July 31, 2007

Jane Eyre's Laundry In Museum Exhibit

The FIDM Museum & Galleries in Downtown Los Angeles just opened their spectacular annual Emmy Costume Exhibit, featuring the nominated costumes from Jane Eyre, The Tudors, and Rome plus dozens of other t.v. shows. The exhibit runs through September 29th. To get more info, read my post about the exhibit on FIDM Magazine here.

July 30, 2007

As He Likes It: Branagh Sets Play In 19th C. Japan

Kenneth Branagh's adaptation of As You Like It, starring Romala Garai, Kevin Kline, Alfred Molina, and Bryce Dallas Howard, will premiere on August 21st on Movie Central and August 23rd on The Movie Network. Branagh sets his adaptation in 19th century Japan. More info here.

July 26, 2007

New Oliver Twist to be Darker, Edgier

EastEnders writer Sarah Phelps has drafted the screenplay for a new adaptation of the already fairly dark Dickens novel Oliver Twist. The "all star cast," reports Easier.com, includes Rob Brydon whom you'll doubt remember as the mysteriously wounded Uncle Toby in the recent film adaptation of Tristram Shandy.

What Would Moliere Do?

A new film about the French actor and playwright, opening tomorrow, aims to answer that question with a fictional conjecture about what he was up to during mysterious gaps in his known history. The L.A. Times describes it as a "Gallic 'Shakespeare in Love'"

Grendel Grumblings...

Dark Horizons has an interesting first take on what the new Robert Zemeckis-directed Beowulf movie has to offer. It stars Anthony Hopkins, Ray Winstone (whom you may remember as Masterpiece Theater's most recent Henry VIII), Robin Wright Penn and a nearly naked Angelina Jolie, all done in CG rendering a la Polar Express. The image on the left is Jolie as Grendel's mother, fyi. Somehow NOT what I pictured when i read it.

July 19, 2007

I am Katherine Parr

Clever and very funny quiz!

Which of Henry VIII's wives are you?
this quiz was made by Lori Fury

Which Wife Are You?

Which wife of Henry VIII are you? Take this quiz to find out.

I'm Anne of Cleves, incidentally. "Sensible, comfort loving and practical. Not afraid to wear ugly shoes on a date." Not sure about that, as I'm breaking in a pair of too-tight heels as we speak. But oh well.

July 18, 2007

PBS Swag the Talk of TCA

It's no big mystery what PBS is trying to tout this year, if their bag o' swag for journalists at the TCA press tour is any indication. Jane Austen action figures (complete with quill pen and a copy of Pride & Prejudice) were among the goodies, as a reminder to everyone of the Jane-a-Palooza they've got planned for January.

Masterpiece Theater's executive producer, Rebecca Eaton, claims the Andrew Davies'-directed overhaul of Austen's oeuvre is their best bet for luring in younger viewers to the classic Sunday night series, calling it classic literature's closest thing to "Sex In the City."

Eaton also defended the decision to no longer have a host introduce the movies (as in the days of Alistair Cooke and Russell Baker). "Choosing a host is harder than choosing a husband or a wife," she says with a tongue-in-cheek nod to Austen's plots. "The stakes are higher somehow."

Buy your own Jane action figure here.

July 17, 2007

Davies Talks Sex and "Fannies"

Romancing the Tome's patron saint, director Andrew Davies talks about the importance of sex in his stories, the nightmare of adapting Dickens's Bleak House, which adaptations he'd be loath to attempt, and his next project, an adaption of John Cleland's bawdy tome, Fanny Hill.

Source: BBC News

Alphabet Soup

Bet you don't give much thought to the typeface Helvetica, but the makers of one documentary have devoted an entire film to the ubiquitous font.

July 16, 2007

See Jane Swoon

If you're reading this blog, you don't need my two cents to decide whether or not to go see the Jane Austen biopic, Becoming Jane when it opens next month. You'll see it regardless, we can suppose.

But having just attended a screening tonight, I'll give you my two cents anyway, summing up in just two words: James McAvoy.

