Leading independent broadcaster ITV has announced a new and exciting interpretation of the classic Jane Austen work to fit in with new broadcasting rules announced by the government yesterday.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Yet another adaptation of David Copperfield? *Yawns* (A very cute, very young Daniel Radcliffe in the BBC's 1999 adaptation)
Thanks to Charleybrown, for the link!
Have a look at this article from the Telegraph.
Andrew Davies, television's master of literary adaptations and the writer behind the BBC's award-winning Bleak House, Little Dorrit and Pride and Prejudice, said the corporation is interested only in the "popular warhorses" of literary fiction.
His planned adaptations of Dombey and Son, one of Charles Dickens' lesser-read stories, and of the Palliser novels by Anthony Trollope, were both scrapped. Instead, the BBC has asked for a re-tread of David Copperfield, which has had numerous television outings.
(Click here to read the full article and interview with Andrew Davies.)
Auntie Beeb - what are you thinking? Tired rehashes of popular Austen and Dickens novels instead of fresh adaptations of forgotten gems? As much as I love both Austen and Dickens, the last thing we need is another TV version of David Copperfield.
Daniela-Denby-Ashe in North and South
Look at the success of the BBC's Elizabeth Gaskell adaptations - North and South, Wives and Daughters, and Cranford. The immense popularity of these series has spawned a Gaskell revival of sorts, with Mrs. Gaskell's books finally getting the readership they deserve. Or Lark Rise to Candleford, based on a series of books by Flora Thompson that few people had heard of only 3 years ago. Now, the BBC's Lark Rise is into it's third series, and going strong.
BBC, if you're going to restrict future costume dramas to popular classics that have already been adapted for television umpteen times, please, just don't bother.
Now - on a more constructive note, here are 10 forgotten classics that I would LOVE to see the BBC take on:
1. Evelina by Fanny Burney (BBC, if you don't want to do any more 19th century "bonnet dramas", how about adapting some pre-bonnet-era classics?)
2. Cecilia by Fanny Burney
3. Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskell
4. Villette by Charlotte Bronte (this would be difficult to adapt, but incredible to watch if it was done right!)
5. Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte
6. Belinda by Maria Edgeworth
7. Any L.M. Montgomery book, but I'd love it if they did an adaptation of The Blue Castle (perhaps a co-production with a Canadian TV network?).
8. Mansfield Park by Jane Austen. Okay, okay, I said I didn't want any more Austen adaptations. But this is the one exception. Mansfield Park is, in my opinion, Jane Austen's best novel, and yet there is still no satisfactory film version. Yes, it would be difficult to translate to screen, but if anyone were to be up to the challenge, it would be the BBC - right? Or so I thought. . . :-(
9. Any one of Shakespeare's lesser-known plays. The BBC made a brief return to Shakespeare in 2005 with four Shakespeare stories set in the modern-day world (ShakespeaRetold), but I'd like to see some Shakespeare in it's original setting. It doesn't have to be big-budget, just well acted, with a good script! Duh! Exotic locations aren't necessary, either. Do one of the Histories that are set in England.
10. A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett. One of my favourite books as a little girl. Make it into a two-part Christmas special, or something like that. The 1995 version changed the book, the characters, the ending. . . it even changed the setting from late-19th-century England to WWI-era America. The 1986 version was better, but it's getting a bit dated.
Okay, strictly speaking, these aren't "literary adaptations", but I think they'd be worth making all the same:
*A biopic of Fanny Burney
*A biopic of the Brontes
What are some of your favourite books that you would *love* to see made into a movie or TV series?
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
A Damsel's Daybook
Outside my window. . . it's nighttime; crickets are singing.
I am thinking about. . . the weekend we're going to have at the beach. . . starting Thursday afternoon!
From the kitchen. . . nothing. We've all finished dinner. Oh, my mum's been experimenting with making our own yogurt. When it's freshly made, it's still warm. Warm yogurt actually tastes pretty good.
I am creating. . . still stitching away at my lute-playing angel.
