Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Pigs, Pennies and Mantras

Greetings all!

  • Firstly today, Heidi Benson of the San Francisco Chronicle talks to a prominent member of the JASNA (Jane Austen Society of North America) about all things Pride and Prejudicial:

First on the agenda are unhappy thoughts about the 2005 version. It seems that the 1995 adaptation not only has Ms Ehle, but has greater historical veracity than its revamped counterpart:

[...] It wasn't the sex in the sexed-up, big-screen version of "Pride & Prejudice" that bothered Virginia Solomon: It was the pig in the parlor. "It was historically and culturally inaccurate ... The filmmakers exaggerated the class difference between Lizzie and her love interest, Mr. Darcy ... They portrayed her as dirt-poor, the daughter of a farmer," she says, and depicted a threadbare Bennett estate, "with peeling paint and battered furniture and pigs running in the house." [...]

The article also gives an insight into the 'other' lives of JASNA members:

[...] On Sunday evening, Solomon, with her husband, William, and son David, all wearing Regency regalia of her design, joined 20 members of the society - who range widely in age (16-80) and background (lawyer, event planner, stay-at-home mom) - in an elegantly appointed meeting room at San Francisco's Four Seasons Hotel, where they sipped tea and viewed on a wide-screen TV the version of "Pride and Prejudice" they favor. ...That would be the Emmy-winning 1995 BBC production, starring Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle. [...]

Evidently though there is some Austen overspill into everyday life, as another member explains:

[...] "We have a mantra - WWJD - what would Jane do? ... In tough situations, we can look back at the ethics of a time when honor and loyalty and respect meant something ... Fundamental human relations and morality don't change." [...]

See the rest of the article for quotes by various JASNA members about why they love the Society, why they adore Jane and what indeed they wear for these capital occasions!

For more information, visit some of the JASNA equivalents, such as societies in the UK, Australia and Argentina.

  • If the P&P part of you is still not satisfied, Jane Austen's World have an excellent piece on Pride and Prejudice Economics, complete with currency converted table, which usefully makes Austen figures digestable for us modern readers. (For example, Mr Darcy goes from a man of £10,000 a year to a man of £339,600 a year!) Also see the AustenBlog for some nice glimpses of a P&P first edition.

In terms of other bits and bobs:

  • Variety very briefly report Metrodome's full acquisition of the UK rights to Before the Rains, noting the company is 'eyeing a summer theatrical release'.
  • The lauded series Holocaust (1978) - starring Rosemary Harris as Berta Palitz Weiss - can now be pre-ordered on Amazon. (Region 1 only). It will be released on May 27. Also now available on Region 1 is Alpha Male, to be released by Amazon on March 18.
  • Also rouble-related, eBay have a programme of the 1992 Chichester Festival Theatre production of Breaking The Code, which starred Jennifer Ehle as Pat Green.

In terms of Utopians:

  • The New York Times have an amusing chat with Mr Hamilton and Ms Plimpton about collaborative and independent projects of the past, present and future.
  • TheaterTalk meanwhile have a preview video of their interview with Tom Stoppard, which was broadcast on February 8. The UK Times also converse with Sir Tom on the art of screenwriting. On play-to-film adaptations, he explains:
[...] Many people have asked me to adapt my own plays for film. But one seems to fall between two equally awkward stools: you film the play and end up not satisfied with the film, or to make the film you leave out two thirds of the play, so why make it as a film in the first place? [...]

And, interestingly:

[...] People have often wanted to make The Real Thing into a film, but I’ve resisted because I have no appetite to do it myself and I couldn’t bear to have anyone else do it. [...]

Alright then, Coast of Utopia: The Movie, anyone?! WWJD?


Anonymous said...

Jennifer Ehle is a great actress. I was wondering, how did she get that big circular scar on the inside of her left arm?

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