Sense and Silliness: All things Austen

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Re: Sense and Silliness: All things Austen

Postby Ithilwen » Aug 15, 2014 11:11 am

Arwenel wrote:While my favorite adaption is the 1995, the Lizzie Bennet Diaries was a very good modern adaption. I've seen clips of the 1940 and 1980 versions; parts of the 1940 version were hilarious, though not particularly book-like, and the acting/casting from the 1980 did not appeal to me in the slightest.

Emma Approved -- it's okay, but definitely not as good as LBD. I'm curious to see what the company is going to do next, though. More Jane Austen or are they going to cast their net a little wider?

I really enjoyed The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. Maybe even more so than I enjoyed the original novel. However, I can't stand Emma Approved. It all seems so... fake and cardboard.

As for their next project, it's non-Austen. They're adapting Frankenstein.


~Izzy =:)
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Re: Sense and Silliness: All things Austen

Postby 220chrisTian » Aug 15, 2014 11:37 am

I finished Death Comes to Pemberley last night. My opinion is unchanged and hundreds of Amazon reviewers agree with me. I've never seen as many 1- and 2-star ratings as this book got. So why did some critics rate it so highly? :-s

http://www.amazon.com/Death-Comes-Pembe ... 307950654/

Lizzie Bennet Diaries: I'm hesitant about modern adaptations, since I didn't like Bridget Jones' Diary (book and film), but I'm willing to give this book a try. And I did like Clueless (Emma). :)
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Re: Sense and Silliness: All things Austen

Postby 220chrisTian » Aug 16, 2014 11:28 am

I downloaded three P&P-inspired novels yesterday.

Darcy and Elizabeth: Nights and Days at Pemberley (2006) by Linda Berdoll is a sequel. I read a few chapters and quit. This novel is an insult to Jane Austen and to the Regency era! Don't waste your time. Darcy’s Story (2005) by Janet Aylmer is a much better work, a decent rewriting of P&P from Darcy’s point of view that I enjoy reading. I haven’t started Mr. Darcy’s Diary (2007) by Amanda Grange yet. But the Amazon reviews look pretty good. :)
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Re: Sense and Silliness: All things Austen

Postby shastastwin » Aug 16, 2014 7:07 pm

I don't usually go in for sequels to older literature, but my wife picked up a couple of Pride and Prejudice sequels/alternative tellings the other day. I think they're meant to be mystery with a bit of paranormal stuff thrown in. They're called Pride and Prescience and Suspense and Sensibility, but they both follow the Darcys so I suspect the second one is simply a sequel that took advantage of another Austen title. We'll see hoe they are.

I'm still working my way through S&S. I've reached the end of Volume II and am somewhere early on in Volume III (a chapter in the late 30s or so, I think). This section has been a bit more exciting, since most of the plot has been very clear and centered. I'm trying to figure out how/if a certain conflict is going to resolve itself.
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Re: Sense and Silliness: All things Austen

Postby 220chrisTian » Aug 18, 2014 12:01 pm

shastastwin: I haven't heard those titles, but now I'm curious. I hope they're nothing like P&P and Zombies, which I've avoided because of the title. I don't like science fiction. :P But I hope you're enjoying S&S! It grew on me in part 2. :)

I finished Mr. Darcy’s Diary and Darcy’s Story yesterday. I was shocked at the good Amazon reviews for the first novel. Its breezy style doesn’t match Austen’s book or Darcy’s personality. Darcy’s Story is much better written, an authentic version of P&P from his point of view. With its serious tone and little dialogue, the novel matches Darcy’s personality too. So I highly recommend this book.

P&P ships: Some fan fiction pairs Georgiana with Colonel Fitzwilliam. Other stories pair him with Anne de Bourgh! I prefer Georgiana and the Colonel. ;;)
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Re: Sense and Silliness: All things Austen

Postby Meltintalle » Aug 20, 2014 8:30 am

I watched the 1940's P&P last night with Twigs. I had a great time, though maybe I'm being more generous in my expectations because this is 75 years old and I can't really go around demanding "What were you thinking?" and expect an answer. :p


Things I liked: Mr. and Mrs. Bennet had great comedic timing. I'd say it's worth watching for those parts alone.