I am reading. . . I'm in a difficult situation as far as reading is concerned. I'm starting to really enjoy Great Expectations - about halfway through, now - but I'm probably going to have to stop, and read my book club book before the next meeting on Oct. 10, and I am also very keen to re-read Emma before the first the episode of Emma 2009 goes to air on Oct. 14. Hm.
I am hearing. . . a Little House on the Prairie DVD on TV. My family are all addicted to the 1970s TV version of Little House on the Prairie. I'm the only one in my family who isn't a massive fan, LOL. I don't mind it, but. . . it's not quite my cup of tea.
I am hoping. . . that tomorrow will go smoothly and won't be too busy or stressful. Not that there's any reason why it should be busy, apart from some preparations for our weekend away. I just hate busyness and stress.
I am planning. . . to do lots of baking tomorrow. . . two birthday cakes, and some biscuits/cookies. I am also planning what to pack for the weekend. All day, I've been mentally evaluating which books I should take, and which ones I should leave behind.
I am wearing. . . a greyish skirt which used to be black denim. A cotton top in a pretty print.
My wish of the week. . . hmm. Now that the footy season is over, and my team lost, I've run out of wishes. Okay: wish of the week - that I'll grow less self-focussed, and that I'll be able to pray BRAVELY. Have you ever been guilty of praying like this (I have): "God, build my my character. - Uh, but please don't put me through too much pain or too many trials. I hate pain. Actually, I don't know if I can pray this prayer at all. 'Build my character' - I'm really asking for it there, aren't I, Lord. . ." etc, etc.
EDIT: Yikes, I've just found out that the first episode of Emma airs on Oct 4th, not the 14th. That leaves me even less time to read all those books. . . I'll start Emma tonight, and aim to finish it within the next few days. That will leave me about a week to read the book club book. . . yep, I should be all right. Then after that, I'll read the rest of Great Expectations. Then after that. . . any one of the dozens of books on my to-read pile. :P
Friday, September 25, 2009
Think Australian landscapes: think harsh sunlight, the bush, the outback, desert, sand, vivid blue sky. These are some of the images that come to mind. A "sunburnt country", beautiful, but harsh and sometimes cruel. This isn't always the case, however!
At certain times of the day - mainly dawn and dusk - and in certain weather, Australian landscapes (and cityscapes) take on a different face altogether. The relentless sun finally goes down, leaving gorgeous pinks, golds, and mauves, in its wake. The bush takes on a magical atmosphere, full of shadows and soft hues. Gum trees can look somewhat ragged in broad daylight, but at sunset, they come into their own, their colours and forms blending in beautifully with the soft sky.
Enough of my poetical soliloquy. . .
My point is, what I love about this week's artist - Ramon Ward-Thompson - is his appreciation of and ability to capture the softness and the atmosphere of the Australian landscape when subdued by soft light or rain. There are very few other contemporary artists I know of who approach Australian landscapes in this way.
Rainy Day Pittwater
Autumn Morning Swanston Street, Melbourne
Early Sunrise Over Lavender Day, Sydney
Monday, September 21, 2009
*Massive round of applause on behalf of costume drama enthusiasts everywhere*
Here are the three categories it won:
Outstanding Directing for a Miniseries, Movie, or Special
Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries, Movie, or Special
Unfortunately, neither Tom Courtenay nor Andy Serkis won the award for "Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Movie". Nevermind - Little Dorrit won all of the other awards it was nominated for. (Yay!! :-D )
Click here to view the full list of nominees and winners.
Outside my window. . . beautiful rain! I love the smell of rain, and the soft atmosphere it adds to the landscape. Believe me, when you have the harsh Australian sun beating down on you 90% of the time, you learn to appreciate a soft, refreshing rain shower. Of course, the frequent storms we get are a different story altogether. . . not that I don't like storms; I just wouldn't describe use words like "soft" to describe them.
I am thinking about. . . nothing in particular right now. I think my brain's in bit of a muddle this afternoon.
From the kitchen. . . nothing really, except for the frypan from lunch that I need to wash up.
I am creating. . . an angel in cross-stitch.
