Sunday, September 19, 2010

Jane, Harvey and Elizabeth...


Today I finished reading "Jane Eyre" and watched "Milk" - what a contrast - the fettered and frustrating existence of Jane and the tumultuous times of Harvey Milk's rise to political notoriety. I have to admit, that Jane Eyre did not really grab me much until she was proposed to and then I did not want to put the book down. If you have read the book, I am sure you know the section that I mean, if you have not then you really should!

I avoided Victorian Literature for all of my undergraduate degrees and didn't fall into it's clutches until I did a subject during my masters on adaptation and had to read "Sense and Sensibility"- and then damn - it got me. I had to read a whole swag of Austen and Bronte after that to see what it was all about and I still have barely scratched the surface; I mean it is not my area at all and yet I can devour these coquettish novels very quickly and with ashamed joy. I guess I never really considered them very "serious" but they have won me over to a point - I still hate Emma - she is annoying.
Anyway, "Milk" was incredible and I wish that there was a PG version that could be shown in schools, because it deals with so many important topics: human rights, civil rights, freedom of speech, the right to representation, liberty, justice and so on. I felt that it was a really significant film and I am sorry it took me so long to get around to watching it. I found it emotional, the unknown historical context of some of the political issues was astonishing and the use of archival footage was very dynamic. The portrayal of Harvey Milk as a man, a lover, an activist, a politician and an icon was cleverly done; he wasn't particularly martyred or vilified. The film was well paced and introduced ideas well, again especially through the addition of real television footage from the 1970s. Sean Penn was so believable and the film is certainly worth 128 minutes of your life.

Friday at uni I went to three lectures, one on Thesis submission guidelines, one on wiriting reflective journals and a presentation by Dr. Jessica Gildersleeve (lecturer at Griffith and UQ) on Elizabeth Bowen. I must confess that I have never read any Bowen, but after Friday's lecture I will be looking up "The House in Paris" (1935).

1 comment:

  1. Oooh, I haven't seen 'Milk' yet. Will have to check it out.

    I studied Victorian Literature at Uni and I have to say I have a soft spot for it for sure. Haven't really been able to get into 'Emma' either though.

    xx

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