onsdag 26 december 2012


I've been spending a lot of time lately reading classic novels.
Maybe not so much during the holidays because I keep falling asleep reading pride and prejudice, not because the book is boring, but because I go to bed at 2-3 am, therefore I am beat when I start my pre-sleep reading.

Anyways I have been feeling creative of late and I am going to make a summarized version of my most beloved books, paint well selected scenes from the stories and make it into what I call "children's books" though they would be more like cliff's notes versions of the real deal.

Another thing I enjoy doing these days is giving my favorite books alternative titles or extreme summaries.
The storyline in itself (even from the greatest of novels) can become quite comedic if you really think about it, some could say maybe to the point of redicule, but I enjoy making fun of the things I love; for me it's part of the fandom.

If I would make an extreme summary of Jane Eyre it would look something like this:

Jane Eyre - poor, mistreated, barely legal girl, falls for rich, decieving old guy (with a mad wife in the attic.)

Pride & Prejudice - white trash girl with vulgar family meets snobby, rude hottie with a bad personality. 

Romeo & Juliet - children of sworn enemies find forbidden love and commit double suicide. 

söndag 9 december 2012

Jane Eyre 1996

Okay so this has totally turned into a Jane Eyre blog by now... :P

Jane Eyre poster
They totally removed William Hurt’s awesome sideburns and made him at least 15 years younger on the poster! (Probably to attract a younger superficial female audience)

As you can probably deduce from the title I've watched the Jane Eyre movie from 1996 with William Hurt and Charlotte Gainsbourg when I had aboslutely nothing better to do yesterday. 

As always there is some positive and negative points (though in this version, mostly negative).
Let's start with the positive:

+ It was beautifully scored
+ I looooove William Hurt's voice
+ I was super impressed with Anna Paquin's British accent! She was a good child actress^^

Anna Paquin as young Jane Eyre

Then there is the negative, and I can't stress the first point well enough:

- It was grossly shortened, especially the part where Jane runs away and is taken care of at the Moor House. And they totally erased one of St John’s sisters. Plus we didn’t see her suffer famine and heartbreak wich I think gives feeling to a movie. I don't know it just felt like she left Thornfield and she wasn't heartbroken, starved and at the point of death at all. She was totally fine, wich she should not be. 

Hurt was a much less playful and much more severe Rochester. (And it is Rochester's charm and playfulness that I feel in the book that keeps me interested and draws me in.)

Gainsbourg didn’t seem in love with him and was a little too serious.

No gypsy scene wich could have added to Mr. R’s playfulness and we could see his true character; his desire to know what she feels about him.

Joan Plowright as Mrs. Fairfax

It was a shame, because there was a whole cast full of brilliant actors (such as Joan Plowright) but they couldn't even show their full potential because the film was so extremely shortened. 
It was a little less boring than the 1983 version, but without Dalton's charm and accuracy of dialouge and events. 

torsdag 6 december 2012

Brontë sisters power dolls!!

This video is hillarious!

What made me laugh the most was the Brontësaurus! XD Check it out.
This was a fake commercial done in 1998 that never aired, it's apparently used in eductional purposes now^^

I've googled after a pic of the Brontësaurus, but I couldn't find it! Neither do I know how to do screencaps and I couldn't find the video to download to my computer, so I guess I'll have to live without the Brontësaurus, unless some kind soul can help me out? ^_~

I found these pics though:
Emily, Charlotte and Anne Brontë fight against evil publishers who don't want to publish books written by women!

They come complete with book-throwing action!

The dolls come together to form the all-powerful Brontësaurus

Anyways, this made my day!^^ 
(I kind of wish this toy was real XD)

tisdag 4 december 2012

Pride & Prejudice (1995)

Today I have finished watching the 1995 version of Pride & Prejudice. It is one of the most famous versions (much thanks to Colin Firth playing Mr. Darcy) and I dare say it is much thanks to this version and Mr. Darcy that Colin Firth made his first steps to fame. But it must be said, that it is completely understandable that when Firth made his first appearance as the proud and scowling Mr. Darcy that ladies swooned all over the world.

Does he not have the most awesome sideburns in history??

Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy

Well, we all know the story really, of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice.
Elizabeth Bennet has four sisters, her most beloved sister and also described as the prettiest is her older sister Jane. Their mother is a loud, overbearing woman who can think of nothing else than getting her daughters married off to wealthy men. Her two youngest sisters (Kitty and Lydia) are described as "the silliest girls in the country" and giggle all the time and only think of going to balls and meeting officers. The middle sister Mary is quite plain and is neither like her older sisters who enjoy intelligent conversation as well as dancing and socializing, or like her youngest sisters who can only think of boys. Mary only enjoys improving her mind by reading. Elizabeth is her father's favorite, because she has something of his wit and an independece that he admires and it is she who is the heroine of the story.

One day a Mr. Bingley moves to town and as he is a wealthy man Mrs. Bennet insists on her girls being introduced to him, in hopes that he will take a liking to one of them. Which he later does, he immediately notices Jane (the eldest). Bingley is a sociable, kind, sweet man who is liked wherever he goes, unlike his best friend Mr. Darcy, who is far more handsome and twice as rich, but far less likeable.
Darcy immediately strikes a bad chord with Elizabeth when his friend Bingley prompts him to dance with her and Darcy declares that she is "tolerable" but not handsome enough to entice him. And poor Lizzie sits close to him and overhears it. She likes him less and less the more she sees his unsociable behaviour and his proud and rather rude manner.

The Miss Bennet(s)
Lydia, Lizzie, Jane, Mary and Kitty

So, because of a series of lies and misunderstandings Elizabeth starts hating the man, but Mr. Darcy in turn starts to love her. (If you want to know more, read the book or watch the series, if you have 6 hours to spare! Or watch the 2005 movie if you have only 2 hours to spare, and can stand Keira Knightley.) 

My opinion:
I liked this version, I have only been exposed to the 2005 film with Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen before, which I assumed left out some bits since it was just 2 hours long. This version, is 6 hours long, with 1 hour per episode, wich is perfect if you intend to watch one or two a day.
I liked it very much, though I must admit that I liked the feelings, the passion of Elizabeth that Keira portrayed and how desperately Mr. Darcy (Mcfadyen) loved her. I still loved Jennifer and Colin's more mature performance. As to the other actors, I found them of equal talent and delight.
The only thing that bothered me about the 95' version was that Mrs Bennet has a LOT of lines and every time she speaks my ears hurt, her voice is so shrill! If I would re-watch it I would skip over "the mother" parts. :P

ball at Netherfield Park

Who could blame the girl for falling in love with a guy with a house like this!?

My favorite scene was when Mr. Darcy was taking a bath!^^ lol

This is how a man gazes at the woman he loves; with complete admiration!

Jane and Bingley

Oops, did I give too much away now?
Whatever, like you didn't know how it would end! ^_~

I end this post with a picture of the only kiss of the entire series:


ps: those really are great sideburns, are they not? :P

måndag 3 december 2012

How can I breathe with no Eyre?!

Found this when I googled pictures of Jane Eyre for my blog (wich runs a deep risk of becoming a Jane Eyre blog :P). Anyways I thought this was funny^^


Right now I'm reading two books at the same time, the first one I started is called The Japanese Lover by Rani Manicka. The second is Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen. I think my obsession with 18th and 19th century novels is not quite over. Though I have always liked them and enjoyed filmatizations of such books, I have not taken the time to read them (except for Sense & Sensibility; which I read in high school) but now I will go through them all!!

Having only read about 40 pages of Pride & Prejudice I can't really form a good opinion of Mr. Darcy in written form, but he seems extremely unsociable and kind of rude. Actually, totally rude, except for when it pleases him not to be. Therefore I at the moment much more prefer my dear Mr. Rochester as a fictional romanic hero. ^^ (so far...)

torsdag 29 november 2012

Jane Eyre 1983 (ep 8-11 end)

Throughout this adaptation I have noticed Timothy Dalton's speech more than anything. He rolls his r's in this very regal and commanding way and today I actually laughed out loud when I saw episode 8 and he said:
"You would thrrrrrrrrust on me a wife?"

One thing I can't get over however is how Dalton and Clarke do not have any chemistry together. Actually, I think Clarke has more chemistry with Andrew Bicknell (St. John Rivers) than with Dalton. And as she came to the Moor House in episode 9 and meets him and his sisters, I almost forgot who she was in the story and wanted her to run off with St. John.

first arrival at the Moor House

As for Andrew Bicknell I find him a much better St. John than the one in the 2006 version. He is far more believable in his acting; stern and direct, hard (lol), the way he's supposed to be. And in episode 10 he says himself that he is a cold, hard ambitious man, and yet again I feel like this version is more true to the original.

