality"; it was all very properly trammeled.

I am just glad to have a Mansfield Park that feels more like Jane Austen to me than the film did.

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2008 8:03 am 
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(Just dropping in to swoon for the 1995 Persuasion, which I love, love, love.)

:)

Wish I could see all these Austen goodies!


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2008 5:10 am 
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Wellllll, I've become aware after reading a bit on the boards on Republic of Pemberley and Television Without Pity that I am the only human being on the planet who liked this. So take my review with a Dead Sea's worth of salt. :P

Part of it may be that I cannot love Mansfield Park, or even like it all that much; and therefore problems of adaptation that wreck it for others go right over my head.

And I totally missed that as an unmarried girl, Mary Crawford ought not to have worn a brick-red visiting dress or a red riding habit. Vivid colors were for the married only.

I did get that William should not have worn his uniform for a social visit; in the novel Austen makes a point of that, of his regret that he can't show off his brand-new lieutenant's uniform to Fanny.

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2008 3:43 pm 
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I hope this isn't terribly out of place, but I've been listening to the "Master and Commander" series of audio books, and I have to say that the beginning of "Post Captain" reminded me an awfully lot of "Pride and Prejudice".

I kept wishing for a paper copy, so I could skim ahead! :oops: :twisted: :blackeye:


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2008 3:55 pm 
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Well spotted, Maria! Patrick O'Brian thought that Jane Austen was the greatest writer in the English language, and she was a strong influence on his writing. They were both writing about the same period of time—contemporary for Austen, historical for O'Brian—and they both looked to keenly observed human relationships and characters for the foundations of their stories.

Here's an interesting article on the topic (titled "Did Willoughby join the Navy?"):

http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G1-132189717.html

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2008 4:53 pm 
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Well, that is interesting. Here I was thinking that O'Brian put in that bit that sounded like it was from Pride and Prejudice just as a contrast showing how utterly boring it was ashore and how much of a relief it was for Jack to get back to sea... and here it was as a tribute to Jane Austin!

Wow.

I really don't get these things.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2008 5:03 pm 
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Oh, I think he might have been doing exactly that, Maria. Part of Jack Aubrey's character is that he is lost on shore—he gets into all sorts of financial entanglements, is hapless in dealing with his family though he loves them, etc.—but spectacularly assured and competent at sea. When he's ashore for any length of time he is desperate to get back to sea.

O'Brian writes about both realms, which Austen never did; she wrote only about what she knew and had seen herself. But she had several brothers in the Navy—one ended up an admiral—and her admiration for the Navy specifically comes through clearly in Mansfield Park and especially Persuasion. She admired it for some of the same good points that O'Brian points out.

For example, although family and political influence was always important in gaining promotion, it was possible for a brilliant sailor to advance without them. So someone who started as an ordinary seaman, not a gentleman at all, might through fighting well and being lucky get commissioned as an officer and live, in the end, to be an admiral. That kind of thing could not happen in the army, where commissions were bought by wealthy families for their sons.

Austen points this out in Persuasion by showing us the disdain Sir Walter Elliott (a horrible snob) had for the navy precisely because it allowed certain sorts of people—tradesmen's sons or worse!—to rise "above themselves" and be accepted in society simply because they were captains or admirals.

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2008 6:24 am 
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I saw a little bit of Mansfield Park and I HATED it. What on earth were they thinking of with that HAIR? Merciful heavens!!! Talk about miscast, jeez.

It was pretty bad, Prim. It was right up there with the boar in Mrs. Bennet's kitchen, or Elizabeth wandering about in her bare feet . . .

Fanny is hard to love, but she deserves much, much, much better than she's ever been given.

I don't like to be too nitpicky about things like red dresses on unmarried women, that sort of detail is rather pointless and even silly when you're making a film that's meant to entertain modern audiences. But to have Fanny swanning about with that AWFUL hair, not even bound up but slovening around, looking like a barmaid out of Deadwood . . .

I thought that Fanny seemed sly and sneaky, not retiring and modest.

*sigh* I lasted about 20 minutes.

Just too, too, dreadful, my dear.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2008 6:31 am 
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I guess it was my previous acquaintance with Rose—it immunized me to the hair, and made it easy for me to not read her as sly (I have seen so much more from her than that).

And I still liked the Edmund.

Ah well. :P

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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