Herbie Mann Comin' Home

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Ms. Wasikowska. Ms. Bronte. Ms. Eyre

Hard work week at the end of which I found this reward.


Yes, Romantic sentiment between socially vulnerable young woman and a Byronic older man.

Yes, 'Gothic' secrets, 1830s English country conservatism, heath, rain, snow.

Yes, a mute servant class, a knowing but powerless housekeeper.

Yes, many sins, some revealed, some merely suggested.

Candle fire.  Hearth fire.  Room fire.  Estate fire.

But we're not merely interested in the discharge of formulas, are we?

The film is a real one.



  1. The book is also a real one, a chilling and sobering tale, more brutal than romantic with the heroine facing one blow after another, trapped in every kind of prison only able to find release when everything is destroyed. Or so I remember it--don't know if a film has ever caught that--not seen this one. I like your finding refuge from the now in an even harder past that is easier because it is not ours to live.

  2. do not know if I could watch it...I saw the black and white..with liz taylor the little orphan that died in the night...it was so painful that I have avoided the story since...a tragic form of living for children or soul of any creature that breathes in and out....bkm

  3. A good film is all about texture. Speaking of films, I watched "Sullivan's Travels" last night and am now on a quest for more Preston Sturges. Thanks for the suggestion.

  4. Joy,

    This movie catches domestic threats and dire personal coldness, the Non-conformist sin-focused religion and corresponding cane-enforced rigor of the orphanage. Male arrogance. Subordinate social structure.

    I wouldn't choose that time and place -- always a guy of 'today'. Nevertheless, 'today' stinks, in a manner of speaking, and I take refuge in my imagination and its incorporation of other 'worlds'.

    You know what I mean, sister! Why else write?


  5. Barbara,

    I saw an earlier version years ago. This one does have the dying orphan friend, but I think any movie might have short-changed (if the novel itself, too, didn't) a friendship that is just 'set in place' in order to disappear. It functions to 'soften' the influences on Jane.

    She's a tough girl with brains. She makes it all right. Better than any of the rest.

    Gorgeous 'cold Britain'.


  6. Tess,

    'Texture' has become a key word for me, so catch me in any overuse! I do insist that it's proper here, and as you bring out, any film.

    Really, any art? The trouble 'creators' run into isn't that they repeat old stories or use formulas. It's how they use them. Too many art works of any kind are simply too thin. No 'body' to them -- as well as not much reach that isn't unfounded overreach, begging for a payoff for having given little.

    Preston Sturges. Of all things, I read his bio maybe 10 or 15 years ago. Interesting guy. Comedic film making whose works have . . . 'texture'!

  7. When the movie first came out, a friend of mine said, "How many (effing) times are they going to remake this?"

    But I was pretty sure I'd go see it anyway. I saw the last one, but that's because it had Maria Schneider as the mad wife.

    And Sturges -- doesn't get better than Hay, Hay, in the Hayloft and Ants in Your Pants part II.

  8. Karin,

    I share the weariness with remakes, but this one had 'quality' stamped on it.

    Sturges. I read his bio years ago. His mother married (?), was an adept of (?) -- for a short time -- Aleister Crowley, the occult maestro of 100 years ago, and Sturges hated him. (I see no mention of this in perusing Wikipedia).