Friday, September 30, 2005

Pride and Prejudice book and cuttings

At eBay, a "rare" edition of Jane Austen's book illustrated with photos from the 1995 production. Included in the lot are press clippings from the time the series was broadcasted. Starts at GBP 5.00 and ships worldwide from the UK.

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A few stills from Pride and Prejudice are also up at Rex Features.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

My fellow Australians

Much of Jennifer Ehle's filmography can be borrowed from the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, based in Victoria. If you search "Ehle, Jennifer" through the catalogue, Bedrooms and Hallways, Paradise Road, Perspectives on Pride and Prejudice, Sunshine and Wilde should turn up. Search for Backbeat and Camomile Lawn separately. There are also about half a dozen of Rosemary Harris' works from 1978 to 1999. Membership is quite expensive, although there is a trial option: $50 for three months.

And Canadians, The River King is screening tomorrow night (September 30th) at the Calgary International Film Festival.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Wild about Wilde

Groan, I know, I know. Anyhow, here are all the Wilde screencaps you could ever want to see, and then some. A whopping collection of 1843 files.

River King DVD postponed

Earlier, (UK) reported that the River King DVD would be released on October 10th, 2005. This has now been changed to June 26th, 2006. Good news, perhaps, if this means that there'll be a cinema release after all.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Sunday Times Pride and Prejudice DVD review

A review of the anniversary Pride and Prejudice DVD, written by Patricia Nicol of the Sunday Times on September 25th.

Pride and Prejudice: 10th Anniversary Edition. BBC, U, 327 mins; Pounds 19.99 ****

With the new film version doing well, the BBC has seized the opportunity to re-release what many regard as the definitive screen account of Jane Austen's great romance. The opportunity to compare and contrast is irresistible.

Sceptical about skinny Keira Knightley's casting as the vivacious, lively eyed, sharp-tongued Elizabeth Bennet? Then here's the rosy-complexioned, dimple cheeked Jennifer Ehle. Want to compare Colin Firth and Matthew Macfadyen's Mr Darcy? Well, both glower and smoulder, though the former has the advantage of not just an infamous wet-shirt moment -not nearly as exciting as I remembered - but a completely hokum fencing scene, in which he cries "I shall overcome" of his importunate love. Of course, the BBC has the advantage of another 200 or so minutes in which to play out the characters' passions. It is a shame, however, that it did not invest more time on the accompanying extras. In a "making of" documentary the contributions of the designer, producer and writer (Andrew Davies) are interesting enough, but hardly penetrating or revelatory. Meanwhile, of the programme's cast, the only contributions are from Alison Steadman - whose Mrs Bennet many found overbearing - and David Bamber, who makes a most excellent Mr Collins. It's a meagre accompaniment that hardly does justice to this rich, sustaining feast of a literary adaptation. PN

Speaking of Pride and Prejudice, the last two episodes of the series should be screening tonight on BBC4.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Philadelphia Story poster

There's a poster of Kevin Spacey and Jennifer Ehle in The Philadelphia Story being auctioned at eBay. It's from the period when Kevin Spacey returned to the show after filming Superman, hence quite rare.

By the way, there's a bit of a news drought at the moment, so anything you send in would be a great help-- leads about new projects, belated Philadelphia Story reviews/stories/encounters, stuff about her older works, whatever. The address is

Sunday, September 25, 2005


The Possession interview where Ms Ehle talks about reading the book wasn't a figment of my imagination, after all.

Miss Paltrow seems to have been unaware of "Possession" until she encountered the screenplay, but she was a high school senior when the novel was published.

Miss Ehle recalls, "I was aware of it when it was new, yes, but I didn't read it. That's odd in a way, because I remember hearing a lot about it, and it sounded up my alley. For some reason, we missed each other until I had the script in my hands. At that point, I started reading the novel, reread the script, agreed to do the movie and finished the book." [more]

The highest pleasure

Slow news day, so here's a screencap to tide you over. Click to enlarge.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

1940 vs 1995 vs 2005

There's a comparison of the three major Pride and Prejudice adaptations at the Brisbane Courier-Mail, with some commentary from Helen Hampstead, author of a new sequel.

And, most importantly, is it too soon to bother revisiting one of the most endearing screen adaptations yet filmed – the BBC's elegant Pride and Prejudice starring an almost faultless Jennifer Ehle, who embodied Lizzy's "pert opinions and fine eyes" with glorious control, and an equally triumphant Colin Firth, who was Mr Darcy?

Reminder: The River King is screening at Cinefest Sudbury tonight. Check a few posts down for details.

Blast from the past

Under The Lawn, An Earthy Tale Of War And Peace
Barbara Hooks
12 February 1993
The Age
Copyright of John Fairfax Group Pty Ltd

While the sirens wailed, the bombs dropped and Vera Lynn sang `We'll meet again', five young cousins, their aunt and uncle, and assorted acquaintances were enthusiastically heeding her call - in just about every sexual permutation possible! Welcome to `The Camomile Lawn' (ABC Sunday at 9.30), Sir Peter Hall's five-hour film adaptation of Mary Wesley's best-selling saga of war and peace.

`The Camomile Lawn' is not `Family at War', with that chronicle's earnest, working-class respectability. But neither is it costume soap.

Rather, `The Camomile Lawn' is an intensely-flavored story of lives lived intensely at the point where fear and frivolity meet. A Channel Four/ABC co-production, `The Camomile Lawn' opens in 1939 when the cousins, Oliver, Walter, Polly, Calypso and 10-year-old Sophy gather on the camomile lawn of Uncle Richard and Aunt Helena's house in Cornwall for "the last summer of innocence, youth and freedom before the war closed about them." Forty years later, the family gathers again, for the funeral of a man who played such a part in their "development". But in between, their paths constantly cross and recross in London and in Cornwall.

