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Jane Austen Film News Roundup: Coming to a Television Near You Edition

February 29, 2008

While we’re taking a (probably needed) break from the Complete Jane Austen, a few interesting pieces of news crossed our desk.

According to a column by the president and CPO of Twin Cities Public Television, despite all the Janeite complaints, the ratings for the films have been quite good.

And suggesting that “Masterpiece Theater” has “settled” for an all-Jane Austen format is simply incorrect — “The Complete Jane Austen” drew the highest audiences for the program in more than a decade.

Yep, they might stink, but we watched them like the big Janeite saps we are, and that’s all that matters. Sad but true.

For those of you outside the U.S. and UK, many of you are going to have the chance to see some of the new films, if you haven’t already. The BBC has sold rights to S&S07 and Miss Austen Regrets around the world.

Meanwhile, acclaimed screenwriter Andrew Davies’ adaptation of “Sense and Sensibility” sold to 11 markets, including Japan, Sweden, Poland, Canada and Korea, and Jane Austen biopic “Miss Austen Regrets” also enjoyed solid sales.

Naturally, if we hear anything we’ll let our Gentle Readers know!

There’s even a tidbit of Becoming Jane news of sorts: a profile of Laurence Fox, whom many of us adored as Mr. Wisley, reveals that he originally was offered another role in the film, but turned it down.

“…With Becoming Jane they wanted me to be another part who was a bit jokey and buff but I didn’t have any interest in it. I quite liked the concept of going, ‘Maybe there is an alternative for everybody. Here is this shy guy who’d like to be able to express himself but can’t.’ Which is probably more like me anyway.”

Soooooo, who was it? Jokey and buff? Henry Austen, perhaps? Or–dare we say–Tom Lefroy himself? Because who else COULD it be?

Crudely tattooed on his left wrist is “Mrs Fox 31-12-07”, a memento of their honeymoon in Mexico. “Drunken moment in Playa del Carmen. And she’s got ‘Mr Fox’. But don’t tell the agent.”

Just how Fanny and Edmund would have spent their honeymoon, eh?

Lastly, a lot of viewers seemed to really like the music video that PBS put together for the Complete Jane Austen set to the music of Coldplay’s “Fix You.” It’s on YouTube now, so you can rewind to your heart’s content. (And a PBS representative told us about it, so the self-appointed Jane Austen Copyright Police can go have a cup of tea or something.)

Leave a Comment
  1. Kate permalink
    February 29, 2008 2:59 am

    I find the ‘Fix you’ video a little sappy…yet it has it’s moments of lovely ness. It has also made me get out coldplay’s x&y :D

  2. Liz permalink
    February 29, 2008 5:36 am

    Huzzah! I’m glad they put this on youtube!! I really enjoyed watching this on the Masterpiece Theater airing, and was sad I could not tape it. :(

    (I forewent taping P&P, which I already own on DVD, despite the better quality – i know – of the airing and VHS).

    Might I say: Squeeeee!!!!

  3. February 29, 2008 9:04 am

    It’s amazing to me that despite having seen this commercial for what must be over 200 times, I still pushed play to watch it. Maybe it’s so I can remark (yet again) how they feature people in addition to the heroes and heroines.

    The only bad thing about PBS is that they show the same commercials between every show so that by the time the actual show comes around, you almost don’t want to watch it because you are sick of the commercials.

  4. Rosalind permalink
    February 29, 2008 9:40 am

    I prefer this Northanger Abbey fanvid to Britney Spears: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNU6ndU_rc0 :) It fits worryingly well. And I’m not sure I ever thought I’d write “Northanger Abbey” and “Britney Spears” in the same sentence!

  5. MelissaJ permalink
    February 29, 2008 1:09 pm

    Despite the awfulness of most of the adaptations, there are some rather gorgeous looking men in them. And gorgeous looking men in breeches and cravats are always wonderful to behold. Thanks for posting the video and reminding me of that glorious fact. ;)

  6. February 29, 2008 5:45 pm

    Hello! Like Kate, I found the “Fix You” montage a little cheesy. Why Coldplay? Didn’t really quite work for me…

    By the way, a few months ago, I designed a Jane Austen teapot cookie and posted photos on my old blog. Readers of this blog wrote to me and asked how I made it; I finally got around to posting a tutorial. Enjoy!

  7. Miss Macdonald permalink
    March 1, 2008 10:52 am

    I think the MP07 Fanny and Edmund, with their rebellious waltzing and make out sessions, would definitely ride off to Portsmouth to get matching tattoos.

  8. Laura permalink
    March 1, 2008 5:06 pm

    I agree with Miss Macdonald – “Mansfield Park Gone Wild!” a new feature from PBS’ Masterpiece Theatre!
    Which makes sense, I wouldn’t have minded the movie so much if I hadn’t read the book, but it was just so…WRONG for the book. ANYWAYS.
    That is a lovely video! But how come there aren’t any S & S 08′ clips in it?

  9. Baja Janeite permalink
    March 2, 2008 12:49 am

    Thanks, Mari, for the tutorial.

    Now, I doubly appreciate your JA cookie! It is a work of art!

    I had no idea of the amount of steps involved…

  10. Celia permalink
    March 2, 2008 10:15 pm

    This is quite off topic, but I have been looking for a “complete letters of Jane Austen” type of book without any success. Would anyone be able to recommend one? Many thanks!

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