Thursday, February 26, 2009

Revenge and Tess

Yes, I should be in bed, but about two hours ago I hopped online to check on an assignment for a student, and he reamed me out on every response...for no reason! Since I don't have kids, I suppose this is what then keeps me up at students. Man, do I need a life!

Anyway, I didn't mention that I've been catching up on various BBC films while I've been grading lately. Over the weekend, I watched the new release (actually not BBC) of Brideshead Revisited, which is a look at the last of the British aristocracy and their fight with maintaining social norms, family expectations, and religious pressures. It's not a feel-good sort of film, but I have to say that I really liked it because it made me want to go back to graduate school again and be in my Contemporary British Fiction class. discuss the impact of class structure on everything from basic friendships to gender identity was pretty fascinating. It's a bit deep and dark, so I can't say that I can recommend it to anyone interested in light and peaceful. For me though, the issues left me thinking long after the movie was over.

I also watched the film version of Tess of the D'Urbervilles. It is an amazing piece of cinematography, with beautiful landscapes and vibrant colors. The story is very nicely portrayed here as well, so overall, I really loved their keeping to the heart of Hardy's novel...especially since it's one of my favorite stories.

Once again, not a happy-ending sort of film, but holy cow...what a treasure of ideas and musings! I'm supposed to be throwing a film night for my AP students, next weekend. So here's the problem, towards the end of the film, a male character hops out of bed buck naked, to stand in front of the window to stare out at the "morning after." It's not really part of the story, but we know how creative license occurs. My problem is that I have to watch out for it when I know my students will be wanting to watch the film. Of course, now I'll be a huge Nervous Nelly, because I'll have to be right on my tiptoes to skip ahead long before we hit that scene! (P.S. Not a cute booty shot either!) Anyway, I do still think this is the best of all the Tess films I've seen.

To finish off, I wanted to share a book I finished tonight. Yes, after a hideous week of long hours so far...getting to work this morning at 6:30 am, I rushed home to read and unwind. I needed to finish Jo Barrett's novel This is How it Happened, so I pushed through to get it read and returned to the library.
The basic premise of this novel is that her ex-boyfriend basically used her the entire time they were together, to the point where he gets her fired from her job, steals her files of ideas, and makes it almost so that she can't get work again. The book opens with her spiking brownies with poison, and thereafter trying to come up with every possible way of getting even known to man. So, I can't say that the emotions she expressed in these scenes as being totally unfamiliar to me, so I felt for her. The bad side here is that I didn't necessarily like her or any other character all that much, so I didn't really believe the story as a whole. I've read another of Barrett's novels, which I remember being a so, so read for me at the time. Her narrative style and ideas are good, but somewhere in the middle of it all, I simply don't end up relating to the female leads she creates, and then don't like the story. Overall, not my favorite read, but okay.

Well, having said all this, I have to admit that I've had a horrible craving for my old graduate school fare. I went down and dug through my old Native American novels and books of theory, and literally felt a painful twinge in my chest. What I wouldn't give to be studying literature again! So I grabbed an armload of books and hauled them up to my already overrun room, in the hopes that I can read some Eldrich soon!

1 comment:

  1. I watched the PBS version of Tess recently and really enjoyed it. Now I'm looking forward to reading the book.