The casting of `The Camomile Lawn' is as notable for its quirks as its star quality. Among the veterans are Paul Eddington and Felicity Kendall playing dotty, old Richard and opportunistic Helena, with Virginia McKenna, Richard Johnson and Claire Bloom playing cousins in later life.

For the younger generation, Sir Peter turned to the drama schools, where he cast Jennifer Ehle as the beautiful but amoral Calypso. Much later, and sensing a resemblance, he prised out of her that her mother was the admired actress Rosemary Harris, and promptly signed her up to play Calypso 40 years on.

Against his better judgement and bowing to the producers' wishes, Sir Peter cast his own daughter, Rebecca, as Sophy. It was a good choice.

Sophy is a pivotal character and she plays her with touching instinct.

Sir Peter even found the cousins' Cornish pals, The Rectory Twins (Joss and Jeremy Brook) at drama school. Tara Fitzgerald, from `Hear My Song', plays Polly.

`The Camomile Lawn' is a script-writer's script. Ken Taylor is faithful to Mary Wesley's live-for-today spirit, her illuminating candor about the realities of a country at war, and explicit, earthy language (this is not a program for prudes). `The Camomile Lawn' is also plotted with great skill and assurance. Although we come to know intimately all the members of this extended circle, Taylor and Wesley tease out their exact connections, sexual and familial, so that the flow of surprises is constant. Even in the last episode, we are learning something new about the characters.

`The Camomile Lawn' gave me a sense of time and place like few other wartime dramas, through a collection of anecdotes and observations as bizarre as an encounter with a herd of llamas in the English countryside, and as simple as the first air-raid warning after war was declared when everyone rushed outside.

Something this worthwhile has no business being so effortless to watch.

Friday, September 23, 2005

River King date confirmations

Marilyn Smulders of the Halifax Daily News has confirmed the October 21st release date in Toronto and Vancouver. She says it'll be released in other Canadian cities afterwards, and in Britain this autumn. I'm a bit worried though, since the film hasn't been rated by the British Board of Film Classification yet.

River King interviews

With Ed Burns, Nick Willing and Thomas Gibson, from the Halifax Daily News:

“It was a tough, tough winter,” said Burns, with a shake of his head. He flew in yesterday from New York for last night’s screening of The River King at the Atlantic Film Festival. “But Halifax is definitely the kind of place you want to come back to … in the summer.”... “I wanted to do something different than my films, the kind of stories I usually do,” says Burns...“I was drawn to the supernatural element of the screenplay and this quietly tormented guy.”
“I knew the film would come alive in the snow. Grief is a little bit like that — you feel numb and you feel frozen. I wanted to reflect that in the environment,” said Willing, who arrived yesterday from London, England.

“And then, when the snow melts, the secret is revealed.”[more]

The film is screening at the Cinéfest Sudbury festival tomorrow (24th), at the Cineplex Galaxy SilverCity Sudbury cinemas (355 Barrydowne Road) at 6.00pm. Single tickets can only be bought as "rush tickets" available five minutes before. To secure a ticket, you can buy packs in advance at the Silver City Box Office, Black Cat 2 (86 Durham Street), or Gloria's Restaurant (469 Bouchard) and line up half an hour before.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Melissa reviews

Settle back and reminisce
By Phillip Adams
19 July 1997
The Australian
(c) 1997 Nationwide News Proprietary Ltd

Melissa is played by Jennifer Ehle, who you'll recall from Pride and Prejudice. She was the one with brunette curls who sat giving her Mona Lisa smile while embroidering doilies. Well, in Melissa she's got a defiant mane of blonde hair and keeps screaming with laughter. And there are none of those social inhibitions this time round. A hundred and seventy years down the track from Jane Austen, she's not at all prejudiced about dark, smouldering, somewhat snooty young men. When she feels like playing hospitals with Tim Dutton she simply jumps on him. [more]

Diary - Fakes
By P.H.S.
9 May 1997
The Times
Copyright Times Newspapers Ltd, 1997

A frightful fuss has been made by the Post Office over publicity material dispatched by Channel 4 for Alan Bleasdale's new murder mystery, Melissa, starring Jennifer Ehle. Included in the package was a box of chocolates which contained a fake metal bullet. The bullets sent the PO's metal detectors and security devices haywire. "We were very concerned by the items," says the Post Office, but having investigated and rapped Channel 4 over the knuckles, it eventually agreed to deliver the boxes.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

River King reports, part 2

Verenti on IMDB thought the film "AWESOME". sweet_puck also attended, along with this Haligonian who remarks on the film's "interesting and sober mood". There's an update on the Coast blog about the anecdotes told at the Q&A session with Ed Burns and co.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

River King reports and more

A couple of accounts from people who went to see The River King last night. Emily, the extra mentioned a few posts below, says that "it wasn't a bad movie though, I enjoyed it. The woman beside me sobbed. Whole body shaking sobbing. Intense!". Her friend got to meet Edward Burns - click through to read her funny conversation with him about his other film, A Sound of Thunder. Along with Mr Burns, the Herald reports that director Nick Willing, actor Thomas Gibson and producer Michael Cowan were also there, holding a question and answer session after the screening. An IMDB member who also saw the film says that there was no news about release dates.

Episodes 3 and 4 of Pride and Prejudice should be screening on BBC4 tonight. Apparently there was also a six hour marathon on Sunday on UKTV Gold. Sorry about the late notice. There's also this review of the anniversary edition DVD from the Evening Times (actual article not online).
BBC: DVD retail

FOR some people this is the only version of Jane Austen's classic that matters. Never mind Keira Knightley and Matthew MacFadyen, the real Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy are Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth.

This is as handsomely mounted a piece as you would expect from the BBC and the 10th anniversary double-disc edition contains all six episodes and lets you watch Firth get his shirt wet in freeze-frame or slo mo.

Sheer lust aside, you can enjoy some marvellous acting, terrific writing, and a featurette explaining how they made it all happen. A very smart and timely piece of marketing from the BBC.