Andrew Bicknell as St. John Rivers

The only actress I haven't really liked so far is Zelah Clarke, BUT in episode 9 we meet Miss Oliver (the love/desire interest of St John) in one scene, and I didn't like her either! I think she seemed..fake. Yes, totally fake. Her rythm of speech reaaaaallly bothered me. Or should I say rrrrrreally bothered me ^_^

Miss Oliver in a rrrrediculous dress!

One thing I can't understand is that they added a wierd part that's not in the book where after Jane leaves we see Mr. Rochester talking to Mr. Briggs about hiring someone to find Jane. It mainly felt like "the females like Dalton, let's give Dalton some more screen time to satisfy the ladies and keep our ratings up"-kind of moment.

Diana and Mary

In the scene where Jane Eyre comes back to Mr. Rochester at one point he shouts at her, telling her to leave him, but I can't remember him doing that in the book. So it seemed a strange moment to me, Dalton should have played it tender and just been glad she's back, as Fassbender and Stephens did.
On the other hand there is an expression that when I hear it now I ONLY think of Mr. Rochester; "What the deuce" And Dalton actually said this in the last episode!!! I was so happy, because reading the book I just loved it when he said "what the deuce" and it became synonymous with Rochester for me!

Poor Mr. Rochester! Noooo not his handsome face!

And I really liked to see Dalton jealous. When Jane is talking about St John and R. becomes more and more jealous and when he says (the most sensitive part for him) "his appearance...a raw curate half strangled in a white neck cloth, hm?" Trying to find out if his rival is handsome. It's so cute when men are jealous^^

Finally I don't really know how I felt about the ending. When he asks her if she really wants to marry him, it is the most passionless response I have ever seen! Though most things were done good and proper, with the last scene of them in the garden and she says "I have been married now for 10 years and I know what it is to live entirely for and with what I love best on earth." Even as she says the lines I wished were in the 2011 movie, and it has the ending the 2011 movie should have had, I am completely underwhelmed.

So this version goes to show that even if a TV/movie adaptation is a near perfect rendering of a book, it doesn't necessarily make it perfect for film/TV. Besides, what is film good for if not to move us, stir our emotions? Though the 2011 movie had it's bad ending, it moved me. This whole very detailed adaptation, sadly did not.

onsdag 28 november 2012

Jane Eyre 1983 (ep 4-7)

Now I understand a little bit more of the acting on this 1983 version and I have come to two conclusions. The first is that while I thought in the first few minutes of the 4:th episode that Dalton sure looked pretty, but he showed no depth to his Mr. Rochester, I now say that my initial thought was wrong.

I was sidetracked because his brusqueness was amusing to me and it looked like he was ready to crack a smile at any moment, though he was supposed to be serious.

But then when I got to the dialogue at the fireplace, I realized he had much more skill as an actor than I thought at first, he sort of eased into his broodiness and since the dialogue kept true to the book it enhanced my feelings about the scene. 

The second conclusion I have come to is; it is not every one's acting I don't like, it is just Zelah Clarke's acting. She looks like she's almost not even there for the most part, she has given Jane no dimension, no sense of humor and no personality whatsoever. And most annoying of all is that she speaks so low that it's almost a whisper and half the time I can't hear what she's saying. The fact that it's Zelah Clarke's acting that I don't like is catastrophical because her part is the most important one; Jane Eyre. 

Even as she's supposed to be this frantic and wild little "bird" in his arms, and she's supposed to give this passionate speech that is the favorite part of many a Brontë fan, she comes off as indifferent and too tender.
So this has been a little disappointment for me; because while Dalton is passionate and vibrant (the way he's supposed to be as Mr. Rochester) Clarke looks detached with no dimension (not how Jane is, she is not a one dimensional character.)

On the plus side this version is much more detailed than the other two I've seen. This version has actually kept the gypsy scene just as it is in the book (well, revised, but with Rochester as the gypsy) and I love that they kept that because in that scene he says one of my most favorite things in the whole book;
"Chance has meted you a measure of happiness: that I know...It depends on yourself to stretch out your hand, and take it up: but whether you will do so, is the problem I study."
And I laughed so much when he came out of his disguise and screamed "Off ye lendings!" >_< 

Episode 7 ended with the interruption at the church "There is an impediment"
To be continued...

tisdag 27 november 2012

Jane Eyre 1983 (ep 1-3)

I have seen the first 3 episodes of the 1983 version of Jane Eyre.
It is (as I said in my last post) a production for TV (BBC) with 11 episodes.
Each episode is 25 minutes long.

