Bronteana: Bronte Studies Blog Archives

September 16, 2006

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First Fan-Review of Jane Eyre 2006


Laura wrote in to Bronteblog where she had won tickets to the screening this evening of the first two episodes of the BBC series. There isn’t much that we did not surmise from the preview clips so far, but there are some particular observations of the acting of the leads:

The foremost thing I took away from the preview was that Ruth Wilson was an absolute delight as Jane. She brought a lot of natural charm to the part and although her performance was subtle, the viewer is left in no doubt of what she is feeling in each scene. In my eyes, she has provided the best performance yet for this character. Ruth’s Jane is full of humanity, soul and honesty and she instantly wins your sympathy.

[…]

Mr Rochester is one of my favourite characters; he is enigmatic, charming, unpredictable, outspoken and sometimes even manipulative. As you all know, there are many layers to his persona, but Toby seems to have struggled with capturing all of these idiosyncrasies and instead gives (in the first episode at least) what seems to be quite a black and white account. When not being overly gruff, his manner often seems affected and it even comes across that he is not taking the character very seriously…He improves, however, in the second hour, helped along by the fact that he smirks a lot less and is perhaps not quite so sarcastic. It also doesn’t do any harm that he is, indeed, partially shirtless in one of the scenes… (Mr Darcy, eat your heart out 😉

The rest of the review is available here. The rest of the review harmonises well with my own opinions on what I have seen as well. Rochester is an incredibly complicated character, and I truly pity any actor who takes him on. It doesn’t sound like he fares too badly, however. It sounds like he has given the character scope to develop and probably that would continue into the remaining episodes. I don’t recall coming across a predominantly sarcastic protrayal, but the sarcasm is a part of the character (often describes in the novel as sardonic).

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September 15, 2006

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Filed under: BBC,Jane Eyre (BBC 2006),Media,TV,Uncategorized,Video Clips — by bronteana @ 1:24 pm

First of the Preview Clips Available

You can now see some of that ‘mysterious’ second clip we all saw in the background of the BBC Breakfast interview with Toby Stephens. The music from the beginning seems to be standard for the Drama preview clips of other productions. The clip is of the first interview scene- much altered.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/drama/janeeyre/

If you have not seen the interview yet, it also includes part of the Hay Lane scene, and is available here.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

May 8, 2006

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Filed under: BBC,Films,Jane Eyre,Jane Eyre (BBC 2006),Locations,Media,Productions,TV — by bronteana @ 12:09 pm

Filming on Location for Jane Eyre 2006

Last week the BBC were busy filming scenes at Belton House for their new production of Jane Eyre. While this article has very little in new information- it deals almost exclusively with the impact of filming on the house and what a bother it all is- but there are these fabulous new images from the production including a behind the scenes picture, and a trivia note about the Red Room:

Although Belton House has its own red room, opened in March 2004 after two years of restoration work, the red room where Mrs Reed locks Jane is actually being created at Sudbury Hall while Belton's red room is transformed into the grand salon at Gateshead.


Like Belton House, location for Gateshead but also Rosings Park in Pride and Prejudice, Sudbury Hall was also used for interiors in the same 1995 production of Jane Austen's novel.

May 6, 2006

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"Faithfulness to the novel and a perfect cast make this BBC adaptation the ONE"

-From the DVD for Jane Eyre 1973.

About a dozen readers have now recieved their copies of the BBC's 1973 Jane Eyre out on DVD. This is the American edition, of course, although the UK edition should be along shortly. I think we have answers to all of our questions now. The slight time difference might be the result of there being no photo gallery in the US edition. The 'lost' first episode, however, is all there. This is all coming in now from reader reports, since my copy is probably on a nice week-long trip to Toronto at the moment. The smaller edits also have been restored, so those who saw the tape which was run in Canada and New York will still have a treat seeing these deleted bits, like the slightly extended Hay Lane scene.

Thisbeciel has made screencaps from the DVD's filmographies. It looks beautiful! If you click on the images you can see them full-sized.*

*I have removed the images because the demand was so great that Thisbeciel's website crashed a few times today.

