Eyre Affairs

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Location: New York, United States

Sunday, March 05, 2006

"Entertainment was proposed..." ~ Jane Eyre

I will never forget the Sunday afternoon when Robin and I were about 8 years of age and Missy was 12 years of age and my parents sat us down in front of the television in the living room in E.W. Popcorn was made, chairs were brought in, and the curtains were drawn to give the effect of a movie theatre.

"You have to watch this movie, girls." Both my parents were adamant about this. It was part of our education, according to them. We had no choice; this was how we were spending the afternoon.

A moment later, the theme to Gone With the Wind came on, and for the next three hours, my sisters and I were completely absorbed in Scarlett's world. Why is she attracted to meek old Ashley? Where can I get her dresses? Why didn't I think to ever fake cry like her to get my way? We were still too young to understand all of the nuances, especially when Rhett carries Scarlett up the staircase, but we were not too young to understand that this was movie magic.

It gave my parents pleasure because they were finally sharing a film they loved with their children. And yes, I am sure my sisters and I will do the same. Jack already has a collection of
dvd's all set and waiting for him, including The Sound of Music. My parents gave us a great gift because they exposed us to classic movies, black and whites included. Many of my students don't know who Jimmy Stewart is, but my nephew is going to know!

Robin is the biggest movie buff out of the three of us; she is a big fan of "old Hollywood" and has the biggest dvd collection of great films. Just last week she got the special edition of Ben Hur on dvd, so she gave me the regular copy. How old is the chariot scene? Its still one of the best scenes in a movie; I never tire of it.

Tonight is a small Oscar "party" here at my place. Chinese food, white wine, and Joan Rivers critiquing the gowns. I don't care for all of the pomp and circumstance surrounding the awards, but I do care that this is a night where art and culture are honored in our society. I haven't watched the Oscars in years, but tonight I think that the movies and roles being nominated are quite worthy because so may are based on books and/or short stories.

My Oscar hopes ride on the literature, of course. I hope that Philip Seymour Hoffman wins for Capote. That film was powerful for me, and I look forward to seeing it again just to study him as the character. I want Pride and Prejudice to win awards so that Hollywood sees the demand to make movies of timeless stories that are important to tell in all kinds of mediums. Well, that and wouldn't it be cool knowing that Austen's work is Oscar-worthy?! Let Brokeback win for the mere fact that it is controversial, but also based on a great short story by Annie Proulx. The Constant Gardener was my favorite this year, also based on a novel by John Le Carre which was originally published over four years ago.

Literaries of the world unite tonight and root for your books at the Oscars!

Of course, I did read Gone with the Wind as a teenager.

It wasn't quite as good as the movie.


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