March 29, 2005

Crusade Controversy

The author of a non-fiction chronicle on the third crusade is accusing 20th Century Fox of stealing information from his book for this summer's Ridley Scott epic Kingdom of Heaven, which stars Orlando Bloom. (NYTimes)

March 24, 2005

Are you the next bard?

Check out this choose-your-own adventure game to see if you've got what it takes to be a successful Elizabethan playwright. -- Amy

See You In Court

From now until June 12, there's an exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art on Images of Fashion From the Court of Louis XIV, a rare collection of engraved fashion plates from the 17th century.

And on June 10 & 11 at LACMA, an international panel of experts will further explore many of our modern concepts of fashion by looking at the past. Presentations include music and dance from a ballet performed at Versailles.

F.Y.I., museum admission is waived after five, and is free all day on the second Tuesday of each month. -- Amy

March 23, 2005

We Missed Monsieur

Sadly, the historical thriller Monsieur N played in L.A. for about 4 days before making way for a Hungarian film festival or something like that. According to the official site we'll have to wait and hope it shows up on DVD...unless we want to drive to Palm Desert or Irvine. It stars Philippe Torreton and Richard E. Grant (of The Scarlet Pimpernel). --Kim

Austen Quiz

How do you score on the "So You Think You Know Jane Austen" quiz? (The Guardian) --Kim

March 22, 2005

Scarlet and Black

A friend put me hot on the trail of a 1993 adaptation of Stendhal's enthralling political novel "The Red and the Black." There are two adaptations and this particular one stars Ewan McGregor and Rachel Weisz. I was extremely distressed to discover that it isn't even available on DVD. This striking omission in the DVD canon must be rectified as soon as possible. Luckily there is a petition. Join the fight! Make a Difference! --Kim

March 17, 2005

Ivan "Whoa"...

Burly saxons with frizzy hair, corrupt knights, evil monks, damsels in distress, effeminite kings and, of course, a noble hero. What more could you possibly ask for in a miniseries, I ask? We recently watched Ivanhoe, a 1997 miniseries jointly produced by the BBC and A&E (god bless them both) based on the classic novel by Sir Walter Scott.

The movie kept us on the edge of our seat, with plenty of action, surprising plot turns and captivating character development. Somewhere in the middle of the two-part series, I found myself feeling secretly guilty over the fact that one of the movie's most hateable villains, the Templar Knight Sir Brian Dubois-Guilbert (played by Ciaran Hinds), was beginning to win me over. "Is it wrong of me to be rooting for this horrendous cur?" I wondered, wishing his kidnap victim, Rebecca of York, would fall as madly in love with him as I was beginning to. (In the end, this villain's redemption becomes complete, assuring me I wasn't such a sicko to be rooting for him after all.)

Meanwhile, I found myself less moved by Steven Waddington's portrayal of Sir Wilfred of Ivanhoe. "If he were only a mite bit sexier -- or less dopey," I crassly sighed during his most heroic endeavors.

The sword-wielding heroics of the Black Knight (a.k.a Richard the Lionhearted) were fairly swoon-worthy, and the mounting tension in the film's final hour was interrupted only by a truly brilliant comic moment where Prince John and King Richard's mother ordered them to make nice.

All in all i could definitely watch this one again. Hooray for A&E/BBC! -- Amy

March 15, 2005

BBC to Adapt Shakespeare

"The BBC is remaking The Taming of the Shrew, Macbeth, Much Ado About Nothing and A Midsummer Night's Dream in its first Shakespeare adaptations for 15 years," reports The Guardian. The adaptations will star Rufus Sewell, (Middlemarch, Cold Comfort Farm, and the upcoming Tristan & Isolde) Shirley Henderson, (Bridget Jones, Intermission, and Sophia Coppola's next film Marie-Antionette) and Damian Lewis from Speilberg's Band of Brothers. --Kim

March 11, 2005

This Girl's Life

The Life of Suzanne le Peletier, ""Mademoiselle Nation," would make a fascinating film. You can see her portrait on exhibit at the Getty through April 24. --Kim