Caroline Bingley--!!! <3 <3 <3 I never thought she'd be one of my favorite parts in any adaption, but for a snobbish, manipulating, elegant woman... look no further. Casting and costuming worked in her favor. (I think she managed to avoid the enormous sleeves 90% of the time, which might have helped. ;)) )

Elizabeth Bennet--maybe not outstanding, but very watchable.

Black and white filming. :) I love the look of the old films... the lighting and the carefully chosen textures and saturations.


Things to make one go "I, what--?": The choice for 1830's costumes... they're gorgeous in an over the top fashion as art sort of way once you become acclimated to the look... The best rational I can come up with is that the hair and makeup suit the style. (I'm having a really hard time mentally matching the long, slim, look of the 1810's with Elizabeth's make-up so maybe it was for the best...??? On the other hand, I'm sure they could have pulled it off with a different hairdo...)

Pemberly. Oh, wait. There was no Pemberly.

Two key Elizabeth/Darcy scenes were condensed down to almost nothing, giving one no anticipation for them changing their minds over the course of the film. The Assembly Ball is where we meet both Darcy and Wickham, thus serving to condense a large amount of the beginning. I like it as the individual scenes but not as a whole, I think... We get Bingley wanting Darcy to dance with Elizabeth and her outrage on the point and then immediately afterward Sir William is introducing Darcy to Elizabeth claiming Darcy wants to dance with her. Both are fine in and of themselves but there's no intermediary scene where Darcy takes a second look and changes his mind. :p

(Actually, he spends the entire movie obviously in love with her. I did like the entirely invented Elizabeth/Darcy scenes at the party which stood in for the Netherfield Ball. It suited their characters and moved the story along at the same time.)

Then, because of the choice to cut Pemberly entirely, there's a bit of plot jiggery-pokery (Rosings must be a lot closer to Longbourne in this version) and immediately after the first proposal we find out Lydia and Wickham have run away. Aaaaaaand there's Darcy to explain himself in person instead of sending a letter and letting Elizabeth mull things over for awhile. Instead, she's left with the impression that Wickham actually did run away with Georgiana and Darcy had to bring her back and hush things up (Maybe? Twigs, did you get that impression too or am I reading too much into it?) and apparently that tragic story is enough to convince her that he's a decent fellow underneath it all.


But wait... there's more. =)) The grand finale is everyone showing up at Longbourn--and I do mean everyone. Elizabeth's line about Darcy being intrigued by her refusing to be intimidated by his reputation and daring to speak back is put in Darcy's mouth, and he's speaking of Lady Catherine's view of Elizabeth. Because Lady Catherine was deliberately sounding Elizabeth out for her dear nephew... :-o

And yeah. I think that about covers it. 8-}
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Re: Sense and Silliness: All things Austen

Postby 220chrisTian » Aug 20, 2014 12:04 pm

Meltintalle: I love your observations! I haven't seen this film in a decade, so I remember very little. The one thing I do remember is the ending - Darcy and Elizabeth + her parents with Mary and a potential suitor. :p
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Re: Sense and Silliness: All things Austen

Postby Pattertwigs Pal » Aug 20, 2014 7:54 pm

I likewise did not expect much from the 1940's P & P. I did confirm that it was the same one I watched years ago. (220 the only scene I remembered what the one with Mary and the flute player. ;)) ). I remembered the movie being a bit ridiculous.

Mr. Bennet was great. Mrs. Bennet was quite well done. As Mel said Caroline Bingley was very well portrayed. I thought Lydia was portrayed well despite not having much screen time. Mr. Collins was ridiculous as he ought.

Meltintalle wrote:Things to make one go "I, what--?": The choice for 1830's costumes... they're gorgeous in an over the top fashion as art sort of way once you become acclimated to the look...
I didn't like the costume choice not that those types of costumes don't have a place but ... I never did become acclimated to the look. Partly because I think of those styles as being American and partly because I am so used to the outfits in the other adaptations.