Alas, it turns out that the Sunday Mirror's report about a new "making of" feature is wrong, according to these Hyacinth Gardens members.

Monday, September 19, 2005

"We love... Pride and Prejudice"

What an irresistible title from icWales' retrospective on Pride and Prejudice by Catherine Gee.

The chemistry created between [Colin Firth] himself and Jennifer Ehle was electric. Her performance, too, was one of rationality and intelligence making the character of Elizabeth clearly stand out against the others. It is obvious why she catches his eye and holds his longstanding attention.


Jennifer Ehle as Elizabeth Bennett has not had anything like Firth's success but has appeared in a BBC crime series and the film This Year's Love.

Ms Gee, meet our friend Tony. Tony, Ms Gee.

River King on tonight!

At the Atlantic Film Festival. Tickets.

Happy birthday, Rosemary Harris!

Melissa and Linda - eBay roundup

  • Melissa press pack with "detailed biographies, background, cast lists, interviews etc".
    Melissa press pack
  • Autographed photo from The Philadelphia Story with the inscription "To Linda With all best wishes Jennifer Ehle". What dire circumstances would lead one to sell such a thing, we can only imagine.
  • A couple of anniversary edition Pride and Prejudice DVDs are available for worldwide shipping.
  • Sunday, September 18, 2005

    River King on the Coast

    A journalist from the Coast Blog writes about his experience of the Atlantic Film Festival. Slight expletive alert if you click through - it was apparently a little stressful.

    I see The River King. It's a murder mystery, starring Edward Burns and bunch of sterling Canadian character actors, set in rural, wintry Nova Scotia. Looks like Lunenburg. Lots of snow, lots of great exteriors. I feel for the actors, it must've been cold. Jennifer Ehle looks so much like a young Meryl Streep, it's distracting.

    Don't worry, this is from the press screening. The public screening is tomorrow.

    And just for the novelty factor, The River King has made it to the Canadian parliament, in a submission from the Nova Scotia Film Development Corporation to the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage for a study on the country's feature film industry. Also en français, bien sûr.

    Feature film producer Christopher Zimmer of imX Communications has created many acclaimed feature films, such as Margaret's Museum, Love and Death on Long Island, New Waterford Girl, and the recent Edward Burns film entitled The River King, which will probably start the festival circuit in September 2005.

    But wait, there's more: an account from a River King extra about seeing "Eddie" Burns and the absurdities of showbiz.


    Happily for us, it turns out that the post-Pride and Prejudice no-interview thing is a myth. This one's from the Orange County Register, of all places.

    "It's such a compulsive love story," English actress Jennifer Ehle said recently of "Pride and Prejudice" - both the six-hour A&E/BBC co-production in which she plays Lizzy and the serio-comic Jane Austen novel of 19th-century English courtship on which the miniseries is based. A long-time Austen addict, Ehle spoke from Warwickshire, England, where she was performing concurrently in three Royal Shakespeare Company plays - "Richard III," "The Relapse," and "The Painter of Dishonor."

    "The verbal sparring matches between Darcy and Lizzy are so very erotic, I think because they're both so intelligent and they've finally met their match," Ehle said. "I've read the novel four times, and it does create this desperate urge for these two people to get together, because you never believe they really will."

    "And another thing that made `Pride and Prejudice' so successful when it aired in England last fall is that Lizzy has attributes that women in the '90s think they've reclaimed. It's wonderful to see a 19th-century character who had the same independence, integrity and free-spiritedness."
    Like most "Pride and Prejudice" aficionados, Ehle and Birtwistle each have their favorite moments. To Ehle it's when Lizzy finally tells her father that "Mr. Darcy is the most wonderful person she has ever known."

    "You see, Mr. Bennet has great weakness. He's stuck in this dubious marriage, burying himself in his office, and he lets Mrs. Bennet run riot. When Lizzy finally sees her own father's weakness, that frees her to fall in love with Darcy."

    Reminder: The River King is showing in Halifax tomorrow, Monday 19th. Don't miss out!

    Saturday, September 17, 2005

    Look inside The Making of Pride and Prejudice

    Amazon's "search inside" feature allows you to read the first few pages of The Making of Pride and Prejudice for free - click on the image of the book's cover. If you've made a purchase on Amazon in the past, you can search for specific terms and click on the pages where they occur.

    Friday, September 16, 2005

    Summer screen stealers

    Thanks to Pinky for sending in this Entertainment Weekly article from 2000 with praise for Ms Ehle:

    It's Jennifer Ehle's moment this summer too. On Broadway, she stars in "The Real Thing," for which she recently won a Tony Award. On screen, she shines as Valerie Sonnenschein, who affects the lives of three generations of Jewish Hungarian Sonnenschein men in "Sunshine." Although Ehle built a small, devoted following for her splendid starring role in the 1995 TV miniseries "Pride & Prejudice" (and additional admirers among the handful who saw her on screen in "Paradise Road,"), "Sunshine" illuminates her gracefulness.

    "Small"? "handful"? We beg to differ.

    A duck with gills

    Time for some real content: here's a nice and long interview with Rosemary Harris from 1986, when she was performing in Neil Coward's Hay Fever. Below are some bits where her daughter is mentioned, but do read the entire article, it's colourful and very funny.

    On coincidences:
    ... Harris delights in that sort of coincidence, finding some sort of comfort at fates intersecting. When she played Mrs. Ramsay in a television production of "To the Lighthouse," for example, she was on location in Cornwall. "My mother died in Cornwall when I was 14, and Virginia Woolf's mother died when she was 14, and my daughter was 14."
    In 1956, she almost rented an apartment (she is Americanized enough not to say "flat") in Queen's Gate in London from which she could see a girl's school where the students wore purple berets and blazers. Then unmarried, she would daydream about one day having a little girl who would go to the school and wear a purple blazer.
    But over 25 years later she happened to be back in London doing a production of "All My Sons," and this time she had a 12-year-old daughter who needed a school. And what was the one school that took in a foreigner late in the term?