It starrs Zelah Clarke and Timothy Dalton
(As can be seen by the cover the big star here is Dalton, as the picture of him is huge and Clarke is only a little elf on his shoulder.)

The story starts with Jane's narrative, wich is a first of the renditions that I've seen. In the first two episodes we follow little Jane (Sian Pattenden) and her life at Gateshead and later on in Lowood.


What I find positive with this version is, because it is a TV series it is much more detailed, we get to see how ill the children are treated at Lowood, how mean Mr Brocklehurst and some of the teachers are but also we get to see the kind teacher that Jane had (Ms Temple) in whom Jane found comfort and a friend.

This version also captures Helen Burns' reserved personality and Jane's passionate nature.
They skipped right over the death of poor Helen though to only show a coffin being carried out and a doctor telling Jane that typhus is raging and Helen doesn't have long. Then we see Helen's gravestone.

Jane and Helen

In the third episode Jane is all grown up and is a teacher at Lowood, her only real friend Ms Temple leaves Lowood to get married and Jane advertises to find another "situation" as they call it. She arrives at Thornfield Hall and meets with Mrs Fairfax. A change they made is; Mrs Fairfax prompt Jane not to go to the roof (near Mrs Rochester's room) and acted a bit...shady. As if she knows about Mr. Rochester's secret, wich she does not according to the book.

The one (and only) thing I found exciting about these three episodes was when Jane encounters Mr. Rochester and the first word that escapes his lips is: "Damnation!"  -I lol:ed at that ^_~

Blanche Youinou as Adéle Varens

So far, I am not too crazy about the acting, save for Adéle and Mrs Fairfax who made things livelier, otherwise it is all too quiet and I can't help but think that Zelah Clarke is far too old to play an 18 year old girl. (Though what she lacks in age, she may well make up in acting skills, but I have yet to be convinced.)

Zelah Clarke as Jane Eyre

We shall see how they get on in the other episodes, to be continued...

måndag 26 november 2012

Jane Eyre 2006

I am determined to watch at least two filmatizations of Jane Eyre, made into TV series. Why I have chosen precisely the following two out of the selection of over two dozen films/movies of the famous gothic novel is because I have heard by various netizens that they are the best.
The first (2006 version with Ruth Wilson and Toby Stephens) is a production by BBC, each episode is approximately 1 hour long and the episodes are a total of 4.

At first I was bewildered as to why people thought this was the best version, but as Jane and Mr. Rochester’s relationship start to develop (in the second episode) and I see their interactions, I fully understand it. Stephens and Wilson have an undeniable chemistry and are both excellent actors. What I miss though, is the language. Call me picky but I am in love with Charlotte Brontë’s prose and compared to the 2011 movie, the language has been changed too much in my opinion.

On the plus side, (compared to the 2011 movie) when little Helen Burns died, I actually cried. And they kept the scene with the fortuneteller/gypsy; wich in my opinion is one of the best parts of the book. Even though they changed it from being Mr. Rochester, to a hired fortuneteller, this change is quite understandable as it would indeed be hard to make Toby Stephens look like a an old woman, convincingly. I will tell you why I love this part so much, it is because this is the foundation for my love for Mr. Rochester; his playfulness, his sense of humor, and his sneakiness. But it also shows his deceitfulness, in a much milder manner than Jane shall find out later.

Have you ever seen a man look so severe at his own wedding?

The other scene I love that they kept is when Mr. Rochester tells Jane about his past, about how he got Adéle and the heartbreaking story of his love for Adéle’s mother, who cheated on him. It humanizes him and we get to know him better (and can later on pity him even more with what’s to happen) and I missed this part also in the 2011 version wich is more to the point all in all.

In this 2006 version they also had the ending I so longed for in the 2011 movie but never got: Jane came to Mr. Rochester by the fireplace, she cheered him up, made him jealous over St John, and then the story ends with a scene of them as a family in front of their new house. And yes, dear reader, as I saw Jane and Mr. Rochester happy with children and Jane’s cousins coming to visit and posing for a family photo (or painting as it were) I did cry! I was just so happy she finally got the happy ending she deserved.