Meltintalle wrote:Pemberly. Oh, wait. There was no Pemberly.
=))
I felt that was a poor choice. The scenes at Pemberly are important for showing how Elizabeth warms to Mr. Darcy


Re the Assembly Ball
I really did not like that Wickham was thrown into the story that early. I think it was too much too soon. There were some good parts and some lines right out of the book but it felt rushed. Darcy drastically changing his mind without any apparent cause was unsatisfying. There seemed to be a bit of uncharacteristic emotion when he was begging for an introduction.

Meltintalle wrote:
immediately after the first proposal we find out Lydia and Wickham have run away. Aaaaaaand there's Darcy to explain himself in person instead of sending a letter and letting Elizabeth mull things over for awhile. Instead, she's left with the impression that Wickham actually did run away with Georgiana and Darcy had to bring her back and hush things up (Maybe? Twigs, did you get that impression too or am I reading too much into it?) and apparently that tragic story is enough to convince her that he's a decent fellow underneath it all.
The only build up was a bit of a hint of jealous on Lydia's part when Wickham danced with Elizabeth. I know there wasn't much build up in the book but it is much easier to believe that Lydia ran away from Brighten than out of her parent's home. That's the same impression I got Mel but I suppose he could have meant he stopped it in time. It did seem much too easy that she was convince although I had the impression she was softening toward him a little at the garden party although that disappeared ...



Meltintalle wrote: But wait... there's more. =)) The grand finale is everyone showing up at Longbourn--and I do mean everyone.
Including a parrot. :)) And suitors for Mary and Kitty. I believe Kitty was with Mr. Denny and Mary was with someone I don't think we had ever been introduced to before. :-\

Meltintalle wrote:Because Lady Catherine was deliberately sounding Elizabeth out for her dear nephew... :-o
Up until that point Lady Catherine was excellent.
It was a total departure from her character that she would condescend to be used in that way or even to think of Elizabeth that way.


Mel, here is what Lady Catherine really thought of the marriage (ie Book version):
Lady Catherine was extremely indignant on the marriage of her nephew; and as she gave way to all the genuine frankness of her character in her reply to the letter which announced its arrangement, she sent him language so very abusive, especially of Elizabeth, that for some time all intercourse was at an end. But at length, by Elizabeth's persuasion, he was prevailed on to overlook the offence, and seek a reconciliation; and, after a little further resistance on the part of his aunt, her resentment gave way, either to her affection for him, or her curiosity to see how his wife conducted herself; and she condescended to wait on them at Pemberley, in spite of that pollution which its woods had received, not merely from the presence of such a mistress, but the visits of her uncle and aunt from the city.


Mel wrote:And yeah. I think that about covers it. 8-}
How could you forget the carriage chase? :-o ;))

I'm also inclined to be generous towards it. I didn't expect much going into it, especially since I saw it was based on the dramatization of Jane Austen's book. It felt too rushed not so much in the middle as the beginning and the end. It is good for an occasional watch, especially for laughs. There are some good scene that captured the spirit of the book well.


220chrisTian wrote:Does anyone else like Mansfield Park? I read half and quit.
I love Mansfield Park. It is my favorite book of Austen's. I would encourage you to read the whole thing before you judge it. It doesn't move as fast as Northanger Abby, Emma or P & P but once it does get moving it is riveting. Mansfield Park and Sense and Sensibility take a while to set things up before the conflicts really get under way.
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Re: Sense and Silliness: All things Austen

Postby shastastwin » Aug 21, 2014 5:04 am

Twig's wrote:Mansfield Park and Sense and Sensibility take a while to set things up before the conflicts really get under way.