    "I couldn't believe it," Harris said. "I had to go all the way round, go to America to seek my fortune and fate, and it brought me back to Queen's Gate."

    On transformations and exhilaration:
    It is a role that is both exhausting and exhilarating, Harris said. "My dressing room {in New York} is one flight up and if there had been a camera at the top of the stairs you'd see this bag lady sort of galumphing up {before the play}, puffing and panting and heaving herself up the stairs, and after the first act curtain this vision in pink chiffon, jumping up the stairs two at a time, whistling and singing."

    The atmosphere backstage after the show is so giddy that Harris' daughter Jennifer, who is at school in Michigan, asked her not to call from her dressing room, where she has the habit of passing the phone around to whoever is there. "She said it was rather like talking into a champagne glass," said Harris.

    Merely "editorial"?

  • The Guardian reviews the new Pride and Prejudice.

    Only a snob, a curmudgeon, or someone with necrophiliac loyalty to the 1995 BBC version with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle could fail to enjoy her performance.
    Granted, the casting of Knightley and MacFadyen as Mr Darcy is arguably a little more callow than Firth and Ehle, and Knightley is better looking than Lizzy should strictly be, the original's looks being what fashion magazine editors call merely "editorial".

  • Tomorrow's (!) Spectator comments on the Drama Connections documentary about Pride and Prejudice. Paid subscription is required to read the full text.

    The auteur there, as the French would say, was the adaptor, Andrew Davies, who spoke at length, mostly about sex. Perhaps the programme-makers had edited him heavily, but he did give the impression of a man obsessed.

  • Dave, another Alpha Male extra, has posted on the forum about his filming experience. He's heard that the film isn't quite finished yet, contrary to its reported status on IMDB.
  • And some 1995 vs 2005 fun from various blogs. In the 2005 > 1995 corner, two reviews. In the 1995 > 2005 corner, only one. Not a comfortable ratio, but then again the film hasn't even been released properly yet. In the Ehle vs Knightley debate, you can join the fray at IMDB. Warning, it gets heated.
  • Thursday, September 15, 2005

    Alpha Male extra

    Cee, an extra on Alpha Male, has posted a bit about the film at the forum.

    Hi, I was an extra in this film. Like you guys I am eagerly awaiting its release!!

    I only did filming for one scene which was a party scene that comes at the end of the film. I think this film does contain flashbacks. The photos that you were debating are JE. There are scenes when her children are young and then more when they have grown up. I think that the film covers quite a lot of time!

    In other news, the Atlantic Film Festival in Halifax is opening today. A reminder - The River King is screening next Monday. You can buy tickets online now. We Need You, Canadian fans! Reports and reviews would be most welcome. The film's also showing in Sudbury and Calgary on the 24th and 30th respectively.

    Drama Connections online

    Colin Firth 24-7 has made a digital recording of the Drama Connections documentary about Pride and Prejudice. Here are the unembedded links:
  • Realplayer, dialup
  • Realplayer, broadband
    [edit: not sure if the RealPlayer links work anymore since they are moving addresses]
  • Windows Media, dialup
  • Windows Media, broadband
  • Wednesday, September 14, 2005

    Pride and Prejudice script

    After being forwarded a question about where to find the Pride and Prejudice script, I found this surprisingly well-hidden amateur transcription. Although of course, you must all know it by heart already.

    On the box

    Million thanks to Jhana, who has typed up some quotes from the Pride and Prejudice documentaries on British TV last night. For example, Gurinder Chadha of Bride and Prejudice says this about Ms Ehle:

    She had that little twinkle in her eye, you know, she kind of had those gorgeous cheeks that it was very hard for her not to smile as she said things and then when she got upset you felt genuinely upset... You had so invested in this wonderful woman, so for me emotionally she carried me through the whole series.

    A short recap from an IMDB member as well.

    Tuesday, September 13, 2005

    Stop press

    Sunshine and Possession press kits are up for grabs at eBay.

    Speaking of eBay, if you search for "Rosemary Harris", there's a ton of memorabilia, some old and rare. There are signed theatre photos from the 50's, 60's and 70's, screen shots from Blithe Spirit and Holocaust, and a few playbills.

    "We're not in"

    From an announcement of the Old Vic's next season .

    And what of the behaviour of audiences at the Old Vic? Last year Spacey famously told Radio 4: "My feeling is if people don't know how to behave they shouldn't come". His rant obviously sank in. "I'm pleased to say that in the entire run of Philadelphia Story, only one mobile phone went off" - and that was just as Spacey was about to kiss co-star Jennifer Ehle - "I turned out to the audience and said 'We're not in', then I kissed her."

    And for sub-rock-dwellers, Pride and Prejudice is screening today on BBC4 along with a couple of documentaries.

    That toddling town

    Pride and Prejudice is this year's book for the "One Book, One Chicago" reading program (similar to Western North Carolina's "Together We Read"). As part of the event, the 1995 mini-series will be screening on Saturday, October 15, 9:30 a.m, at the Sulzer Regional Library, 4455 N. Lincoln Ave and on Thursday, October 20, 1 p.m. at the Woodson Regional Library, 9525 S. Halsted St. Details for screenings of the 1940 film adaptation and Bride and Prejudice are also at that link.

    Monday, September 12, 2005

    Philadelphia Story video clip

    All hail Josie, who alerted me to this Kevin Spacey interview on BBC Sunday AM featuring a video clip of him and Jennifer Ehle in The Philadelphia Story (the "not a tower of strength" bit). The link is in the top right hand corner; Mr Spacey's segment begins at around 30 minutes.

    Girls of no uncertain age, too

    This is from the Culture section of yesterday's Sunday Times. Not online.

