10 December 2010

posting without reason

does it ever happen to you that you want to blog but don't really have anything particular to blog about? or, you do have things to say, but shouldn't be posting those things publicly? this is one of those posts.

so, some randomness to satiate my current need to blog:

it's something of a hobby for me to watch film adaptations of 19C novels. i love 19C lit and i love films and i teach film adaptation classes occasionally. and i have decided that these films are really quite boring. very run of the mill, very uncreative. they all seem to fit into a box with specific dimensions: period-type filming, lots of dialogue, long gazes, lots of shots of English countryside blah blah blah. we just seem to be churning these films out without actually making them into something interesting/intriguing. they don't even bring the story to life.

notable exceptions and/or films that make the box look really good:
Jane Eyre

North and South

Emma Thompson's Sense and Sensibility

Bleak House

Emma (both the Gwyneth Paltrow film and the newest Masterpiece Theatre version)

(I also really liked)
Little Dorritt

Our Mutual Friend

Persuasion (not the new one)

We'll give a shout out to the BBC Pride and Prejudice
less my favorite, but still. mrs. bennet is unbeatable.

all versions of Wuthering Heights that I've seen so far: thumbs down

we really need to break out of these dime-a-dozen adaptations. film deserves better. victorian lit deserves better. we deserve better!

as long as i'm at it, i've also been searching for a decent film version of dracula to share with my students. this, it turns out, is a near-impossible task. here's what i think (don't even pretend you're not dying too know!)

*Francis Ford Coppola's Bram Stoker's Dracula
keanu reeves ruins it! seriously? also, way too much sexuality. my students would never see dracula as anything else. despite some very beautiful and fascinating filmic moments, thumbs down

*Wes Craven's Dracula 2000
you'd think this might be ok. wes craven is great at horror. it's updated, so that might make for some cool adaptation fodder. i like jonny lee miller. gerard butler is dracula, and he's hot. however, you'd be wrong. it was SO STUPID that i turned it off. NEVER WATCH THIS FILM. watch a blank wall instead. it would be way better. a million thumbs down times infinity.

*Bela Lugosi's Dracula
classic. iconic. interesting adaptation stuff. tres slow, though, unless you get lots of set up. thumbs up, but only because they ought to be. let's get something new and cool!

*Dracula starring Frank Langella
surprisingly well done. langella makes for a very romantic, byronic dracula. thoughtful, interesting, entertaining film. some great adaptation ideas. however, also dated (1979). thumbs up (except for that it's dated for students. still, i really liked it.)

*Masterpiece Theatre's 2007 Dracula
some great setup. introduces interesting twists for the story. however, doesn't quite follow through. meh. still, updated filming and nice film length (90 mins) made it my choice. thumbs up mostly. but also thumbs wiggle waggle.

so, there you go.


Emily and Cory said...

Loved this post! I also love those types of movies and agree with you with the exception of the newest Emma. Having the same guy who played Edmund in Mansfield Park play Mr. Knightley ruined it for me.

suzanne said...

North and South.
Loved it.
But loved the book more.
Why must male leads always be destroyed?

smason said...

Have you seen the preview for new Jane Eyre? I may be wrong, but think it looks awful (too much playing up violence and passion). The film after the preview--The King's Speech--was excellent.