I’m sure that’s what some people would have thought when they’ve finished watching this on A&E or the film version starring Gwyneth Paltrow that came out around the same time. Clearly, Clueless was still fresh in my mind when I settled in to watch Kate Beckinsale as Emma, the sixth of seven films in Masterpiece Theatre‘s Complete Jane Austen. My sister and I were figuring out which characters in Emma translated into Clueless. We observed that one of them that didn’t seem to cross over was Jane Fairfax (possibly because the secret engagement thing can’t work in a high-school context). We also mocked that secret engagement between Frank Churchill and Jane Fairfax (played by Olivia Williams, who eventually played Austen in Miss Austen Regrets), at least in terms of how the film gave subtle hints of that before it was finally revealed. Example: Emma and Frank were flirting and talking about Jane, who was seated across and away from them. There was one shot with Frank catching a glance at Jane; it’s framed in such a way that it’s just the two of them in shot, with Jane slightly out of focus.
I liked Kate Beckinsale’s portryal of Emma. She exhibits that emotional range that would be required for Austen heroines, from flirting with Frank to the abrupt surprise of Elton’s proposal, and then with Knightley’s dressing-down at Box Hill. I think she really was at her element in her scenes with Knightley. There is that almost-familiarity of being siblings-in-law, but I cringed a bit when he told her about holding her as a baby… before they kissed. Overall, this Emma‘s good; there’s a lot to recommend it, and a good choice for Jane Austen City Limits. 9/10
This is my progress since the last update:
- Week 4: 2 runs, 13.94 km (longest: 1o.46 km)
- Week 5: 3 runs, 18.20 km (longest: 10.89 km)
- Week 6: 2 runs, 15.26 km (longest: 12.01 km)
- Week 7: 2 runs, 18.07 km (longest: 14.62 km)
- Week 8: 3 runs, 21.98 km (longest: 14.67 km)
- Week 9: 3 runs, 15.37 km (longest 8 km)
- Week 10: 2 runs, 20.10 km (longest: 15.69 km)
I knew it had happen sometime, because when you run regularly, it’s not a matter of if you get injured, but when. In the last week, I’ve been hampered with a bum knee that just appeared out of nowhere. My chiropractor assessed it and told me to take trial runs to see how it feels. Those were the week 10 runs; the knee was fine, but there’s still some pain. I’m going back to the chiropractor later this week and see what he says. Six weeks to go until the race; hopefully the worst of it is over.
Image: BBC Doctor Who site
The date’s not exactly confirmed but UK viewers should see Doctor Who series 4 starting in April, so it’s not that far away. Viewers in the USA will get their fix through SciFi later in April.
Realistically, the CBC could show this in the fall, and if they are paying any attention, will pair it up with Torchwood series 2 for a double-bill. But then again, I’m not holding my breath for that to happen.
UPDATE, 03-22-2008, 2240 PDT: The trailer aired on TV for the first time (on BBC One), but apparently had been played in movie houses long before that. And it uses “All the Strange, Strange Creatures”, the best piece of orchestral music in my head this month!
When I first heard about the novel by Karen Joy Fowler, I was automatically intrigued. Sure, it would make for a short-lived book club if that was its singular raison d’etre, as Prudie would put it. And I’m sure such Austen book clubs have existed, but I like Fowler’s twist of having the lives of the six club members parallel a portion of the Austen novel they were assigned. Some of it doesn’t feel contrived or an unnecessary tack-on to the character’s back-story, but it imbues the Austen aura on the novel as a whole. I also liked the Austen novel summaries and quotations both praising and criticising Austen in the last 200 years found in the back of the novel.
As for Robin Swicord’s film adaptation, I was having trouble distinguishing Sylvia from Allegra in some scenes when the book club gathered. I’m not sure if Swicord removed a decade from Jocelyn’s, Sylvia’s, Bernadette’s, and Grigg’s ages compared to the novel, but this is probably a better selling point to promote the film. (Who would then portray the age-appropriate characters if that were the case?) The flashback sequences were handled well, even if in dialogue. The flashbacks involving Prudie and Grigg would have been ones I wanted to see, had there been time for them.
Overall, I liked the novel, and I liked the film to the extent that certain liberties have been taken for the adaptation (not unlike, for example, the versions shown on Masterpiece Theatre so far, P&P 95 exempted). Novel: 8/10, Film: 7/10
Canucks Playoff Picture. All 30 teams are there, as well as other sports. Sportscentre showcased (who else?) the Leafs’ probability to make the playoffs, and thankfully the numbers don’t lie on that front.
Talk about a roller-coaster season… I had rolled my mouse over the low-point, that November 1 match against Nashville, which I attended and, against my better judgment, stayed to the hideous end. But don’t despair just yet. If you follow to the bottom of that page, and this is where TSN got its numbers for that Sportscentre graphic on Thursday night. Even if the Canucks can manage a 6-4-1 record (under .600) in their final 11 games, the chances of making the playoffs are 90%. Go 8-2-1 (.773) and better, and a playoff berth is all but guaranteed. I’m impressed with the methodology for the “What If?” section, as it simulates all remaining games many times over to determine the probabilities.