I am reading. . . Great Expectations, and a massive stack of library books - mostly art books.
I am hearing. . . raindrops, and rainbow lorikeets squawking.
I am hoping. . . that the rest of this week won't be as warm and humid as today. . .
I am planning. . . to bake something, sometime, not sure what. I feel like something chocolatey.
I am wearing. . . black tiered skirt, red top.
My wish of the week. . . that St Kilda will win the Grand Final on Saturday. Now that my beloved Bulldogs are out, I'm going for the Saints.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Okay, not quite a gazillion - try 24. :P Here is a selection of new publicity pics. To view them all, click here.
Tamsin Greig as Miss Bates
Robert Bathurst as Mr. Weston
Rupert Evans as Frank Churchill. Not sure if he's cute enough to be Frank. . . we'll see. At any rate, he'll be better than Ewan McGregor - the dreadful wigs poor Ewan was made to wear in Emma 1996. . . *shudders*
Christina Cole as the EVIL Mrs. Elton. Well, maybe not evil - just - obnoxious. . .
Emma and Mr. Knightley. . . is JLM really taller than Romola Garai, or is he just standing on a box for these shots? Because Romola is quite a tall girl. . .
Michael Gambon as Mr. Woodhouse
Jodhi May as Mrs. Weston
Harriet Smith (Louise Dylan) is so pretty. . . :-)
I'm assuming this is Harriet's Mr. Martin.
Blake Ritson as Mr. Elton
Romola Garai again, looking lovely, as usual
Once again, to view all of my Emma photos in high resolution, click here.
Still no pictures of Laura Pyper as Jane Fairfax!
Matthew MacFadyen as Arthur Clennam (Little Dorrit)
I've been flipping through a book I found at the library today - The Friendly Dickens, a sort of "Dickens for Dummies". In putting this book together, the author interviewed numerous critics, actors, and Dickens aficionados. Something that seemed to be coming through in some of the interviews, and even some of the author's own comments, was the belief that ardent fans of Dickens' novels are becoming a rare breed. The consensus seemed to be that the majority of devoted readers of Dickens are 50+, and that unless children and young adults are made to read Dickens in school, "they'll probably never read him at all" (see p. 369).
Claire Foy as Amy Dorrit (Little Dorrit)
Is this true to your own experience? Is this what you have observed? I don't have a lot of friends my own age who I know in person - the majority of my friends are online friends! And since internet users tend to congregate into different groups depending on their interests, most of my online friends are bookworms like myself - many of them are also Dickens fans. - Therefore, even though it may seem to me that a lot of younger people are still reading and enjoying Dickens today, this probably isn't an accurate reflection of the rest of society. . .
This scene always makes me cry. :-( (Bleak House)
It deeply saddens me to think that most of my generation may never read any Dickens or any of the other great novelists of the 19th century for their own pleasure. Just the thought of it makes me want to go out and "preach the gospel" of Dickens, trying to get as many people as possible to read his books!
Do young adults feel that Dickens is irrelevant? Boring? Too long-winded? Honestly, I don't think children and teenagers have any trouble getting through long books if they have the inclination - just look at the Harry Potter books, for instance!
Do bear in mind that the book I mentioned was published in 1998 - just before the recent slew of Dickens adaptations began, starting with Our Mutual Friend, and culminating in the BBC's two immensely popular series, Bleak House and Little Dorrit. Hopefully, all of these new Dickens adaptations will encourage people who normally wouldn't bother with Dickens to give his books a try. (I know this has certainly been the case with me!)
One only has to look at the 1995 adapation of Pride and Prejudice and the Austen revival that followed to see how just one really good TV or movie adaptation can have a domino effect on popular culture, bringing the works of a particular author into the spotlight. Do you think Bleak House has done this for Dickens? Are people (particular young adults and teens) finally starting to realise that Dickens' stories and characters are still very relevant (not to mention entertaining!) for us today?
Thursday, September 17, 2009
The first episode of the BBC's new 4-part adaptation of Emma will air on October 4th! Only 17 days away! The countdown begins. . . :P Of course, us poor folk in Australia and America will have to wait a good deal longer to see it on TV.
