Best Movie of Pride and Prejudice?
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*Featured Artist: @dlyons50

What is the BEST movie version to watch of Pride and Prejudice? The one with Keira Knightly. The 2005 film covers the plot, moves fast, has a great cast, it’s in color, you can stream it and the DVD is cheap. In the novel Elizabeth Bennet is not as pretty as Keira and she doesn’t dance with Mr. Darcy at the ball. Other than a few minor details this movie version follows the book. Steer clear from Pride and Prejudice and ZOMBIES

Download the Study Guide Now: Pride and Prejudice: Movie Version

Oscars 2016 Rely on Movie Version of Books
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Six out of the ten 2016 Best Picture nominees were first books or newspaper articles.

The Big Short is the movie version of the book by Michael Lewis.
(5 nominations)

The Martian was first a book by Andy Weir. (7 nominations)

The Revenant is the movie version of the book by Michael Punke.
(12 nominations)

The Room is the only screenplay this year written by the author of the book, Emma Donoghue. (4 nominations)

Brooklyn was first a book by Colm Toibin. (3 nominations)

Spotlight is based on a series of newspaper articles that won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for The Boston Globe. (6 nominations)

Other nominated films based on literary works include The Danish Girl based on the book by David Ebershoff (4 nominations), 45 Years, the movie version of the short story In Another Country by David Constantine (1 nomination), Carol based on the book The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith (6 nominations), Steve Jobs inspired by the biography by Walter Isaacson. (2 nominations)

A Lot of Snow can be Romantic

*Featured Artist: @trishalyonsart

Watch out!  Blizzards have been known to stimulate hormones. What else is there to do but think of love when you’re snowbound? Even if you’re all alone, a blizzard and blinding snow is romantic. Early American writers from New England knew about snow magic.  In Walden, Henry David Thoreau writes about his winter at Walden Pond near Boston:  “I weathered some merry snow storms, and spent some cheerful winter evenings by my fireside, while the snow whirled wildly without . . .”  John Greenleaf Whittier describes being trapped in a Massachusetts blizzard in his poem Snow-Bound.  As the drifts pile up and cover the windows, the family is content and warm inside by the fire that “burst flower-like into rosy bloom” and the “chimney laughed” as the north wind roared.

The prize for best romantic description of snow in Massachusetts goes to the novel Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton.  The tragic love story takes place in the winter of 1886.  Villagers glide through the snow in horse-drawn sleighs equipped with jingling bells.  Between snowstorms, the air is crystal clear, the sky is blue, and the nights are starry as in the passage:

    "The village lay under two feet of snow, with drifts at the windy corners.  In a sky of iron     
the points of the Dipper hung like icicles and Orion flashed his cold fires."

The movie version of Ethan Frome was not filmed in wintry Massachusetts, but in wintry Vermont in the early 1990s.  The film showcases the world covered in deep, pristine snow against white churches, white houses and evergreens, a setting like the Massachusetts village of Starkfield in the novel.

What is it about a pure white blanket of snow that makes New Englanders merry?  New England snow has staying power.  Months of freezing temperatures keep the snow from melting.  Powerful blizzards force people indoors.  Then the snow lasts for months.  Lots of snow means lots of cuddle time.

Download the Study Guide Now: Ethan Frome: Movie Version

Igor's In Love

*Featured Artist: @trishalyonsart

Igor! He’s baaaa-ck! This time Daniel Radcliffe plays the creepy lab assistant in the new film Victor Frankenstein due for release in October 2015. Radcliffe as Igor tells the Frankenstein story from the viewpoint of the scientist’s loyal assistant. For the period film set in the early 1800s, Radcliffe decided not to don a shoulder-length wig. Instead the Harry Potter actor opted for hair extensions he had to wear around London for months while filming. James McAvoy (X-Men) plays Frankenstein and Jessica Brown Findlay (Downton Abbey) plays a new character in the Frankenstein saga, a beautiful circus performer named Lorelie who befriends Igor. WHAT? Igor has a love interest? We should have seen this coming.

Igor was created by Hollywood, not Mary Shelley, author of the novel Frankenstein.  Neither the character of Igor nor a lab assistant appears in the book. The hunchback lab assistant first appeared in the 1931 horror movie Frankenstein, but his name was Fritz, not Igor. The hit movie was soon followed by Son of Frankenstein (1939) and The Ghost of Frankenstein (1942). In both sequels the name of the creepy sidekick was changed to Igor and he was no longer a hunchback or a lab assistant.  Igor became a deformed blacksmith with a twisted back who brings Frankenstein’s monster to life and uses the creature to take vengeance on the villagers who have persecuted him. Igor evolved into a menacing anti-hero, and a star was born.

More than 55 Frankenstein movies and thousands of horror films feature Igor. Today Igor shows up in video games, song lyrics, cartoons, and crossword puzzles. Audiences expect him to be in Frankenstein stories. Igor’s got some weird charisma going on. It was only a matter of time before Hollywood released a film where Igor gets the girl.

Download the Study Guide Now: Frankenstein: Movie Version