Wednesday, March 28

Harry Potter cover art

The cover art for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was released this morning. Some thoughts: Harry and Voldemort appear to be reaching for something; somehow I doubt it's the golden snitch. And Harry is wearing something around is neck; is it the horcrux locket? Voldemort's hands look like the grinch's. Harry is looking up, but Voldemort seems to be looking elsewhere (at Harry?). And finally, look at those bumpy shapes lining the background. If they are people, and this is the final confrontation, then my dream about spectators watching in a sports-like event may just prove to be true. Maybe you should call me Sybill Trelawney.

Tuesday, March 27

Operations on my sweater

I don't have a digital camera, so here is a drawing to show you what I've been doing. This is the pink sweater I started knitting in autumn 2005. It sat on the needles for a year before I took it up again this winter. The inspiration came in the fall, when the weather got cooler. The determination came in January, with New Year's resolutions. And the desperation keeps me going now, even though I feel less and less like knitting the warmer the weather gets. Finishing this sweater is part of my spring cleaning. As you can see, I've done the two fronts, the back, and about a third of a sleeve. Alicia at Posie has made whole blankets in the time it's taken me to worry out this little sweater. It's not a race, I have to tell myself. At least I get to watch lots of movies!

My mom gave me a little Singer sewing machine she had when she was my age, and for some time I confess I've been a little bit afraid of it. I grew up helping her sew, but I've never attempted much on my own. But when the piles of fabric I kept buying and never sewing mounted up, I pulled out the machine from its Jadeite green case. First, something simple: two café au lait colored squares to hide my pantry items from view. Next, two flowered slipcovers for the throw pillows in my room. They actually look much better than this. Think shabby chic rather than early nineties beach house.

I think this post was inspired by Rudyard Kipling's Just So Stories, which I just finished reading. He includes a number of black and white drawings, with detailed explanations of what is going on in each one. My hasty Illustrator scribbles are thanks to him.

Quote of the day: "Next week [I] shall begin my operations on my hat, on which you know my principal hopes of happiness depend."--Jane Austen

Thursday, March 15

You can never hold back spring

Tom Waits is right. You can never hold back spring. It has arrived here in Mississippi, first with a blanket of pollen, followed now (thankfully!) by much-needed rain last night. I went down on Monday afternoon in a cloud of yellow dust, conquered by a sinus headache. But pain-reliever and decongestant revived me in time to make Pad Thai and watch Out of Africa. I fell in love with the beauty of it. Now I want to slipcover everything in white, polish the dark wood until it shines, bring in fresh flowers and dress in khaki.

Monday, March 5

In which I find bargains

Three new books came home with me from Jackson Prep's garage sale this weekend.

The Hidden Staircase by Carolyn Keene

Rising Tide by John Barry

The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie

I also got a Gap jacket that shows no signs of wear, even if it is from Spring 2002. And Jackson Prep students have $4 more for their prom fund. Everybody wins.

Friday, March 2

The evolution of Jane Eyre

Another post about Jane Eyre! When the BBC's newest adaptation of Jane Eyre came on PBS last month I missed the first half, but my kind parents taped part two for me. I watched it last night. As with all the versions I've seen, there are things to like and dislike.

It got me thinking once again about all the different versions of this classic story. A YouTube search yielded the "after the fire" scenes from four of them. In 1944 Joan Fontaine and Orson Welles choose not to discuss the cause of the fire, but to talk about Adele instead. Despite Zelah Clarke's unfortunate bed cap and bad production values (turn your speakers down when the music swells then up again to hear the dialogue), the 1983 version with Timothy Dalton might be my overall favorite. In 1996 Charlotte Gainsbourg cuts her hands on thorns while saving William Hurt. In 2006 Toby Stephens and Ruth Wilson emphasize the attraction between Rochester and Jane.

Now, dear reader, I will take you on a tour of the proposal scene throughout history.

A platinum blond Jane tries on earrings, and then Bertha walks downstairs and introduces herself.

This one’s not too shabby. The filmmakers got the line about the string joining them right, but lookout for that flash of lightning!

Charleton Heston as Rochester. Jane is pretty much a pansy.

Check out Mason’s smirk when he breaks up the proposal. And Bertha is chained to the bed!

The script here is closer to the book than in any other version I’ve seen.

Ouch! Some are put off by the violence of Ciaran Hinds’s affections and others are turned on. What say you?

I wish they’d filmed this at night, but otherwise it’s pretty good.

And that closes our tour of Jane Eyre through the years. I hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as I have. Gives one hope about the quality of modern filmmaking, doesn’t it?