Here are all the publicity photos that have been released so far. . . one of them is high-res, the others I could only find in low-resolution.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Inspired by this beautiful book which I found at the library (and which is now sadly out of print, or else I'd probably buy myself a copy), I'm going to start a series of posts on my blog over the next few weeks. The artists I'll be featuring are: Australians, active during the 20th-21st centuries, and most of them will be artists who paint in a representational, or realist, manner.
Forest Flight - Click here to view full-size reproduction
In the book I borrowed, there was another similar painting to this - like this one, it featured three Crimson Rosellas, but it was done from a different perspective - the canopy of the trees, rather than the ground. It had the most wonderful sense of flight and movement. Unfortunately, I couldn't find it anywhere on the internet - but nevermind, this painting is also very beautiful in its own way.
Spirit of Howqua - Click here to view full-size
The awe-inspiring Wedge-tailed Eagle, Australia's largest bird of prey. I have a great love of Australian birds - when we went for long trips in the car, I used to take my "Field Guide to Australian Birds" and a notepad with me, and I'd make a list of all the different species I saw during the drive. I still do it sometimes! So, it's understandable that the paintings of Weatherly, a very talented bird artist, should hold a particular appeal for me!
Edge of the dunes - Click here to view full-size
Dance of the Water Fairy - Click here to view full-size
What an exquisite picture. I'm not 100% sure which bird it is. I think it's some kind of storm-petrel. My dad or grandfather will probably know exactly what it is. . .
Monday, September 14, 2009
I must the true redemption make,
I am undone tonight.
Love, in a subtle dreame disguised,
Hath both my heart and me surprised,
Whom never yet he durst attempt awake;
Nor will he tell me for whose sake
He did me the delight or spight,
But leaves me to inquire,
In all my wild desire
Of sleep again, who was his aid,
And sleep so guiltie and afraid,
And since he dares not come within my sight.
~Ben Jonson (1572-1637)
Outside my window. . . a beautiful morning.
I am thinking about. . . what I am going to do with my day.
From the kitchen. . . people getting their breakfasts.
I am creating. . . well, I'm thinking about knitting some dishcloths with some of the cotton yarn I've amassed.
I am reading. . . I'm back to Great Expectations, after finishing Persuasion.
I am hearing. . . birds singing, a crow "arrk"ing, quiet noises inside the house.
I am hoping. . . that today will be a purposeful day, that God would use every minute of my day for good.
I am planning. . . I'm not really planning anything. . .
I am wearing. . . denim skirt, bright blue t-shirt, and an oriental-style coat on top - it's been cool this morning.
My wish of the week. . . that the Bulldogs will win their preliminary final against St Kilda. BTW, is it okay to pray for your footy team to win? What are your thoughts on the matter?
Saturday, September 12, 2009
None of the cinemas near us are playing The Young Victoria. I can only hope they'll start showing it soon. . . if I don't see this movie soon I think I'm going to go a little bit crazy. :P
Click here to read Cleo magazine's review.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
16 When he came to the village of Nazareth, his boyhood home, he went as usual to the synagogue on the Sabbath and stood up to read the Scriptures. 17 The scroll of Isaiah the prophet was handed to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where this was written:
18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released,
that the blind will see,
that the oppressed will be set free,
19 and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come.”
20 He rolled up the scroll, handed it back to the attendant, and sat down. All eyes in the synagogue looked at him intently. 21 Then he began to speak to them. “The Scripture you’ve just heard has been fulfilled this very day!”
Monday, September 7, 2009
|What Kind of Reader Are You? |
Your Result: Dedicated Reader
|Literate Good Citizen|
|What Kind of Reader Are You?|
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz
Well, thank goodness I didn't get the Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm result! LOL!
Thursday, September 3, 2009
. . .You spend hours on Library Thing, keeping your own personal library catalogue in order, and adding countless trivial facts to the "common knowledge" section of each book.
