Cleolinda Jones (cleolinda) wrote,
Cleolinda Jones


omg Pride and Prejudice so good. So many people showed up that they had to split half of us off into a separate theater. If you're an Austen purist, you'll probably hate it, but I tend to roll with whatever a movie wants to do if it works within the movie itself ("WHAT??? THE WHITE WITCH IS BLONDE????? Hey, she looks pretty good..."). I'm easy, what can I say. We spent most of the movie, as a theater, in a constant giggle, so it was literally a feel-good movie--I walked out on a high that probably would have lasted all night if I hadn't been immediately jumped at the door by everyone wanting to dump their problems on me (but that's another story for another time.)

Their Darcy is hot, too. Not "pretty," but hawt, in a sideburned Byronesque kind of way. He and Keira Knightley had chemistry like whoa and there were three scenes so hot that all the girls were fanning themselves (the Netherfield ball, the botched proposal, and "Your hands are cold"). And speaking of Keira, I thought she was fabulous, and the scene where Mr. Collins attempts to make his move is worth the price of admission just for the reaction shots. Also, now I want to swan about in slightly dingy empire dresses and go tramping through fields in my super-awesome coat of +4 Bronte Brooding. (Again, if you're a purist, you'll hate it.)

Speaking of which, I couldn't really tell you why they choose to adapt the book a bit more loosely than, say, the miniseries--new bits of dialogue and what I think are some changed scenes (it's been years since I last read the book)--but I like the final product, so I didn't see any point in quibbling over it. Unlike a lot of the expensive fantasy franchises coming out these days, this is not the only take we'll see on the story (or at least the only take we'll see for years upon years). It's one of those stories, much like the collected works of Shakespeare, that we get redone every decade or so and really, I don't see any point in taking the miniseries and just photoshopping different actors in. If you're going to do it again, you may as well do it a bit differently, I figure. And I liked how this one was all scrubby and farmy and had chickens in the backyard--not only was it more about the realities of life at the time (a lot of filming in natural--or near natural--light, for example), but you got a better sense of Elizabeth's "inferior circumstances" that everyone's always going on about. And there was some gorgeous long-take camera work and excellent scenery (omg those big houses), so at the end of the day, I say two thumbs up, fine holiday fun.

Otherwise I'm tired and a little frazzled, and I have to start gearing myself up to think about starting to not put off my ten-page annotated bibliography before Monday, when it's actually due.

Tonight's Read-Along Movie: Braveheart on Bravo.

MP3 players: Someone recommended Creative Zen to me as being $100 less than the iPod (and therefore you could buy one with more GB) and having more reliable batteries as well. Anyone have experience with cZens, to coin a word?

wumbawoman: "Happy turkies and hopefully this will be a feel good story for you. An anonymous donor has promised to pay for anywhere from 65-100% of the colledge tuition for any student who graduates from Kalamazoo, MI ISD and attends a Michigan Public college or university."

Ex-FEMA Head Starts Disaster Planning Firm. And then whatever Michael Brown tells you to do, do the opposite.

I just realized that this is the reason Brownie was insisting that he wasn't crap at FEMA.

RIP Pat Morita. P.S. All "wax on, wax off" jokes have already been taken.

Fairies stop developers' bulldozers in their tracks.

Whatever you do, don't finish your novel.

Some guy informs Neil Gaiman that he doesn't know exactly what a fabulist is, but could Neil tell him if he (Neil) is one? Unca Neil's reply: "Er. But if I am a fabulist, I have no idea why I am. (As I said to someone who asked a similar question at a Q&A recently, It's because I'm me and it's what I like to write. I don't think I have a convenient origin story, such as 'When I was five years old I was bitten by a radioactive myth'.)" (I think I swiped the fairies link off him, too.)

Neal Stephenson on Dante writers vs. Beowulf writers--the academic and the popular. Reading this, I realized that I've spent the last ten years or so slowly extricating myself from the Dante writer side, the side where creative writing students are taught to become creative writing professors so they can teach more creative students and produce more creative writing professors. I'd go to writing conferences and hear authors read, some of them really good, and some of them well enough known that there was excitement in the building when their names were mentioned, and these were still people that 99% percent of the population would never hear of. I don't mean in the sense that they would never be celebrities; I mean in the sense that they would never be read. Occasionally we'd have a Ray Bradbury or a David Sedaris and that would be awesome, but mostly we would have people who... well, one of my professors was sassy enough to tell us the truth. She said that a lot of the writers of High Literature are writing for each other and for the literary magazines they run. They're not writing things that people, "normal people," actually want to read, and they characterize the things those normal people read as "crap," "trash," and "populist." And some of the things we read are--I'm not going to try to defend the works of Dan Brown or Jackie Collins or [insert author's name here] for one second. The problem is that you create this hierarchy where the academics will approve of a good book that no one reads, but when it suddenly becomes a hit and finds an audience, they all shrink away and disavow it, which is pretty much what my sister did with Orlando Bloom: she couldn't like him anymore because... everyone else did. My point is, academics have set up a system where they seem to believe that only bad books make money, and good books never do. I like Stephenson's explanation of the Dante writers and the Beowulf writers, myself. But I realized that I didn't want to be a Dante writer, and have been shifting over towards the Beowulf side for the last few years now. I didn't want to depend on grants and patrons for a living; I wanted to write things people would actually want to read, and earn a living from that.

If nothing else, read it for the line, "In order to set her straight, I had to let her know that the reason she'd never heard of me was because I was famous."

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