Monday, 3 October 2011

Jane Eyre in cinemas now.

In the recent 'Jane Eyre' film Bewick is appropriately noticed, sort of!  In the Reeds' house, notably said to be at Gateshead, the young Jane looks at British Birds, as in the novel. But it is the kingfisher that attracts her attention rather than the Arctic scenes that particularly moved her in the original.  At least British Birds reappears when Jane returns to the deathbed of Aunt Reed, indicating that the director had noticed something of the extent to which 'Jane Eyre' is structured around Bewick and bird metaphors.
You can get a sense of the film's use of gothic horror from a video on the imdb site:
Jane Eyre Featurette (Behind the Scenes)
Jane Eyre stars Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender and Jamie Bell. It is directed by Cary Fukunaga and the writers credited are Charlotte Brontë (novel), Moira Buffini (screenplay)

"A mousy governess who softens the heart of her employer soon discovers that he's hiding a terrible secret."
In cinemas now.
The passage in which Jane reads Bewick's British Birds ends:

"The words in these introductory pages connected themselves with the succeeding vignettes, and gave significance to the rock standing up alone in a sea of billow and spray; to the broken boat stranded on a desolate coast; to the cold and ghastly moon glancing through bars of cloud at a wreck just sinking. I cannot tell what sentiment haunted the quite solitary churchyard, with its inscribed headstone; its gate, its two trees, its low horizon, girdled by a broken wall, and its newly-risen crescent, attesting the hour of eventide.The two ships becalmed on a torpid sea, I believed to be marine phantoms. The fiend pinning down the thief's pack behind him, I passed over quickly:  it was an object of terror.So was the black horned thing seated aloof on a rock, surveying a distant crowd surrounding a gallows.
Each picture told a story; mysterious often to my undeveloped understanding and imperfect feelings, yet ever profoundly interesting:  as interesting as the tales Bessie sometimes narrated on winter evenings, when she chanced to be in good humour; and  when, having brought her ironing-table to the nursery hearth, she allowed us to sit  about it, and while she got up Mrs. Reed's lace frills, and crimped her nightcap borders, fed our eager attention with passages of love and adventure taken from old fairy tales and other ballads; or (as at a later period I discovered) from the pages of Pamela, and Henry, Earl of Moreland.
With Bewick on my knee, I was then happy:  happy at least in my way.
I feared nothing but interruption,”
Jane Eyre 1847 Chapter One.

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