You can say that again! :P I was not prepared for the slow pace of S&S compared to P&P. I'll definitely keep that in mind when I make it to Mansfield in my readings.
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Re: Sense and Silliness: All things Austen

Postby 220chrisTian » Aug 21, 2014 1:08 pm

Pattertwig: yes, the flute player. ;) Thanks for the information on Mansfield Park. I'll keep it in mind if I ever pick up the book again. I still thought S&S moved faster. :P
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Re: Sense and Silliness: All things Austen

Postby Meltintalle » Aug 21, 2014 1:36 pm

Twigs wrote: ...Partly because I think of those styles as being American
Oh, I know. The skirts kept making me think of Gone with the Wind. ;))

Oh, yes. The carriage chase was something else, wasn't it? =)) Everything needs an action scene. :p

I had such a sense of deja vu with that closing scene with the suitors... I'm reasonably sure I'd never seen clips from this version, so does one of the others do homage to it?
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Re: Sense and Silliness: All things Austen

Postby Pattertwigs Pal » Aug 22, 2014 3:11 pm

In the black and white version Col Fitzwilliam was wearing a kilt. :-o I can't believe we forgot that. :-o
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Re: Sense and Silliness: All things Austen

Postby shastastwin » Aug 24, 2014 4:28 pm

Well, I finally finished S&S this weekend. What frustrated me about the otherwise good ending was that Austen, after spending pages dithering about these girls' relationships, summarizes and skips over all the interesting bits at the end! :P I have to say I find P&P to be a vast improvement over S&S as far as style and pacing (at least in my memory; it's been a few years since I read P&P). I still enjoyed it well enough, but it's one I'm more likely to enjoy via adaptations in the future, I think.
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Re: Sense and Silliness: All things Austen

Postby 220chrisTian » Sep 04, 2014 12:45 pm

shastastwin: "interesting bits at the end" of S&S = fan fiction. ;) Austen always ended her novels with weddings. She wouldn't have known much about marriage, after all. P&P was written later, so it is better in style and pacing. It just seems too lighthearted compared to S&S, in which we actually feel the sisters' pain.

I finished reading A Darcy Christmas: A Holiday Tribute to Jane Austen (2010) last night. It's a collection of short stories. The first was "Darcy's Christmas Carol." Guess how that went. Yuck. "Christmas Present" (first Darcy baby born on Christmas day) was much better. So was "A Darcy Christmas," which described nine family Christmases in as many chapters.

http://www.amazon.com/Darcy-Christmas-H ... 1402243391
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Re: Sense and Silliness: All things Austen

Postby 220chrisTian » Sep 06, 2014 1:30 pm

I finished reading The Pursuit of Mary Bennet (2013) by Pamela Mingle this morning. I rated it 2/5 on Amazon; please read my review.

http://www.amazon.com/review/R3T03AEYY3 ... B00BATNP84

I also started reading The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet (2014) this week. I haven’t seen any videos yet. This book is a grown-up version of Clueless, but with more ingenuity and respect for Austen’s novel. It’s brilliant. I just don't care for the alcohol and sex. If the book were made into a film, I'd rate it R (adult situations).
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Re: Sense and Silliness: All things Austen

Postby 220chrisTian » Sep 09, 2014 1:07 pm

The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet (2014)
http://www.pemberleydigital.com/
http://www.lizziebennet.com/

I began reading this book before delving into the videos last week. The concept of Pemberley Digital (telling classics via social media) is brilliant and what they’ve done with P&P is an achievement. I really liked the grad school / communications vehicle. It was fresh and new.

But the videos and social media are more original than the book. It’s not Lizzie Bennet’s “secret” diary because it reads too much like P&P. Austen’s Elizabeth wouldn't have kept such a diary. I also wanted the LBD characters to leave the Austen mold. They're just as interesting as their original counterparts, but they’re also 21st-century people in real-world situations. Yet the P&P script (settings, dialogue) just hinders them. This is what makes “Clueless” (Emma) and “Bridget Jones Diary” (P&P) ingenious. Instead of following the scripts, they change plot and setting and let the characters be themselves. Also, LBD Darcy never really apologized for his bad behavior. Austen puts a magnificent apology in Darcy’s mouth. LBD left it out. So I say, if you’re an LBD fan, then skip this book. Stick with the videos and social media.
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