barometry: solid wall of paperbacks stacked up (Default)
Happy new year, folks! I totally forgot about this yesterday, which is a good thing because I would have been fretting about being revealed myself, but not I get to say that I absolutely lucked out my first yuletide.

[ profile] Ione wrote me an epic alternate ending to Mansfield Park, the Austen novel with which I have always been perhaps least satisfied. It is lovely and believable and exactly what I was hoping to get -- believing all the while that this was an unreasonable thing to imagine any Yuletide author might write.

Mansfield End (38569 words) by Ione
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Mansfield Park - Jane Austen
Rating: Not Rated
Warnings: Author Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Henry Crawford/Fanny Price
Characters: Henry Crawford, The Bertram Household, Mary Crawford, William Price

An alternate ending to Mansfield Park, beginning with Book Three, Chapter XV

And then, the first fic I have posted on the internet since I had a Geocities Sailor Moon fan page (yes, that long), I wrote an Orphan Black story for [personal profile] yahtzee, which is basically a long study of my (many) feelings about Paul and the entire lies-within-lies of his relationships with Beth, then Sarah-as-Beth, then Sarah. (Also my complex feelings about living with addiction):

Duplicity (6282 words) by barometry
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Orphan Black (TV)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: Author Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Paul Dierden/Sarah Manning, Beth Childs/Paul Dierden
Characters: Paul Dierden, Sarah Manning, Beth Childs
Additional Tags: Canonical Drug Use, Suicide

Beth was everything Paul had been led to expect. And then one day she was different.

barometry: ([sandman] delirium)
Dear Yuletide Author,

Hello! It is very exciting for me to know that you're reading this (and sorry that it wasn't up quite before assignments went out), because this is my first ever Yuletide as a participant! So first up I just want to say that whatever you write for me, I will be thrilled just that you wrote it for me, regardless of the details of the story. I've provided some story ideas in the original prompts, and I give a bit more detail about those below, but please definitely consider those as optional starting points. If there's another idea that you're excited to write, please do run with that.

I apologize that so much of this journal is locked. Feel free to contact me anonymously; I will also post back here once I've checked with a couple people whether you can get in touch with them to ask questions. If you want to see a collection of shiny objects that have recently caught my attention, I'm [ profile] barometry over on Tumblr. If you'd like to see what types of stories I usually read, I have an extensive and entirely unsorted collection of bookmarks on AO3.

Here I will try to give you some general details about my likes and dislikes, before moving onto more discussion of my specific requests:

Dislikes )

Likes )

Okay, more specifics of individual requests:

1. October Daye series by Seanan McGuire (Quentin, Raj, May Daye, Jazz) )

2. Alice (Hatter) )

3. Mansfield Park by Jane Austen (Henry Crawford) )

4. Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman (Richard Mayhew, Marquis de Carabas) )

5. Arkham Horror (Board Game) )

I hope there is something helpful or illuminating for you here, Dear Author! But let me once again repeat: if nothing I've said inspires you, please feel free to go in a totally different direction. I look forward to seeing whatever you end up writing!

See you on the other side!

barometry: ([austen] elizabeth)
So in keeping with my "the best way to be more comfortable posting on the internet is to actually post more"... insight? I'm working through my intense guilt and finally posting this reflection on the most recent full-length adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, the 2005 movie starring Kiera Knightly and Matthew Macfayden.

If you're interested, previous installments are: 1940, 1980, 1995)


Cut for extremely lengthy feelings. But many of them are positive! )

To conclude, I love everything about this movie... except for much of the main plot, and anything to do with Kiera Knightly. So, um, I also wildly dislike quite a lot of this movie. My complicated feelings, let me show you them!

Um, next up is either even more feelings about period-accurate costuming, or feelings about Regency dancing (spoiler: they all get it at least partly wrong). Or possibly my dream cast. Watch this space! Probably it will take fewer than 6 months this time! (But I always have Pride and Prejudice feelings).
barometry: ([austen] elizabeth)
It's only been two days and already I have the next installment in this series up! I confess myself somewhat startled.

(Previously: 1940, 1980)

I think it's fair to say that most people think of the 1995 BBC/A&E co-production, starring Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle, as THE Pride and Prejudice adaptation,1 and I am certainly one of those people. I saw it for the first time sometme in high school, when the Literature Club2 watched the whole thing on VHS. Then I think I saw it again in English class when we read the novel in... Grade 10? And sometime after that I was given the box set as a gift, and I couldn't tell you how many times I've seen it since. Many many times, anyhow.


cut for all the feelings )
barometry: ([austen] on horseback)
(Previously: Part One)

As you may recall, ages ago I made all these noises about making a series of posts about Pride and Prejudice adaptations. Then I made exactly one, and then fell off the face of the internet (except for occasionally reblogging things on tumblr). I've been feeling kind of guilty about that, though I will confess that that guilt is only about 10% of why I haven't posted anything else here in forever, but I've decided to take more or less the same approach to procrastination that some people suggest as a strategy for paying off credit debt: start with the smallest things first, so that you get a sense of reward and satisfaction early on.

Right, so this (much delayed) second post about Pride and Prejudice moves onto the 1980 BBC adaptation, which is subtitled (or alternately titled?) First Impressions. Which was the original title of the novel! This is the first of many ways in which it is clear that this was an adaptation made for people Serious About The Book. Not necessarily in a bad way, just a very BBC way.