. . .Whenever one of your siblings needs to find information on any given topic for a [home]school project, you rush to their aid, digging up dozens of books and searching through various encyclopedia indices. "This book all about ___, and this book has a chapter about ___. This one is a novel based on the life of ___, and there's an article about ___ in this encyclopedia. You could also try this book, and this one, and this one. . . "
. . .You are actively involved on book-swapping websites such as BookMooch, swapping second-hand books with people from all over the world.
. . .You are constantly begging your parents to buy another bookcase. - Upon being told that there isn't enough room in the house for a new bookcase, you walk all over the house, searching desperately for a suitable place, taking little heed of how inconvenient or in-the-way certain locations may be.
. . .The only thing you really want for your birthday is "books".
. . .You spend most of your allowance on new books.
. . .You howl with indignation upon discovering that there won't be any bookshops in the new shopping centre in town.
. . .You weep when your favourite bookshop in town closes down. (However, you don't hesitate to take full advantage of the closing down sales.)
. . .Your favourite place in the world (apart from home) is the local public library.
. . .The last thing you do before going to sleep is read a book.
. . .The first thing you do when you wake in the morning is read a book.
. . .You sleep with half-a-dozen books on your top bunk, so that you don't have to climb down to get a book to read when you wake up in the morning. You pay little attention to the fact that books are rather hard, uncomfortable things to have in one's bed. You have one side of the bed, the books have the other, and that's that.
. . .You treat all books with reverence, and loudly protest whenever one of your siblings treats a book roughly (e.g. dropping a book on the floor, using it as a missile, sitting on it, walking on it, etc.).
. . .You have an inexplicable love of the smell of books, which some members of your family find strange or difficult to understand.
. . .You could recognise almost any one of your books whilst blindfolded, simply by the smell of its pages.
. . .You are constantly giving unrequested book recommendations to friends and family, e.g. "You really need to read this book," or "What?! You haven't read ___?! I'll lend it to you; but make sure you read it!" or "Well, if you liked ___, you'll really like ___, and ___, and ___, and. . . ".
. . .You waste hours online browsing through online bookstores and other book websites.
. . .90% of your favourite movies and TV shows are adaptations of your favourite books.
. . .You have nightmares in which you see someone ruthlessly cutting up books with a pair of scissors.
. . .You spend hours trying to persuade your teenage brother to read The Lord of the Rings.
. . .Whenever you see one of your family members sitting idle with nothing to do, you pounce: "Let me find you a book to read! How about this one, or this one, or this one. . . "
. . .When buying a new handbag, the first thing you check for is "whether it's big enough to fit a book or two".
. . .When visiting, you almost always find yourself next to your hosts' bookshelf, browsing through their books. You can't always explain how this happens; it just. . . happens.
. . . When preparing to travel overseas (or just anywhere, for that matter), you fill half of your bag with books. Nevermind the fact that you probably won't get time to read anything, you simply feel that it is important, nay, imperative, to have books with you at all times.
. . .You spend hours tidying and organising all the bookshelves in the house, sorting books by height, category, age-appropriateness, and author.
. . .You will happily sit for half an hour or more, poring through your family's massive Oxford English Dictionary. "So many beautiful words. . . "
. . .You are constantly acquiring old National Geographics from op-shops and and library sales, much to your mother's dismay. "Sweetheart, it's fine with me if you buy them, but where are you going to put them all??"
. . .You read books at somewhat unusual times and under unusual circumstances - whilst eating breakfast, or sitting on the toilet, or while you're cooking dinner. . . you would read whilst in the shower, if books were waterproof.
. . .You frequently borrow a book from the library or a friend, only to find that you love said book so much, you simply must buy a copy of your own to keep for always.
. . .You host a girls-only book club at your house once a month, where you do nothing but sit and talk for hours on end about books.
. . .You write blog posts like this one, in which you elaborate on your love of BOOKS.
Note: practically all of the above are bona fide confessions of a bona fide bookworm. There has been very little exaggeration or fiction in this post.