May 4, 2006

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Filed under: BBC,DVDs,Films,Jane Eyre,Jane Eyre (BBC 1973),Media,Productions,TV — by bronteana @ 7:29 pm

Jane Eyre 1973 Run Times and US Update

Thanks to Mark for catching that the run times on the US and UK versions of the BBC's 1973 Jane Eyre have been changed on the BBC's website to be almost equivalent, when you factor in the speed of the two versions. So as he says they kept the 'slicing and dicing' to a minimum.

In any case, we will soon find out. Today I learn that my copy has been shipped and Bronteana reader Elfie is the first person I know of to actually get their copies in the mail already. I cannot explain it, but getting them several months ahead of schedule is a nice surprise. I hope the UK edition is not far behind!

May 3, 2006

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Jane Eyre 1952 and 1934

Thisbeciel posted these quite some time ago, but I have been putting off posting them here. It is a good time to add these to the other footage and screencap posts from a few months ago (one more). The 1952 production is extremely rare. The production stars Katherine Bard as Jane Eyre and Kevin McCarthy as Mr Rochester. For my thoughts on this production see the posts here.

She has also uploaded all of Jane Eyre 1934 with Virginia Bruce as Jane Eyre and Colin Clive as Mr Rochester. This production is currently in the public domain. It is the acknowledged failure of all Jane Eyre adaptations, but I think it does have some charm even though it often only barely resembles the story at all. Mr Rochester has a faux air of Mr Darcy, I think, and Adele sings and falls into vases. See? It isn't all bad! It is often quite funny, actually.

Jane Eyre 1952: The First Interview
Jane Eyre 1952: The Second Interview
Jane Eyre 1934: Part One
Jane Eyre 1934: Part Two

Image is of Katherine Bard and Kevin McCarthy in Westinghouse Summer Theater One's Jane Eyre from 1952.

ETA: I have corrected some of the dates. When I first posted this, I wrote '1943' each time I meant '1934'. Thanks to an anonymous reader caught the error.

May 1, 2006

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Filed under: BBC,Jane Eyre (BBC 2006),Locations,Productions,TV,Uncategorized — by bronteana @ 10:12 am

New Locations for Jane Eyre 2006

Fast on the heels of our casting news, comes new faces for familiar places. We already know that Haddon Hall is the location for Thornfield Hall. Belton House is the new location for Gateshead Hall, home of the Reeds. Learn more about Belton House here. Among other things, it should look familiar… it appeared as a location in the BBC's Pride and Prejudice.

Several other properties owned by the National Trust will be used as locations in the production:

Dovedale is one of the most famous areas of the Peak District, and has already, like Haddon Hall, played a part in the 1996 film of Jane Eyre. Ilam is a village in the Peak District National Park (this place will likely be on the Jane Eyre touring trail eventually, what with all of its associations genial and pleasurable!). There is also a hall at Ilam, which one might imagine to be Ferndean.

And lastly, we have further confirmation that the production will air this autumn in the UK.

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Filed under: BBC,Films,Jane Eyre (BBC 2006),Media,Productions,TV — by bronteana @ 9:58 am

More Cast for Jane Eyre 2006

Andrew Buchan is confirmed as our St. John Rivers, according to the productions imdb page, and Bertha Mason will be played by Claudia Coulter, according to M.


If this is the same Andrew Buchan, he has done extensive work with the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, and you can listen to his voice here.

April 29, 2006

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Filed under: Films,Interviews,Jane Eyre (1997),Media,Productions,Reviews,TV,Uncategorized — by bronteana @ 9:39 pm

Ciaran Hinds on playing Mr Rochester

This is a supplement to a very old post on Ciaran's take on the role of Mr Rochester in the 1997 film Jane Eyre opposite Samantha Morton. As part of a series of posts called 'Actors on Playing Mr Rochester' I had posted some of his rather off-base conceptions of Edward Rochester. Now, it gets so much worse, but we know now why he has such delusions… the poor, poor man:

Firstly, Mr Rochester's mysterious moustache is revealled to be the result of lazy facial hair adaptation from his stint as Sir Brian de Bois-Guilbert: "At least half the facial make-up was there. They just chopped bits off the beard willy-nilly."