    Drama Connections (BBC1, 10.35pm)

    The self-congratulatory series continues with a look back at the 1995 Jane Austen adaptation that even today leads women of a certain age to blush on hearing the name Colin Firth or seeing a soaked white shirt. Adapter Andrew Davies and producer Sue Birtwistle reminisce happily, but none of their main actors - Firth, Jennifer Ehle, Alison Steadman - shows up.

    Pride and Prejudice anniversary DVD out

    The Sunday Mirror reports that the anniversary Pride and Prejudice DVD features "special anniversary packaging" and, wait for it, a new making-of documentary. From a cursory google, seems to have the cheapest deal. You can also rent it through Amazon. If you do get to watch it, please report back in the comments, forum or by e-mail.

    There's also an article in Playback Magazine about The River King.

    Sunday, September 11, 2005

    River King Spanish release

    Publicine reports that The River King will be screening in Spain sometime in December. There is no exact date.

    Important dates

    More of a note-to-self than anything else. Click on the time stamp below and bookmark this post; I'll update it from time to time. Entries with ? are dates that aren't certain.

  • 24/9: River King shown at Cinéfest Sudbury
  • 27/9: Pride and Prejudice episodes 5&6 on BBC4
  • 30/9: River King shown at Calgary International Film Festival
  • 10/10: River King DVD released in UK (?)
  • 14/10: AFI LA Film Festival box office opens*
  • 15/10: Pride and Prejudice screened at Sulzer Regional Library, Chicago
  • 20/10: Pride and Prejudice screened at Woodson Regional Library, Chicago
  • 21/10: River King released in Toronto & Vancouver (?)
  • 10/11: The Other Side previews start
  • 22/11: River King released in Thailand
  • 6/12: The Other Side opens
  • 13/12: John Ehle's birthday (80)
  • 29/12: Jennifer Ehle's birthday (36)
  • 22/1: The Other Side closes (?)
  • 26/6: The River King DVD released in UK

    *Not sure whether The River King will be showing at these festivals, this is just a reminder to check.
  • Crossing over

    You can now buy tickets for Rosemary Harris' new play, The Other Side. It's booking from November 10th to January 22nd. Seating charts and transport details at the MTC site (Manhattan Theatre Club, not Melbourne Theatre Company, alas).

    From the New York Times - for the registration-phobic, use BugMeNot.

    Savvy theatergoers will also be lining up early to secure tickets for Rosemary Harris's latest visit to the New York stage. Ms. Harris possesses a virtually peerless ability to instill a role with keen intelligence, sensitivity and a special brand of radiant dignity. At the Manhattan Theater Club she'll be appearing in a new play by Ariel Dorfman, the Chilean-American author of "Death and the Maiden." In "The Other Side," Ms. Harris and another invaluable stage veteran, John Cullum, will play a husband and wife engaged in the grim task of identifying the dead in a brutal war between unnamed countries. (Stage I, City Center. Previews begin Nov. 10. Opens Dec. 6.)

    Saturday, September 10, 2005

    River King and Pride and Prejudice roundup

    The River King is scheduled for screening at the Cinéfest Sudbury International Film Festival on September 24th at 6.00pm. There is a downloadable PDF version of the schedule, or mouse over the "2005 festival" link and click "schedule" on the Cinéfest site. Tickets can be bought online.

    The film is also going to feature at the Calgary International Film Festival as part of the Canadian Film Works series. It's on at 7.00pm, September 30th at the Cineplex Odeon, Eau Claire Market, Screen 6. To buy a ticket, click "add to my schedule" then go to "my schedule".

    As to Pride and Prejudice, the battle begins as reviews of the new version come out. Says Ray Bennett (sic!) of the Hollywood Reporter:

    With the BBC's 1995 miniseries starring Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle still regarded as the definitive treatment of the book, it will be an uphill struggle to win audiences to what is neither a faithful rendition nor a very interesting new interpretation.

    On the other hand, neither Ms Ehle nor Miss Knightley measure up to this Livejournaler's idea of Elizabeth. More reviews can be found at AustenBlog.

    Finally, least relevant but most amusing, an article in The Guardian about the formula for period films. Their take on period drama jargon:

    "Smouldering": Colin Firth with sideburns.
    "Faithful adaptation": Only chopped out the small characters.
    "Much-loved": A-level set text
    "Sumptuous": Over-budget
    "Anniversary edition": Remake/ Hollywood film coming

    Friday, September 09, 2005

    Oh dear

    On IMDB, someone who attended a pre-showing of The River King gives a, er, rather critical review of the film.

    The Daily Mirror reviews seven versions of Pride and Prejudice. The 1995 and 2005 versions are neck and neck, both receiving the highest score of 9/10.

    Thursday, September 08, 2005

    Pride-ful, part two

    It turns out there are TWO Pride and Prejudice documentaries screening on Tuesday, September 13th.

    Firstly, the one mentioned before, Pride and Prejudice Revisited on at 9.30pm, 11.05pm and 3.40am on BBC4. This one is about the impact of the book and focuses on a number of adaptations. NB: this is not to be confused with ANOTHER documentary called Pride and Prejudice Revisited, airing on ITV1 on Sunday 11th, which is a making-of feature about the new film.

    Secondly, there is Drama Connections. This is the one reported a while ago, that's specifically about the development of the 1995 mini-series. This is screening at 10.35pm on BBC1.

    Drama Connnections
    Tue 13 Sep, 10:35 pm - 11:05 pm 30mins

    Pride and Prejudice

    The behind the scenes story of how the BBC's 1995 Pride and Prejudice came to our screens as the unlikely result of a teacher-pupil relationship forged in Coventry.

    When producer Sue Birtwistle and writer Andrew Davies told LWT's Nick Elliott that they wanted to adapt 'the sexiest book ever written' he cleared his diary to meet them the next day. Little did he know that they were talking about Jane Austen's 200-year-old Pride and Prejudice. Nine years later the audience were watching in their millions - on the BBC.

