Friday, 9 September 2011

Awaken then

I've just returned from watching the newest version of of Jane Eyre at the cinema - the first showing on the first day of its release, God I'm keen. I utterly adore the book by Charlotte Bronte, I really like both Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender and I thought the trailer looked stunning. All in all I went into the cinema with high expectations, fully hoping to like it, but also very wary.

Now, the story of Jane Eyre is surely familiar to all, but for those who have been living beneath an unliterary rock for the past century or so, Jane Eyre is the story of a young downtrodden woman who takes a post as governess at the foreboding Thornfield Hall. There she meets her master Mr Rochester and falls in love, little knowing he is hiding a terrible secret...a marvel when it was first released, Jane Eyre is still to this day remarkable for its strong themes of feminine independence, passionate love and scandal. It is however an intensely complex novel to pack into one film, and I think it is the way this adaptation deals with that that I found the most interesting (and ironically what my mother, who came with me and is if anything an even greater fan than me, disapproved of the most). Knowing that every plot point could not possibly be fitted into the film, the director (Cary Fukunaga) seems to have instead chosen to concentrate on certain details and aspects of the story, in particular Jane's character and the choices and obstacles she is faced with throughout her life. This can be frustrating sometimes, as certain beloved scenes are missed out which otherwise contribute to the story of Mr Rochester or the romance between them, and indeed the film does have a certain rushed shortened quality to it which is a shame, however overall it manages to strike a deep chord and fully explore the character of Jane Eyre. Wasikowska plays a strong, grave, independent Jane, who although lacking in slight playfulness, is deeply passionate and a sympathetic character. Mr Rochester as portrayed by Michael Fassbender is a Byronic, tortured and passionate soul, and although again the sarcastic witty side to Mr Rochester is lacking, Fassbender plays him with such depth and character that it's impossible not to fall in love. And indeed this is the crux of the matter - this adaptation is very different to previous ones because it does not try to stick too closely to the book, rather it is far darker, Gothic, brooding and romantic. Although very well written, it is the silences and the visual side of the performances and cinematography that matter just as much. Perhaps unusual in a period drama, which usually features a lot of talking, but this raw, physical adaptation is perfect in its own way. Beautifully made and arresting to watch - with a gorgeous score by Dario Marianelli who just keeps winning my undying love - this may not be the most loyal adaptation and may not even be my favourite (I do have great love for the BBC version) but it is certainly wonderful in its own right.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

You can't take the sky from me


: I'm trying to put this as delicately as I do I know you won't kill me in my sleep?

Mal: You don't know me, son, so let me explain this to you once: If I ever kill you, you'll be awake. You'll be facing me. And you'll be armed.
Simon: Are you always this sentimental?
Mal: I had a good day.
Simon: You had the Alliance on you, criminals and savages... half the people on the ship have been shot or wounded including yourself, and you're harboring known fugitives.
Mal: We're still flying.
Simon: That's not much.
Mal: It's enough.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Oh, Calamity!

Although nowadays my parents are fairly impatient with my choice in movies, I do actually owe my current film taste to them. Unlike some kids, I wasn't brought up on a diet of Americanised, hyper-coloured and pointless cartoons - naturally I watched Disney films like any kid, but we all know that's different - rather, I remember watching almost grown-up and classic films from a young age. The Clash of the Titans has been a favourite of mine since I was eight, and I was utterly obsessed with the 1938 version of Robin Hood. It's probably one of the reasons that I don't now shy away from a movie just 'cos it's "old" - it's that quality in fact which I adore.

One such film which I adored - and still do - is the 1953 musical Calamity Jane. It belongs to a series of films made at the time, such as Seven Brides for Seven Brothers or Annie Get Your Gun: chirpy and colourful Wild West musicals which were just so fun and charming to watch. As far as I'm concerned, Calamity Jane is one of the most underrated yet most wonderful of all of these. It tells the adventures of Calamity Jane, a young woman living in the Wild West who has firmly integrated herself in the male-orientated society by, well, pretty much becoming one. Slightly clumsy, quick tempered and impetuous, Calamity Jane is a simply wonderful character - played gloriously by Doris Day who somehow, despite her gorgeous face and voice, manages to pull off tomboy exceptionally well. Her relationship with Wild Bill Hickok (Howard Keel) is beautifully portrayed - the chemistry between them is just stunning, and in both their humorous and tender moments they are just perfect together; he being so tall and she so tiny, they are just an adorable couple. The songs too are wonderful, wittily written and full of energy and the cinematography is bright and sweeping, like any good film of the 50s. Altogether this film is a treat, and if you haven't been lucky enough as me to experience it since your childhood, well, what are you waiting for?!

Friday, 2 September 2011

Spin me around, I don't want to go home

How happy is this song? I know it's by an X-Factor runner up and therefore, you know, unacceptable to like, but hey, I do like it. Life is stressful atm - I'm looking homelessness straight in the face in less than two weeks - so frankly I need something chirpy and upbeat ^_^