Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Other Austen books/flicks

I liked _Persuasion_, and I like the 1995 movie with Amanda Root and Ciaran Hinds. I didn't like the 1971 version (too grainy and too self-conscious).

The 1995 movie confounded me the first time I watched it. The characters spent much of their time with their hair mussed and wearing rumpled, almost dirty clothing. Watching it as an older person, I see the value in showing the actors more as real people. One does get rather dewy after those long walks in England. And even if the sea-faring captain Benwick isn't very cute, he does thrill to the passion of poetry and seems to be a kind and generous soul. Don't expect the polish of the Emma characters' appearances when you watch _Persuasion_. But these folks are passionate and genuine. _Persuasion_ 1995 might be one of the better Austen films.

_Sense & Sensibility_ with Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet, Hugh Grant, Alan Rickman (I love him as Colonel Brandon!), and Greg Wise (Does he HAVE to be a rogue? See him as a sortof hero in PBS's mini series adaptation of Edith Wharton's _The Buccaneers_. *raises eyebrows* Hachachacha...!):
Gorgeous cinematography. The commentary on the DVD with Emma Thompson and compatriots is delightful. Emma and Kate flesh out the two sisters, Eleanor and Marianne, superbly. They put the meaning into the Napoleonic era's "sense" (using your brain, not your emotions) and "sensibility" (using your emotions and taking in information, or sensing, with them). I don't know if it was the time at which I read S&S for the first time, but Austen's language turned my brain into tangled spaghetti. I could follow the storyline, but the vocabulary confused me. Well, the movie helped things. They used bigger and more "up-market" words back then to mean what we would say now in words more casual and of fewer syllables. And we don't evaluate people in the same people the way the folks of the late 1700s and early 1800s did. I'd have to quote something from the book to explain this. Perhaps in another post.

Have I forgotten a work of Austen's? Yes, if you count Sanditon, or whatever it's name is. And her letters and cute little history of England with its drawings (which was used in the more recent movie adaptation of _Mansfield Park_ [see previous post]). But I'm not covering those today.

Got to run to church for choir rehearsal!



Miss O'Hara said...

Alan Rickman is soooooo perfect as Colonel Brandon! Sense & Sensibility (the Thompson/Winslet version) is one of my faves. :D

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Michael Hickerson said...

I've not seen any of these films. Does this make me a bad person?!?

The Pink Kitty said...

I concur! I thought Emma and Kate were fabulous as Marianne and Eleanor. I can't say that I liked Hugh Grant as Edward but I think that's because I don't like Hugh Grant that much anyway. He always strikes me as kindo of a chump.

Elena said...

Igor: Sorry, the role of Elena's cabana boy has been taken. I suggest submitting your photo and resume to other chiquitas who may have open casting calls.

Michael: Only if you're trying to be the cabana boy for a Jane Austen fanette. If she's also a Big Orange fan, she might let you off the hook for your lack of exposure to the world of Jane Austen. Since I already have a cabana boy, you're still in good with me. (Even though I bleed blue and gold for BHS Bruins...and not UT orange.)

Pink Kitty 2: Hugh is an odd guy, and as Edward, way too often he looked as if he were on the verge of vomiting. I much prefer Mr. Grant as the rakish Daniel Cleaver. (But I root for Mark Darcy.)

Elena said...

Scandalous! I found two...TWO...grammatical/spelling/punctuation errors in this post. I'll have to copy edit later. Oh, the horror, the horror! The shame!

The Pink Kitty said...

I agree! This weekend was a cold and foggy one in SF and as I was home sick yesterday with a sore throat, I made sure to watch Bridget Jones' Diary since I haven't seen it in a while. I realize that while the thought of Hugh as Edward makes me shudder, I absolutely adore him as Mr. Cleaver (and in About a Boy). I forgot how much I enjoy the scene where he and Mark get into a fight! I wish Colin Firth would be my Mr. Darcy (sigh). I wonder who would have made a good Edward...