Cut for intensity of faithfulness to the source material )
barometry: ([austen] elizabeth)
It seems that I have finally started to write up all my feelings about the various Pride and Prejudice adaptations. So many feelings: I have feelings about plot changes, casting, costuming, the accuracy of period dance, and probably sundry topics relating to direction and lighting. (Probably I will try to spare you those last feelings, since I lack the vocabulary to be coherent about it.)

Part of the delay in my writing these posts was that I wasn't quite sure where to start, or how to organize the posts (by topic? by adaptation? by some mysterious third factor?), but then it occurred to me that many of you may not even know, off the top of your heads, how many Pride and Prejudice adaptations there are! So I decided I would start there, with brief introductions to each.

As I choose to count them, there are four film versions of Pride and Prejudice -- I'm not counting movies like Bride and Prejudice (which I have not seen), or Bridget Jones's Diary, or even the inestimable Lizzie Bennet Diaries.

These four film versions are, as far as I can tell, popularly known by their year of release: 1940, 1980, 1995, and 2005.

(You'll note that we seem to be accelerating the pace of adaptations.)

Today I will start with the most ancient of these, from the distant era of 1940. And it's based on a stage play, suggesting yet more ancient versions never captured on film! The mind boggles.

I suppose I should mention that there are going to be spoilers here? I mean, I'm assuming familiarity with the basic plot outline, but I'll also be pointing out plot elements that differ from the book in each adaptation. So, you know, if you watch adaptations of 200 year old novels for the Unexpected Plot Twists, you should probably not read this.

There's even a book on the poster! So you'll know it's based on literature.

This version stars Laurence Olivier and Greer Garson, and includes a screenwriting credit by Aldous Huxley*! It is the least faithful of all the adaptations, and (not un-relatedly) my least favourite.

The absolute highlight, in my opinion -- also the reason I turned it off the first time I tried to watch it, as a teenage -- is the fact that they decided to set it during the Era of Enormous Hoopskirts -- aka the early Victorian Era, aka the Civil War Era in the US. This puts it about thirty years after the Regency period usually associated with Austen adaptations. I'm not sure if they just had a bunch of Civil War costumes on hand, or thought they more clearly looked "old timey" to a 1940s audience, or what, but it does give a certain crowded look to scenes at home with the five Bennet sisters.

Oh, other delightful highlight! They decided to rearrange the opening scenes so that there is a high speed carriage race between Mrs. Bennet (five daughters in tow) and Lady Lucas, because it is of the utmost importance that each get home first with the news of Mr. Bingley's arrival, apparently? Anyhow, I was intrigued that they had managed to insert a chase scene into a period romance, presumably for thrills.

This appropriately foreshadows subsequent, yet more radical, changes to the basic plot. The one that most changes the tone, in my opinion, is a change to the basic architecture of Elizabeth and Darcy's romance. In this version, Elizabeth starts to grow secretly fond of Darcy right from the beginning, but is Too Proud to admit it. This alters the dynamic of the story considerably, even when other major events remain unaltered.

They also replaced the Netherfield Ball (the event where Elizabeth and Darcy slow dance and obliquely talk about Wickham, in all the other versions) with some sort of afternoon garden party. The one advantage of this change, in my opinion, is that it did lead to a somewhat charming scene where Darcy tries to teach Elizabeth archery, and she's all, 'how kind of you to show me these basic moves. Let me show you my l33t archery prowess!'**

Two other significant changes are the elimination of the letter Darcy writes Elizabeth (he explains in person instead), and the absence of Elizabeth's trip to Pemberley. I think that an Anonymous Wikipedia Editor puts it well when they say that because of these various changes, "[t]he movie implies that the entire relationship is one long flirtation with a few rough patches[.]" (Wikipedia entry)

Even the denoument is changed considerably. In this version, the whole Bennet family is going to be forced to sell their house and retreat into obscurity because of Lydia's elopement (why? how?), when Lady Catherine arrives in state to threaten Elizabeth lest she marry Darcy (as in the book). The twist is that it turns out that it was a ruse! Lady Catherine is herself in league with Darcy, to get Elizabeth to confess her love! Which is kind of weird, in my opinion.

I will talk more about the casting in future installments in this series, but here's the short version: I don't much like the casting in this adaptation. I personally don't think that Laurence Olivier is a particularly good Darcy -- too foppish, not particularly stern -- and while Greer Garson was okay as Elizabeth, I found her a bit... mature is the best word, I think (not in appearance, in manner). Also, I kept being distracted by the ridiculous bows she was forever wearing on her head.

The supporting cast were similarly uneven. The only character portrayals I particularly liked were Lady Catherine (sometimes), Mr. Collins, and Lydia. Oh, and Mr. Bennet was interesting, though less sarcastic and more twinkly than I think he is in my head.

I could also talk about the dancing, but I think that will wait for a dedicated post at some future time.

* I suppose it would not be possible to support oneself by taking psychedelics and writing a single dystopian novel, which is all I had previously known of Aldous Huxley's biography.

** On a positive note, you'll recall that the Netherfield Ball is also the event in which the entire Bennet family (excluding Elizabeth and Jane) act with a "total want of propriety." It is sometimes hard to relate to what this means, particularly regarding the two youngest sisters (they flirt a lot? and are wild?) -- but this is one of two adaptations (the other is 2005) where it's clear that they're out of hand because they get quite drunk, and you can how that would be embarrassing for the family.


barometry: solid wall of paperbacks stacked up (Default)
Barometry Jones

October 2014



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