    The journey of the Pride and Prejudice with that famous scene and that famous shirt certainly isn't smooth. But it ends in triumph. And along the way we discover quite how many of the cast worked with the writer and producer in the many years the project was on hold.

    Drama Connections reveals how important a part was played by the costumes, what happened to that shirt, just how little Andrew Davies thought Darcy should be wearing when he dived into the lake, and exactly why Colin Firth himself couldn't do the diving.

    Interviewees include screenwriter Andrew Davies, producer Sue Birtwistle, director Simon Langton, costume designer Dinah Collin and actors David Bamber, Adrian Lukis and Lucy Briers.

    So to recap: watch Episode 1 of Pride and Prejudice at 7.00pm and Episode 2 at 8.35pm on BBC4. Immediately after that, there's Pride and Prejudice Revisited at 9.30pm, also on BBC4. It finishes at 10.00pm. Make yourself a cup of tea, and settle back on the couch at 10.35pm to watch Drama Connections on BBC1. Once that finishes, and you still haven't had enough, switch back to BBC4 to watch Revisited again at 11.05pm and/or 3.40am. Stagger to bed happy.

    Gone but not forgotten

    Philadelphia Story reviews are still trickling in. Here's a new one at Driving Mr Spacey that elaborates on Mr Spacey's final hijinks.

    Another of my favorite was when he proposed to Tracy. He had flowers in his hand, knelt down his left leg, like a perfect gentleman, then the other leg was down too. Now it looked a little ridiculous, then his whole body fell forward, face down, with his two feet waving in the air, like a spoiled puppet. He was such a clown! He brought the house down for a solid two minutes.

    There was a long kiss in the final scene. In a typical movie, the girl would usually fight to get away first, then slowly melt down with her arms and legs and such. It happened at the Old Vic stage too, except it’s Kevin who was doing the girl’s part. I hope you can imagine how hilarious the scene looks like. Finally he managed to break away, breathless, unsteady on his two feet.

    Sunshine by the sea

    Sunshine is going to be shown at the Dutch film festival Film by the Sea, as part of the "Retrospectief István Szabó" program. Showing on the 11th, 12th and 18th of September.

    Wednesday, September 07, 2005


    The BBC4 schedule for next Tuesday is up online. Episode 1 of Pride and Prejudice is showing from 7.00-7.55pm and Episode 2 from 8.35-9.30pm. Oddly, Pride and Prejudice Revisited is screening thrice: at 9.30-10.00pm, 11.05-11.35pm and 3.40-4.10am.

    The following is the description of the documentary from the site.

    Ten years on from the BBC's iconic series, BBC FOUR looks at the enduring appeal of Jane Austen's scathing social satire.

    Novelists, screenwriters and film directors, including Deborah Moggach, Andrew Davies, Claire Tomalin and Gurinder Chadha explore how Jane Austen's mixture of romance, wit and scathing social satire has earned it a central place in our culture, and why it lends itself so perfectly to adaptation.

    [edit: there are TWO documentaries on Pride and Prejudice screening that night, Revisited and another one on BBC1 at 10.35pm specifically on the 1995 mini-series. More details and a recap of Tuesday night viewing can be found at the new post above]

    Make that three

    This is the letter from Josie accompanying the stage door photos a few posts down.

    I'm attaching a few photos my friend Sue and I took of Jennifer at the Old Vic stage door at the weekend, that I thought you might like to have for your site. She really is so sweet and friendly. A very warm person (and a terrific actress, of course!) :)

    Sue and I went to see the last two night's performances of The Philadelphia Story. Both nights were fantastic, especially the final night and the cast received a standing ovation at the end. We had a lovely evening in the Pit Bar on Saturday night. The whole cast, including Jennifer hung out in the bar the whole time, until way gone 2am. It was the first time I'd seen Jennifer in the bar and it was lovely to see her there, and all the others hanging out, laughing and chatting together. They're all such nice, friendly down to earth people. I feel sad I won't see them all there, together anymore. :( Jennifer seemed really relaxed and happy in the bar and was tucking into kebabs and chips at a table in the corner with some of the other cast, at one point, and drinking champagne. It was also cute to see her and Richard Lintern giving each other a big long hug right in front of me, by my table, lol.

    It's so clear the whole cast really bonded and one of them I was speaking to (Damien Matthews, who played Sandy) told me they'd all become great friends during this production and he was upset that it was over and they wouldn't be all together like that anymore.

    And in response to my question whether there were any pranks or ad-libs in the last show:

    I can't say I really noticed any obvious ones, no. I was expecting there to be, actually. In fact, there were more the night before, from Kevin at least. Like when he gets down on one knee to propose to Jennifer/Tracey at the end. This time he wasn't only on one knee, he ended up lying flat on the floor, face first! Jennifer was trying to keep a straight face, I could see! Also, there'd been a lot of moths flying around the stage that night, attracted by the lights. When Kevin/Dexter goes over to the vicar who's just walked in the room, and shoves him back into the other room, Kevin jumped up and swuatted a moth with his hands first, before shoving the vicar out! The whole audience roared with laughter and most of the cast were laughing too, especially Tallulah Riley, who was killing herself! Also, I think Jennifer smacked Kevin's butt an extra time, during one scene, which she doesn't usually. Not at that moment anyway. I think she usually only smacks his butt after he's smacked hers! She smacked him really hard too, this time! It sounded very loud, lol. :)

    This isn't strictly relevant, but if you're suffering from Philadelphia Story withdrawal, a revival of High Society is coming to the West End. Previews from Oct 1, opening on October 10.


    You must have seen this, right? The Possession official site. It's Flash-heavy but worth it. There are some pretty photos in the "Stills" section I can't remember seeing before. They're all from scenes that were edited out of the film, I believe. First, one of Ash and Christabel descending outdoor stairs. Second, on a hike. Third, a behind-the-scenes shot. For some audio clips, click on "Explore".

    Read A.S. Byatt's book too.