Needless to say, the Canucks better find scoring, and soon. Luongo can only take the team so far, and they seem content to let him steal games for them. But a combination of offense and defense will take you far in the playoffs.
Imagine my surprise when I checked my dashboard and saw this comment… from Raugi Yu, who played Kam Fong in the now-canceled jPod. I was just as surprised when that was announced last week. Should we blame the mid-season switch with MVP, which not coincidentally, was also canceled? My link to the Inside the CBC post poses the question of whether the CBC promotes its shows adequately. In the case of jPod and MVP, it was better than, say, Torchwood, the occupier of the Friday 21:00 slot before MVP/jPod, and Doctor Who, especially series two and three, and they’re CBC co-productions!. Goodness knows how much I’ve ranted against the lack of promotion for those two shows on the Doctor Who forum.
But back to jPod. After a few episodes, I was a bit lukewarm (mainly on the differences from Coupland’s text). But since the cancellation announcement, and reading the reactions, I’m actually saddened that it won’t last beyond the 13? episodes that have been made. I would be interested to see what would happen in a second season, or beyond, after the novel adaptation ends.
The CBC might have underestimated the reaction to the cancellation. Facebook groups, online petitions, and even jPod actors imploring supporters to show the CBC their dissatisfaction. So read the comment, and make your voice known. Otherwise, Kam Fong will send you to China for a “hugging symposium”.
All through March, I’ll be wearing these ribbons to remember three people important to me.
The one on the left is for my paternal grandfather, who died last year from prostate cancer. When I first heard of Harry’s Spring Run-Off, I decided to sign up and raise funds for prostate cancer research. I thought the ribbon was a nice touch, seeing how it’s part of a (very short) shoelace. I did the run again this past Sunday; the conditions were much better than last year’s rain-fest. As a result, my time was far better; but I’d like to think my grandfather was pushing me on.
The one in the middle is for my cousin, who also died last year. His death was completely unexpected, and the outpouring of grief from my extended family reflected that suddenness. He touched a lot of people, and there have been plenty of celebrations of his life in the weeks after his death. The first anniversary will be next week, and everyone (including me) is surely reflecting.
The ribbon on the right is for my maternal grandmother, who died three years ago this month. Undoubtedly, she was the matriach of the family, and she was also well-loved by former co-workers and fellow parishioners in her church. She was the archetypal grandmother: she would dote on you, she would treat friends of her children or grandchildren as if they were one of her own. Those are my best memories of her, and I am very glad she was part of my life.
Eternal rest grant unto them, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen.
What, it’s already been a year since the revamp of CBC Radio
Two 2 began? That’s when Brave New Waves, After Hours, and the Saturday night simulcast of Radio 3 ceased and were replaced with watered-down equivalents. The second phase happened last fall, and the final phase will take place after Labour Day. The departures of Eric Friesen and Jurgen Gothe from their respective weekday shows probably made these changes easier to implement by CBC management.
I would have been able to take some of the changes (like 468 others in Facebook, I hold out hope for the return of Radio 3 and/or BNW) were it not for the inane promos and station idents inserted between songs, just like a commercial radio station. And if it’s not Promo Guy, then it’s the host talking endlessly between songs. Tom Allen (Music and Company) and Laurie Brown (The Signal) are the worst offenders in this category.
If there’s any hope to be salvaged, it might be in the web-only streams in each of classical, jazz, and singer-songwriter (?). If they’re anything like Radio-Canada’s Espace Classique service, then they might be worth listening to. And maybe then I don’t have to add “except Radio 2″ to my “CBC doesn’t always suck” button.
I think I’ve already mentioned that I love my new HD-PVR. So imagine my luck when I saw Clueless in the guide listings. I thus put it on record (it aired at an ungodly hour) and settled in to watch it when I would have watched something Austen-like on Masterpiece Theatre – not sure why PBS broke it up their Austen season like that.
I don’t know why I’ve avoided this film for so long; my sister had the VHS. And even after I learned that it was a modern retelling of Emma, I still didn’t watch it. But better late than never, so the saying goes.
As I watched Clueless, I marveled at two things. The first is how well I managed to pick out the Austen parallels, despite the fading memory from the last time I read Emma. Writer/director Amy Heckerling did a great job pulling in the plot elements and seamlessly dropping them in that harsh world known as high school. That leads me to my second point: the film is so quintessentially of the 1990s. I was just transported back to the time of grunge wear, skateboards, the swing craze, and a few songs I haven’t heard in a while.
I think Alicia Silverstone carried this film in her role of Cher. She had the right touches to take those varying elements of Emma Woodhouse’s character (the gleeful matchmaking, the concern over her father’s well-being, and the jealousy over Tai’s crush over Josh and her subsequent realization why) and create a convincing character that we can’t help but like. And the wide range of outfits didn’t hurt either…
I came away quite impressed with what I saw, and am still kicking myself for not seeing Clueless earlier. 9/10