Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Bleak House

We taped the first two-hour episode of Masterpiece Theatre's Bleak House last Sunday, and found ourselves watching it yesterday afternoon. The plot is intricate (as befits a Dickens adaptation) and fascinating -- it hinges around an old love affair, a girl with no history, and a court case involving a contested will that has stretched on for many years. The acting is superb of course, and hey! there's Gillian Anderson from the X-Files with a major role.

However, the cinematography and editing are just bizarre. In the director's attempts to create a bleak, Victorian-grunge style, he's chosen an abrupt, nightmarish manner of cutting from scene to scene that's going to look so dated in ten years. Darwin says it reminds him of some of the 60s BBC productions of Shakespeare where in the midst of monologues characters pop from room to room -- maybe it was "the stuff" at the time, but now we all shake our heads indulgently and say, "Ah, the 60s! So mod!"

I don't have any problem with incorporating the latest methods and technologies into filmmaking, but I do wish that a director chooses to remake a classic story, he'd retain enough of a traditional feel that the movie will stand up to the test of time.

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