21 January 2013

Movie Adaptations & Mash Ups

Friday night I finished watching the last of the Jane Austen movie adaptations, completing another goal for my 7 Things in 7 weeks until I'm 27. I didn't expect to finish watching everything because I had a surprise birthday party to attend, but alas, the UK loves its snow days and ended up staying home.

Finishing this goal has made me really curious to actually read the books mostly because I want to read the monster mash up versions of all her books. It almost seems the ultimate form of fanfiction writing, don't you  think?

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In all seriousness, though, I want to read the originals to get a better sense of Jane Austen. In college/uni I had a very nursing focused programme for the first couple of years and wasn't able to take a couple courses here and there that I would have enjoyed or made me a more well rounded post-secondary educated person. The opportunity was never there and then I've struggled with making time to read beyond what was necessary so I never did read any "classic" novels on my own.

Watching the movies was a good way to learn the plots of her stories and get a visual sense of the world she lived in and set her stories in. However, with each adaptation there was a different director, giving a different spin on her stories so I think I'm missing some subtleties about her works despite some of the obvious recurring themes in all the stories. Ie. getting married, securing a life, morals, manners, fitting into society, rank, women's place in the world, and so forth.

As I've mentioned before, I'm not really a romantic, but the movies did always make me melt a little. Men portrayed as gentlemen and at least one per story breaking rank to follow his heart. And some of the male leads dressed in period costumes it was hard not to swoon. Modern fashion has its points, but it had nothing on the 1800's regarding men's fashion.

Everything considered, my favourite movies were Pride & Prejudice and Sense & Sensibility and my least favourite was Northanger Abbey. And when I look at the years of all the release dates, even the movie "Becoming Jane" that was pieced together about Jane Austen's life, they were all released around the same time, most in 2007. ...Was there a Jane Austen revival that I missed?

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