July 27, 2005

An Oldie But Goody: "Poldark"

Kim and I watched the first half of the classic BBC miniseries, "Poldark" last weekend. It was quite the TV event back in 1975 and remains one of the most successful British television dramas of all time. Now, naturally, it seems a bit dated since the indoor scenes are shot on tape in a studio. (It resembles a soap opera in more ways than one.) Still, the drama and camp factor makes this series INCREDIBLY worth watching. We still have six more hours to watch, but in the meantime, here are some of the important things we've learned from our newfound TV addiction:

1) There is such a disease as "the morbid sore throat."
2) Ross Poldark is strangely attractive, but only when he is indoors.
3) Wife killers are actually quite lovable.
4) Elizabeth Poldark gives new meaning to the term "dumb blonde."
5) Disgusting little urchin boys can make great wives.
6) Cornwall in the spring is lovely.
7) Old maids should be allowed to date whoever the hell they want.
8) Overacting is not a crime, but it's certainly "deuced awkward."
9) Poaching is a crime.
10) Festering wounds should really be taken care of. --Amy

July 26, 2005

Pride & Prejudice 2005

Photos and the trailer from the new adaptation of Pride & Prejudice are availabe at the film's official site. P&P 2005 stars Keira Knightley, Donald Sutherland, Matthew Macfadyen, and Jenna Malone.

July 25, 2005

Frock 'N Roll

Dark Horizons has more juicy details on Sofia Coppola's upcoming film about the fascinating French Queen Marie-Antionette. Terence Malick's Badlands is said to be one of the inspirations for the film which will include a "rock 'n roll" style love scene between King Louis and Comtesse Barry. Kirsten Dunst gets to play the Queen. What a dream role for Dunst. In fact, what a year as she's also lucky enough to have filmed the upcoming Crowe film Elizabetown alongside Orlando Bloom. Oh yeah, and she's dating Donnie Darko. One can only hope she's enjoying every second of it! --Kim

July 21, 2005

Novel Approach

City of God director Fernando Meirelles talks to Vanity Fair about his upcoming film The Constant Gardener, a political thriller based on a John le Carré novel and starring Rachel Weisz and Ralph Fiennes. --Kim

July 20, 2005

Calling All Tycoons!

Gail Shister of the Philadelphia Inquirer recently wrote an update on the ongoing quest to find a new sponsor for "Masterpiece Theater." So far, the results aren't promising...

Last year, Exxon Mobil, the program's sole underwriter since 1971, ended its sponsorship, meaning PBS no longer has their $7 million worth of annual funding to rely upon to create new productions.

Since then, PBS has gotten no bites from any major companies willing to ante up the cash.

On the bright side, PBS says the show WILL go on. They'll pick up the tab for two more seasons of "MT," but at only half the previous budget.

Nevertheless, here's what we can look forward to on this season's schedule:
• Rupert Everett in "Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Silk Stocking" (Oct. 23)
• Robert Louis Stevenson's "Kidnapped"
• A four-hour miniseries about Elizabeth I, "The Virgin Queen"
• An eight-hour adaptation of a Charles Dickens novel (they won't say which one.)

PBS vows they'll eventually get a new sponsor to take over where Exxon Mobil left off. In the meantime, does any one have a rich uncle of the Steve Forbes variety who might want to help them out? -- Amy

Laika to Launch Gaimen's Ghost Story

New production company, Laika Entertainment, will animate Neil Gaimen's best-selling novel for children, Coraline. The Hugo award-winning favorite is described as a Chronicles of Narnia-type adventure with a gothic edge. --Kim

July 19, 2005

An Aria for Antoinette

Whether it's acted out, sung, or pantomimed, we can never get enough of the French Revolution. Roger Waters, of Pink Floyd fame, evidently feels the same way, having turned this pivotal moment in French history into a classical opera which will be released on a double-CD on Sept. 27.

The three-act opera, "Ça Ira," ("There Is Hope") was 16 years in the making and features lyrics in English. It portrays the events and spirit of the Revolution through various perspectives, including that of Marie Antoinette. Waters says his ultimate goal is to have the piece produced by an opera company.

FYI, "Ça Ira" was the name of one of the most popular songs of the French Revolution. Here's a version of the song if you'd like to hear it. -- Amy

July 18, 2005

Dangerous Adaptations

In 1779, the bestselling Les Liaisons Dangereuses seduced and scandalized the French. In the twentieth century, filmakers finally dared to adapt the material. Find out more about the novel and its adaptations, including the lesser-known "apres ski version" from 1959. ("The Sex Epistles that Rocked the World," Telegraph) --Kim

From the Archives: What's your favorite adaptation?

July 7, 2005

Rumor Has It

Okay, close your eyes and picture Ioan Gruffudd in a tux and ordering his martini, "shaken not stirred." Are you with me? Jude Law, Ewan McGregor, Orlando Bloom and countless other actors have been linked to the next Bond film, but the latest report (via IMDB) straight from a Fantastic Four press conference reveals that our own Horatio Hornblower just might be the new 007.
Welsh actor Ioan Gruffudd is so determined to land the role of James Bond he's refusing to talk about the possibility for fear of jinxing his 007 dream. The Horatio Hornblower star was outed as the favorite to land the part at a press conference yesterday by Fantastic Four co-star Julian McMahon, who was among the names mentioned for the role. When Aussie McMahon was quizzed about the role, he stunned journalists by turning to Gruffudd and stating, "I think Ioan is playing Bond." But the Welsh actor would not be drawn into a conversation about the part: "I don't want to jinx it."

From the Archives: Great Expectations and Then Some, Ioan Learns Yiddish and Shows Some Skin

July 6, 2005

Wishful Thinking

Six authors including Jonathan Safran Foer and Melissa Bank choose books they'd like to see adapted for the screen. Having recently read Ann Patchett's Bel Canto (read my short review at kimsaid), I'd add that to the list as well.(USA Today, via Boldtype) --Kim

July 5, 2005

Ioan Learns Yiddish & Shows Some Skin. "Hot!"

This weekend, per Amy's recommendation, I watched the tearjerker Solomon and Gaenor starring our favorite actor and Welsh export Ioan Gruffudd (pronounced Yo-an Griffith). Quite the melodrama, the movie tells the story of star-crossed Gaenor, a protestant from a mining family, and Solomon, the beloved son of a Jewish merchant. To avoid being cast out by his family, Solomon hides his true identity from his love and her predictably insufferable family, which includes a hard-drinking, hard-living bully of a brother and a Bible-thumping patriarch. Their many secret trysts include, but aren't limited to, a literal roll in the hay. Ioan (who learned Yiddish for the role) is oft-times shirtless and reliably adorable, even if I did roll my eyes a bit at his character’s lame ambivalence and the somewhat soporific denouement. While dependably trite, the film is worth watching for obvious reasons. --Kim