You know, there is—theoretically—not a single thing wrong with any of the following:
1) Designing and sewing impressively detailed doll clothes
2) Dressing up dolls as characters from beloved novels
3) Photographing outfitted dolls in various floral settings
4) Creating videos about photographed dolls in floral settings to imitate versions of beloved novels, despite the absence of key characters
5) Posting videos to Youtube
Be that as it may, I’m pretty sure this particular Emma is going to kill me in my sleep.
Via Jane Austen Today.
Poor Henry Tilney. He’s got to be the most underrated of Jane’s leading men (okay, except maybe Edmund Whats-His-Face), and for what? Has he ever called a Bennet girl unsatisfactory in a semi-public manner? Left Anne Elliott to pine in virtuous misery? Used his good looks and white-hot charm to lead anybody at all into less-than-virtuous situations? No. No, he has not. Yet, next to the likes of Mr. Darcy and his pirate friend, Captain Wentworth, what kind of love does he get?
Well, no longer. Team Tilney—which, !—seeks to give sweet Henry his due, and does so in spectacular manner. And why not? For all we know, good old Henry really does look great in a towel.
Not to belabor the whole “our handsome and classy genre hero won an Oscar” point, but…
…I love a man who celebrates victory with an undergarment-themed craft project.
Gentle readers, you must know that in matters of SCIENCE!, the ladies of Austenacious consider themselves your humble servants. No matter of intellectual integrity is too arcane for the eyes and ears of your beloved sisters; no necessary course of field research is too grueling for the hitching up of hems and the donning of proper footwear. When it comes to the codification of Jane for the collective Austenacious consciousness, we’re here for you.
And so on the key tenet of single men, their fortunes, and their want of wives, we have gone to bat for you: we have ventured into that native land of (many) single men—WonderCon 2010—and communed with the population at hand. We have gotten answers. We have gotten the truth.
And in that spirit, we introduce the first film from Austenacious Films, A Truth Universally Acknowledged.
For those of you who haven’t already seen it, some LA Mormon girls have made a hilarious and so far fake trailer for Jane Austen’s Fight Club.
Now this is deeply satisfying; I don’t deny it. Everyone wants to see proper young ladies kick ass. Time period is not important, but the more proper, the more ass they obviously have to kick. (See: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, obviously Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Kill Bill – does she count as proper? – and so on and so on.) I’m tempted, naturally, to make a list of other movies Jane Austen could be inserted into, for copyright-ambiguous fun and profit. The Matrix: Jane Austen Reloaded springs to mind.
What about Little Miss Sunshine Bennet? In this quirky romp, the Bennet family drives their falling-apart carriage from Hertfordshire all the way to London just so Mary can compete in a talent competition. Lydia isn’t talking because she wants to join the military [wink wink nudge nudge], and Mr. Collins dies en route, the dirty old man. I think it should do well.
Or, in Eleanor and Marianne’s Excellent Adventure, the two bodacious sisters set out on a time-traveling quest to find sweet rhyme and pure reason, which will save the future universe from annihilation by evil spamlords. Along the way, they pick up a fun set of characters, including Lady Gaga, Stephen Hawking, and Stephen Colbert, all of whom embarrass them immensely. Quite by accident, they do find true love and happiness. Barack Obama advises a gathering at Sir John Middleton’s to be excellent to each other, and party on, dudes!
All of this is very jolly, but I would just like to point something out here. Readers, has or has not Austenacious had a Jane Austen Fight Club column for almost a year now?! Are we owed royalties on this video? Our legal team better get busy!
In the meantime, perhaps our loyal readers could make trailers for our other columns. What Would Jane Do? is clearly a sickeningly sweet romance in which a cynical advice columnist is saved by a long-lost love (probably by falling down a hill). Jane Austen Hates You is probably an indie comedy, possibly about YouTube, MySpace, and all them there Social Networking Sites, hopefully starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel. Ask Mrs. Fitzpatrick sounds like an Agatha Christie to me, and Quote Unquote is clearly the new Bond movie.
Readers, are you game? What other movies mesh well with Austen novels? Or mesh so terribly badly they just have to go?
P.S. Jane Austen’s Army of Darkness! Just saying. . .
So, how can I put this? Let’s see. Okay, so. Sometimes, it seems to me that Austen adaptations are…shall we say, remiss in failing to offer a satisfying ending? Failing to seal the deal, if you know what I mean? Sure, Lizzy and Darcy end up in the Carriage of Loooove at the end of the 1995 adaptation, but what’s with the little peck as they’re driving off (frozen for effect, even—what, BBC, do you think we didn’t see what you did there, you dirty cheaters)? And, really, nothing for Jane and Bingley? They’re going to get a complex, people. Even Emma Thompson’s Elinor promptly explodes with emotion when Edward turns out not to be married—but does she sweep him off his feet and carry him away, complete with soaring music and distracting crane-shot camera work? Spoiler alert: she does not. And oh, sure, maybe it’s not in the book, exactly, but then neither is a thirty-six-year-old Elinor, a Jane Bennet that looks vaguely like a Greek statue, or that awesome cake on a pedestal (with ribbons!) at the end of Sense and Sensibility. I stand by what I say: more kissing, please! Jane won’t mind.
Thankfully, there are some recent Austen adaptations that seek to remedy the situation, and I think this sort of thing requires some, uh, research. Or, more specifically, a poll. Here are seven ending scenes from relatively recent Austen adaptations, all of them containing some sort of kissy-kissy true-love moment. Inquiring minds want to know: Austenacious readers, which is your favorite, and why? If there’s one that isn’t listed here, what is it (and why couldn’t we find it)?
Pride and Prejudice 1995
Mansfield Park 1999
Pride and Prejudice 2005
Northanger Abbey 2007
Mansfield Park 2007