    Tuesday, September 06, 2005

    Two for the road

    A couple of stories from the final performance of The Philadelphia Story. Lucy remarks on the number of theatre celebrities attending the show, and Josie shares a bit about the cast's post-show celebrations (the latter link requires Yahoo membership).

    Meanwhile, The River King is going to be shown at Cinéfest Sudbury international film festival running from the 17th to 25th of September. The schedule is due out on the 9th. All films will be screening at Cineplex Galaxy SilverCity - 355 Barrydowne Road in Sudbury (Ontario, Canada).

    Monday, September 05, 2005

    River King straight to DVD?

    A member on the River King IMDB forum says they heard on ET that the film will go straight to DVD. Presumably this is in the US.

    The BBC Press Office [PDF, HTML] has confirmed that the Pride and Prejudice Revisited documentary will be showing on BBC4 at 9.30pm-10pm on Tuesday 13th of September.


    The closing of The Philadelphia Story brings to an end four months of collaboration with our friends in Kevin Spacey fandom. Thanks, Spacey-ites, it's been great working with you.

    Kotomi, who runs a couple of Japanese blogs on Kevin Spacey, has sent in this link to the Japanese Pride and Prejudice cover.

    And the lovely Josie of A Genius at Work (a Spacey fansite), who attended a couple of the last Philadelphia Story performances, has sent these stage door photos. A couple were taken by another fan, Sue. Click to enlarge the photo below.

  • Profile, close
  • Profile, mid
  • Front on, daytime
  • Signing
  • Posed
  • Posed, with fans
  • Sunday, September 04, 2005

    River King ratings

  • Nova Scotia: W (adult accompaniment)
  • Ontario: 14A (persons younger than 14 years must be accompanied by an adult; coarse language, mature theme, violence)
  • USA: R (for language and some violent images)
  • River King in Toronto and Vancouver

    The Ottawa Citizen reports that The River King is due to be released in Toronto and Vancouver on October 21, though "dates are subject to change".

    And, of course, The Philadelphia Story closes today (well, yesterday here).

    Saturday, September 03, 2005

    A prejudicial pursuit

    This Guardian article about the "Jane Austen spin-off industry" has brought my attention to the existence of a Pride and Prejudice board game. Apparently the figures are somewhat modelled on the actors from the 1995 series. You can buy the game from Pemberley.

    Thanks to Pinky for reminding me about the official BBC Pride and Prejudice site. I'm sure all you die-hard fans have already discovered it, but if not, there are some videos, a screensaver and a quiz.

    Friday, September 02, 2005

    From Chicago to Philadelphia

    This is the same review and encounter story from EhleNews mentioned a couple of posts below. Thanks to Pinky for allowing it to be posted in full for the benefit of non-EhleNewsers. Not in blockquotes because of the length.

    "This my Ehlenews friends is a faithful account of my dealings with the play called The Philadelphia Story (ha ha ha....I just thought I'd use that line for the opening sentence).

    Some friends of mine and some of my family think me crazy for moving my holiday to London forward to the last week of August (instead of the planned Oct) in order to see Jennifer Ehle as Tracy Lord. They even thought it more crazy since I live in Chicago.........a thousand miles across the pond.......but hey it was worth it!!!!!!!!

    A few months ago when they announced that they were selling tickets I was a bit worried that it would be difficult to get tickets for the show because initially they were only selling tickets until sometime in June when Kevin Spacey was scheduled to shoot Superman and for dates beyond Aug 22 they were only selling tickets to "Friends of the Old Vic members". I followed Evelyn's suggestion (thanks Evelyn) to call the box office. I did and have been calling every week until they released tickets to the public. When I spoke with the person at the box office he explained that Mr. Spacey will be out of the production at certain dates (I've forgotten which dates) so I said "that's ok I really wanted to see Jennifer Ehle in it actually". He replied "oh.....she's just so lovely, just lovely. You'll enjoy the play because she's brilliant!" So there it was my ticket for the play was booked! Soon follows a period of much excited anticipation for the trip.

    The day of the play arrives.....August 27, 2005 2:30 matinee show. I arrive at the theatre 30 minutes before the show starts and immediately I get my programme and proceed to my seat. I was surprised that my seat was in row D center! 4 rows away from the stage and right smack in the middle. As I sat down I remarked " I didn't realize I got such good seats!" The lady right beside me heard my comment and said "I know we got a real close view don't we?" She asks me if I just bought my ticket and I told her my story....that I came to see it for Jen. It turns out that she was watching the play with her husband and 2 daughters and they came from Kent and wanted to see the show because they love Jen as Lizzie. Infact we both found out that we saw P and P again the weekend before to psyche ourself out for TPS. More P and P stories and recollections were exchanged. It was so much fun conversing with other Ehle fans!

    The play starts.....I was mesmerized and glued to my seat! Watching every gesture and listening to her every word. She is so graceful and luminous on stage that you really understand why these men view her as a goddess. I was pleasantly surprised that she had good comedic tiiming. The audience responded to her witty remarks really well and she got good laughs! Kevin Spacey was really good as CK Dexter Haven. I even thought he was adlibbing some lines and actions that it would make Jen smile before she can give her line (specially when Dex was proposing to her). Julia Mckenzie (the mom) was also good and funny and Nicholas LeProvost was hilarious as uncle Willy. I agree though that some of the plot themes were dated and some of the Jen's outfit made her look "frumpy" (don't kill me I'll explain later). I did like her pants attire however more than the dresses. The production was very enjoyable! As the play ended, I had this feeling that I wanted to see it again but alas had to leave ......I said goodby to the nice family sitting beside me. As I did that the mom says to me "there's a new P and P movie but Jen will always be the Lizzie for me and now she's also Tracy Lord!" I smile and again bid farewell.