Note 2: I am not technically a bibliomaniac. Bibliomania is, according to Wikipedia, an obsessive-compulsive disorder involving the collecting of books to the point where social relations or health are damaged, and in which the mere fact that an object is a book is sufficient for it to be collected or loved. Stricly speaking, I am merely a bibliophile or a bookworm, not a bibliomaniac.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Erin from Seven Little Australians tagged me! Thanks so much, Erin! :-D
1. List Seven Things That Make You Awe-Summm!
2. Pass the award on to seven bloggers you read religiously.
3. Tag those seven bloggers.
Ummm. . . seven awesome things about me. . . not the best tag for cultivating humility, LOL. I'll see how I go. . .
1. I have an awesome God
2. I have a truly awesome family!
3. I. . . uhh. . . I can play guitar!
4. Umm. . . I. . . am a decent cook! I love baking lots of sweet things.
5. This is hard!! Like Napoleon Dynamite, I feel that I "don't have any good skills", or any other awesome things about me, LOL. Okay, I just thought of something - I have an awesome blog! And the awesomest thing about my blog is the fact that I've made so many friends through blogging. :-)
6. I live in an awesome country! I love Australia. It's an breathtakingly beautiful land.
7. This isn't an awesome thing, but I've completely run out of awesome things, so: I have really long hair! Well, fairly long. Way past my waist. I'm trying to get it to 1 metre long. I don't know why, I just think it would be cool to have hair a metre long. :P
Whew, that was one hard tag to fill in!
Now, Alexandra gave me the Honesty Scrap Award! Thanks, Alexandra!
-Thank the person who gave the award to you
-Post ten honest facts about yourself
-Pass the award onto seven others.
Ten honest facts. This sounds a bit easier, LOL!
1. I tend to procrastinate.
2. I used to think Hippocrates was pronounced Hippo Crates (as in hippo for hippopotamous and crate as in a large box).
3. I sometimes stay up late reading.
4. I have grumpy moods. And upset moods, where I cry upon the least provocation. In other words, I'm female. . .
5. I am hopelessly hopeless at sports.
6. I can be (read: am) messy and disorganised.
8. I can be very shy, and I usually find it extremely hard talking to people who I don't know well.
9. I had a massive crush on Prince William when I was about 12 or 13 (didn't we all? :P). I don't like him anymore though, FYI.
10. I am really, really bad at maths.
Well, I don't want to tag the same people all over again, so I might pick some others. But if you'd like to do the tag anyway, even if you didn't get tagged, please do so. Or if you were tagged but don't want do it, of course you don't need to if you don't want to!
That was fun. :-D I'm glad I chanced to discover those tags through google!
Well - better late than never, I guess.
Outside my window. . . lots of golden early-morning sunlight.
I am thinking about. . . the bookmooch book that I've got to send to someone in America, some biscuits that I'd like to (maybe) make today, the bookshelf that we really need but don't have. Must go bookshelf-shopping sometime. . . we have about 8 bookshelves/bookcases in our house, but we're starting to run out of room for new books (again). Perhaps we could put a shelf next to the toilet - er - ahem - lavatory. Then whenever you go to the loo, you can just reach up and pick whatever reading material takes your fancy! Good idea? Mmmm, maybe not. . .
From the kitchen. . . not much. Maybe some leftover porridge - all cold and gloopy by this time (yuck!).
I am creating. . . hmm, not a lot. I am starting to get the knitting itch again, though.
I am reading. . . Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens!
I am hearing. . . brothers and sisters talking and playing, quietly. The garbage truck outside. . .
I am hoping. . . that the Bulldogs win against Geelong this weekend! (The AFL finals are about to start, so you'll have to excuse me if I go a little bit crazy over the next few weeks.)
I am planning. . . hmm, not a lot. I'm not much of a planner, to be honest. Okay - I am planning to be better at planning and organising.
I am wearing. . . long cotton skirt, dark purple. A little black top, and a pink chenille jumper/sweater (it's still a bit cool this early in the morning).
My wish of the week. . . that the Doggies will win the premiership! Yes, it's wishful thinking - but that's the whole point, remember!