Hmnnn… *taps foot*

He was chosen for Rochester after the director, Robert Young, heard him play the part on radio. "He told me there was passion in my voice. I couldn't evaluate whether I was right or wrong. I haven't seen any film versions, or read the book. I don't want to because I'd worry about the impossibility of translating it to the screen. I'd wonder why particular scenes are left out, and that would cause frustration as well as getting in the way of the screen writer, who has worked very hard for a long time and knows more about it than me. Sam (his co-star Samantha Morton) has read the book several times, so I developed the character through her. She's only 19 and has an amazing talent. She treated me like her grandfather," he jokes. "The danger is that Rochester has been played so many times I risk being shot down by the critics. But a good story is a good story, whatever, and this is still about two hearts. I hope I can communicate real emotions. I hope against hope sometimes, but there's an extraordinary feeling when you get it right."

Hnnn!!!!! *taps foot faster*

Rochester is, he believes, selfish, arrogant, chauvinistic, bullying, sexist. "You could say he's a man of his time, a rich landowner, with power which he abuses. I wouldn't fancy him, and I wonder why women find him attractive. It's the power, I think. My job is to try and make viewers have sympathy. I hope we show how his heart was hit badly by his first wife. She'd been a bit of a sex siren when younger. How was he to know she was barking mad? Jane is employed as a governess and responds to him like a genuine person. It's not 'Yes, sir, no, sir.' She looks him in the eye and speaks her mind, which is a new experience for him. He finds her fascinating. In the end he says 'We are one soul,' but he can't trust himself to open up completely and admit, 'I love you'. He is callous, too, in the way he flirts with Blanche in order to make Jane jealous".

…*twitch* Perhaps if he had read the book he might have half a clue why women find him attractive? And that Mr Rochester is decidedly …none of those things listed? …*deep clensing breath*

Then he muses on life and love: "Monogamy is a bizarre concept, don't you think?"

…uuuuuurgh! Read it, if you must but… ugh! But… thank you, siansaksa for this. Really. *twitch* I really should talk to Mags at Austenblog about where she got her 'Cluebat of Janeite Righteousness.'

ETA: …one more remark just in case anyone still had any suspicions that this actor had the least sympathy with his character:

His first professional job was as the back end of the horse in Cinderella. "From the back end of a horse to Mr Rochester. You could say there's not much difference. The horse was probably a lot more interesting."

April 28, 2006

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Filed under: BBC,Films,Jane Eyre (BBC 2006),Media,Productions,TV,Uncategorized — by bronteana @ 2:31 pm

More on Jane Eyre 2006

Thanks to Christina for this interesting find. From the BBC Press Office, where our diligent reader, Alison, first brought us the first image from the production, BBC ONE controller Peter Fincham has a few words about the new production:

This autumn, in the same spirit, we're bringing back another of those iconic brands, Robin Hood. Our Robin Hood won't much resemble the old black-and-white series of the sixties, and nor will you mistake it for the eighties version Robin of Sherwood.Those Spandau Ballet hairstyles will have gone, for a start. But in Robin Hood you have a story, and a world, that's worth revisiting for each generation.

At the other end of the spectrum we're broadcasting an ambitious dramatisation of Jane Eyre. It's shooting now in Derbyshire. I was recently shown some early scenes – they looked ravishing.

As with Bleak House, this is BBC ONE doing something that's in our DNA, something that the viewers almost demand of us – producing timeless, but modern, versions of the classics.

Both these series, by the way, introduce completely new faces to BBC ONE: newcomer Ruth Wilson, who plays Jane Eyre, and Jonas Armstrong as Robin Hood. Refreshing the family of talent on the channel, and avoiding the obvious route of playing safe with familiar faces.

There's our third confirmation that the production will be airing in autumn, not winter. It is possible that the production will appear on Masterpiece Theater in 2007.

A brief digest of Bronteana posts regarding the production:

Interview with Toby Stephens (Mr Rochester)
Haddon Hall (location for Thornfield Hall)
Speculation on Mr Eshton

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