A note on the actors:
Though I am absolutely crazy about Michael Fassbender as Rochester, I must give credit to Toby Stephens for his superb performance.  He managed to bring out the cheekiness and charm of Mr. Rochester while still portraying his broodiness and wild temper perfectly and I believed him 100 percent!

Toby Stephens as Edward Fairfax Rochester

As for Ruth Wilson, she had that special ability to be able to act calm and composed even in dark situations, but one never mistook her for being indifferent, she delivered her emotions subtly as Jane Eyre would do, but there was never any doubt as to what she was feeling.

Ruth Wilson as Jane Eyre

As for St. John I couldn’t help but to think he was too amiable; St. John is supposed to be a cold hearted man but in this version, I actually like him. And I don't think I'm supposed to. I guess he was too happy, he smiled too much. 

Andrew Buchan as St John Rivers

 Conclusion: I enjoyed this version a lot. Partly because of the scenes that were included that I like and think are important, but also because of Toby Stephens and Ruth Wilsons first-rate acting. And now that I have seen the entire mini-series the language doesn't bother me as much. Because in this version I think the simplification of the language actually makes one understand things better, for instance St. John's character. It is never unclear what is happening or why, so because of that I have to retract my previous statement of objecting to the lack of Brontë prose.

The other version I’m going to see is the 1983 version (wich was a year before I was born :P) and this one has the total of 11 episodes and stars Zelah Clarke and Timothy Dalton. Mr. Dalton looks a lot like I have imagined Mr. Rochester when I read the novel, because he is described as having dark eyes and black hair, wich Timothy Dalton has (or if it’s not black, it’s the closest to black I’ve seen yet.) Some could claim he is too good looking to play Mr. Rochester, but I say there is no such thing as a man who is too good looking. No, I’m just kidding, but I think he could be a good Mr. Rochester and I hope he will be! 

söndag 25 november 2012

Kate & Leopold

I was reminded the other week about this movie: Kate & Leopold that I saw as a teenager and I thought I'd re-watch it. I totally did not remember how funny this movie is, it has it's brilliant moments for sure, and I thought I'd post in this blog some of the funniest things:

The movie opens up with a great speech about a bridge that has just been "erected" in New York City in ca 1870.
"As the pyramids testify to the Egyptians so my glorious erection shall represent our culture in perpetuity. Behold rising before you the greatest erection on the continent. The greatest erection of the age! The greatest erection on the planet!"

I lol:ed so much at this one :P

This movie starrs Liev Schreiber (Stuart) who travels back in time and accidentally brings back to 2001 the Duke of Albany (Leopold) and in one scene he is trying to get his ex-girlfriend (Kate) away from him and Leopold. "Women have changed since your time Leo, they've become dangerous."

Then he tells Leopold that he can't go out into the streets of New York:
"Look at you, you look like some sort of psycotic escapee from a Renaissance fair."

Kate's brother takes a shine to Leopold and invites him to have dinner with them. But Leo is not enjoying his meal very much:

Leo -"Where I am from the meal is the result of reflection and study. Menus are prepared in advance, timed to perfection. It is said without the culinary arts the crudeness of reality would be unbearable."
Charlie - "Well we have a saying in the McKay family; you shake and shake the ketchup bottle, none will come and then alot'll"

I love the part when Leopold makes breakfast for Kate and she starts crying while eating the toast. Possibly because it's so good and probably because it's the most considerate thing anyone has ever done for her.

Strawberries on toast with mascarpone
(I have to try this!!)
I would cry too if Hugh Jackman made me breakfast!

I have never really thought about it before, but in this movie I think Liev Schreiber is a total hottie. I never noticed before how handsome he is, because often in movies he gets to play the bad guy. But in this movie I noticed him, and how young he looked there. It's a double hottie-movie^^ 

Could it be because of those killer eyes he always plays the bad-guy? Rawr :P

In the end of the movie Stuart (Liev) tries to explain to Kate how he can have a picture of her in the 1870's

"Theoretically speaking if you go to the past in the future then your future lies in the past. And that is a picture of you in the future, in the past."

I love funny movies, but especially ones with brilliant sense of humor, language-geek as I am I tend to collect quotes and this movie has a lot of good ones. ^_^ Highly reccomended for someone who has not seen it. If you don't want to see it for the sense of humor, then you can definitely see it because of Hugh Jackman!