We see him flirt shamelessly. We see his devilish grins. We see him rockin' his Regency Period duds. And oh yes, we see his nude buttocks....(a slightly un-Austen-like visual, but nevertheless, I will abandon all propriety, just this once, and let such unseemly displays be permitted.)

...Anne who? Oh, Anne Hathaway. Yeah, she's there. (I still contend she was miscast, but she doesn't wholly offend. Perhaps she rolls her big brown doe eyes too much for my liking and postures too much like a high school thespian, but that's the Anne Hathaway way, isn't it?) Nevertheless, it's McAvoy who steals this movie as Jane's hybrid-Wickham/Darcy-esque love interest Tom LeFroy, while the rest of the supporting cast (James Cromwell as Jane's dad, Julie Walters as Mom, Anna Maxwell Martin as her sister Cassandra, and Maggie Smith as the Catherine de-Burgh-inspiring Lady Gresham) each shine in their own right.

The first half of the movie trudges along with too much "sassy" Jane (Look! she plays cricket just like the boys!) and way too much pilfering from the Pride & Prejudice playbook. But the second half takes a much more intriguing turn, starting with a dance sequence that leaves hearts all aflutter.

It's not one of those movies for which you're going to dedicate hours of your future existence watching subsequent viewings. (In my book, only A&E's original Pride & Prejudice takes those honors.) But in this summer of Transformers and Die Hard sequels, it's a pleasing way for the rest of us to pass the time.

July 9, 2007

Jane Austen Book Club Anticipation

AustenBlog has a review of The Jane Austen Book Club adaptation starring Hugh Dancy. --Kim

July 3, 2007

Regrets, She's Had a Few

Last night Nicki and I went to see the adaptation of Susan Minot's Evening, the painfully gorgeous novel about a dying woman who can't stop thinking about a man she met when she was a young girl. As expected, I did squeeze out quite a few tears before it was over but nothing like the buckets I shed while reading the novel (see: "Let's Get Cathartic In Here").

Meryl Streep, Toni Collette, Vanessa Redgrave, and Glenn Close were fantastic. Hugh Dancy (as Bobby) and Claire Danes were incredible. What was missing? Chemistry between the two leads, Danes and Patrick Wilson (as Harris). It's one of the reasons I doubt the movie will be a classic love story watched again and again.

I really do think Danes was absolutely wonderful and with the right male lead on board (and no, I'm not suggesting Jared Leto)... well who knows how great it could've been? I don't think Patrick Wilson is a bad actor either. But together? Nada. Zip. Nothing. I imagined if Bogie or Bacall, Hepburn and Tracy, or Stanwyck and Fonda (perhaps even Swayze and Grey) had been given the chance to play Harris and Ann. If only...

The movie, being of Hollywood, had a happier tone throughout which was nice. Well, in the same way it would be nice if Romeo and Juliet didn't really kill themselves and Outsiders Johnny and Dallas lived to spend another day with Pony Boy. --Kim

Attention Bosom Friends

From Sneak Peek TV: In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the publication of the original novel by Lucy Maud Montgomery, a film prequel to the Anne of Green Gables series may be in the works.

There's a casting call happening right now on You Tube for 10 to 12-year olds, which apparently means they're going for a newbie. But just in case producers change their mind and decide to hit up Hollywood, who would you suggest should play Anne this time around? (Lindsey L. ....don't even THINK about it. There was a time in your freckle-faced life [oh, the Parent Trap era perhaps] where I might have fathomed it, but no more.) Since they're aiming young, maybe that Abigail Breslin cutie from Little Miss Sunshine.

Meanwhile, check out my friend and fellow blogger Meg's explanation as to why she's more of a Diana than an Anne.

July 2, 2007

Year of Fog Set for Big Screen Adaptation

Michelle Richmond's novel The Year of Fog will be adapted by Sami Chellas for Newmarket Films reports Variety. The movie is being bankrolled by the same production company responsible for the indie hit The Squid and the Whale. This chilling novel is set in San Francisco and should make for a fantastic film. I can't wait to see who gets cast. More info as it develops. --Kim