    As I took the side exit out of the theatre I was surprised to be by the stage door and Kevin Spacey just steps out to sign some autographs. There were only about 10 people at the door. I've read in previous reviews that Jen doesn't come out after matinees because she takes a nap so I didn't have my hopes up. I said "at least I can have my programme signed by Kevin S." He was sweet. I said "Mr. Spacey would you sign my programme?" and he said " sure sweetheart :)". As he was signing and people were crowding him, some of the other cast members slip out of the stage door. I think they were going out to dinner before the next show. If you have seen the stage door at the Old Vic, it's a glass door so you could see the cast coming down the stairs. I was going to turn and walk back to the tube station when I saw Jen coming down the stairs. I couldn't believe it she's coming out! She quietly slipped out of the door and a lot of people didn't notice her but I stepped right in front of her and showed her my programme as I said " Ms. Ehle please?! please?!" She was right in front of me! No make up, so stunning! blonde short hair, very very creamy complexion with rosy cheeks. Though she's American she looked like an English rose. She smiles at me and says "Oh sure!" After that it was all a blur.......I know i said something to her but I can't remember what! I was star struck! I just heard her say "I'm glad you enjoyed the show" I said a lot of thank yous after that and she quietly slipped accross the street and walked away. The other people didn't even notice her (they were still busy with Kevin S.) and I was the only one who got her autograph. As she walked away I just realised that my gosh, she's so slim! Those costumes make her look so frumpy when she's soooo slim! What clothes can do!!!!!!! So that was it......I happily skipped back to the Waterloo tube station to meet up with my friends across the river.....I was giddy........It was the highlight of my trip! :)


    There's also a short but enthusiastic new review on WhatsOnStage, and a teeny tiny one from Google Groups.

    On fate and fleamarkets

    Before we get to the article, a public service announcement: The Philadelphia Story is closing tomorrow! If you're in London - or the British Isles - or the European continent - or elsewhere in the Northern Hemisphere - go see it. Saturday night appears to be sold out, but there are still tickets for tonight and the matinee tomorrow.

    N.C. mother, daughter nominated for Tony award in same category
    By Martha Waggoner
    3 June 2000
    Associated Press Newswires
    Copyright 2000. The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

    RALEIGH (AP) - The serendipity is a little overwhelming for actress Rosemary Harris.

    Both she and her daughter, Jennifer Ehle, are nominated for a Tony as best actress in a play. The awards ceremony is Sunday in New York; the next day, a movie opens in which they not only star together, but portray the same character at different ages.

    And in May, Ehle received the Theatre World Award for "best newcomer," an award Harris won in 1952.

    "I don't know if anybody follows biorhythm charts any more, but if they do, I think they'd find our charts are running side by side at the moment," Harris, 72, said this week in a telephone interview from New York.

    The Great Britain native is married to North Carolina author John Ehle ("Journey of August King"), and they make their home in Winston-Salem. Jennifer Ehle lived in Winston-Salem for the first 18 years of her life and attended the North Carolina School of the Arts, which her father helped found.

    Harris is nominated for her work in Noel Coward's "Waiting in the Wings," which closed at the end of last month. Ehle, 30, nominated for her role in Tom Stoppard's "The Real Thing," has declined all interviews about the mother-daughter nomination, her publicist said.

    On Monday, their movie, "Sunshine," which stars Ralph Fiennes and William Hurt, opens in the United States. The movie, set in director Istvan Szabo's native Hungary, is the story of the Sonnenschien (Sunshine) family's life during World II, the Holocaust and afterward.

    "Again, it was fate, I suppose," Harris said of the mother-daughter casting. She and Fiennes had met at a fund-raiser where they read together from a book of sonnets. Szabo knew Ehle through a mutual friend.

    As the two discussed casting, "apparently, Istvan said, 'I know somebody I want to play the younger Valerie,"' Harris said. "And Ralph said, 'I know somebody for the older Valerie."'

    The movie was filmed in sequence, so Harris and Ehle were not on set at the same time.

    Harris, who won a best actress Tony in 1966 for her role in "The Lion in Winter," is more excited about Ehle's nomination than her own. The mother-daughter nomination is nothing she ever envisioned.

    "Actors have anxiety dreams about things going wrong," she said. "I don't know what the opposite is, maybe a fantasy dream, but in this case, it's real."

    Harris and her husband, who has bought a new tuxedo, will attend the awards ceremony together, while Ehle will sit with her cast. Instead of donning the jewelry loaned to nominees, Harris plans to wear a necklace she bought at a flea market. Ehle tried to talk her into getting a new designer dress, but Harris said she likely will attend in a dress she wore to her niece's wedding.

    "I might be more comfortable wearing something I've worn before that I know I can sit around in all evening," she said.

    Thursday, September 01, 2005

    Unbitten peach

    Another one of those ancient articles about Rosemary Harris. This is from 1992, when she was performing Lost in Yonkers and Ms Ehle was in Tartuffe. The whole article is in the archives.

    "People used to say to me, 'How did you know Jennifer was going to be an actress?' I suppose, looking back, the signs were all there."

    She reaches for a photograph of her daughter taken the night years ago when the family stayed at the Plaza Hotel. Harris suggested that Jennifer play Eloise, the little girl whose portrait hangs in the lobby of that august establishment. And before the evening was done, the child, only 5 or 6, had created a look that was Eloise to a tee. Arms akimbo, she affected the stance, the lopsided smile."

    Now the inevitable has happened. Jennifer Ehle has been discovered by Sir Peter Hall, who directed her mother on Broadway in "Old Times."

    But the casting was no favor to a friend. Like her mom, Ehle has the groceries (the critic for the Sunday Times of London said she was "like a peach that has never been bitten").

    That strikes Harris as a very funny line, something for the scrapbooks. Listening to her laugh, one is reminded how lovely the English voice is. And in the hands of a virtuoso like Rosemary Harris, it becomes a dangerously seductive weapon. No heart is safe.

    And if that's not cool enough, there's a lovely review and encounter story on EhleNews.