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About BethR

  • Rank
    Getting medieval on media

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  • Interests
    medieval English literature, fantasy and science fiction, historical fiction, movies, music, travel, a unified Christian life

Previous Fields

  • Occupation
    university English professor
  • About my avatar
    Dandelion from "Sugarshock" by Whedon & Moon
  • Favorite movies
    Singing in the RainTo Kill a MockingbirdCasablancaGalaxy QuestBabette's Feast
  • Favorite music
    Steeleye Span. Bruce Springsteen. Warren Zevon.
  • Favorite creative writing
    William Langland, THE VISION OF PIERS PLOWMANGeoffrey Chaucer, CANTERBURY TALESJulian of Norwich, A BOOK OF SHOWINGSDorothy Dunnett, THE LYMOND CHRONICLES; THE HOUSE OF NICCOLO; KING HEREAFTERDorothy L. SayersC.S. LewisJ.R.R. TolkienPoetry: John Donne, Edward Hirsch, David Citino, Mary Oliver, Kelly Cherry
  • Favorite visual art
    medieval illuminations. JMW Turner. PreRaphaelites

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  1. Thanks, Darren. Email sent. The list will now have one female participant. My work here is now half done!
  2. I missed the deadline. I know I'm not a semi-professional critic like most of you, but I have been a member of this board for eons and have participated in nominating and voting for every list since the beginning. But these are difficult times.
  3. BethR


    Tom and Lorenzo further analyze the film’s use of color, costumes, and sets.
  4. Apparently there's not enough medieval material to lampoon (where is the Monty Python troop when we need them?), so a recent episode had the "Dark Ages" community gathering for a "Harvest Festival" commemorating the meeting of their tribe with the local "leaf people," an event re-enacted by children showing the leaf-people giving the settlers ears of corn, which of course did not exist in medieval Europe. A character yells from the audience, "We killed them!" Yes, it's the Pilgrims and Thanksgiving controversy, followed by the struggles of dealing with difficult family members at holidays. The harmless-but-hapless prince's evil relatives kill each other over party games, and the smart "liberal" peasant girl argues with the uncle who's a die-hard fan of the evil king. The writers need to work harder.
  5. BethR


    I expected that you wouldn't care for this movie, for the reasons you describe. And I agree with you to some extent. Nevertheless, I enjoyed Emma. very much for what it was. I think I said on Twitter something to the effect that this could be partly because I don't have as much invested in the original. (I'm quite capable of destroying medievalist screen interpretations that don't meet my expectations.) For me, the art design (costumes, sets, both indoor and out) alone give the film a high rating, but I also appreciated the acting, and if the comedy was emphasized over the social satire, it worked for me. In those areas, I agree with the review by Sheila O'Malley at rogerebert.com: EMMA. costumes (just based on the trailer). There's a point to undressing Knightley. I hope we can still be friends, Ken.
  6. BethR

    The Green Knight

    Medievalist social media is going crazy over the teaser trailer for The Green Knight, directed by David Lowery and starring Dev Patel as Sir Gawain, described as: The trailer looks insane, but how much worse could it be than Sword of the Valiant, starring Sean Connery? May 29 will reveal all!
  7. Apparently this is now an anthology series. Season Two has puts most of the same main cast into Miracle Workers: Dark Ages, comedy takes on every. single. misbegotten. cliché about the Middle Ages that you ever thought you knew. So of course, now every medievalist in my social media is watching it. What is my life? https://youtu.be/WIY1Ws6pbKs
  8. BethR

    Little Women

    Good point. I wondered elsewhere whether the flashback structure may work better for viewers who are more familiar with the straight chronology? I've read the novel multiple times and seen nearly every previous screen version, so I can't answer this.
  9. BethR

    Cats: The Movie

    I gave in and saw the movie. It was as predicted. Only Ian McKellen's performance genuinely impressed me. Jennifer Hudson made me tear up, but--as Ken Morefield has written--could have blown us all away. Evan C wrote: "Speaking of bad ideas, possibly the worst one plaguing this movie is the decision that the paper-thin plot tacked onto the original needed more explanation." Absolutely right. The same mistake was made in reverse when Monty Python and the Holy Grail movie was made into the stage musical Spamalot.
  10. Hilariously accurate! It's what people wish graduate school was like...excluding the suicides, sexual assaults, and evil [fill in the blanks].
  11. After some significant plot events and the death of a major character in season 4, season 5 premieres January 15. The books have been left far behind. It's mostly a show about friendship now. Yep, Friends, with magic. That's oversimplifying, of course. It's also about power (magic).
  12. BethR

    Cats: The Movie

    Sigh. I sort of want to see this, because I remember enjoying the stage musical long ago, but I know I will regret it. Thanks to all the professional and amateur critics who have sacrificed your time and talent for the rest of us.
  13. I gave the CW Nancy Drew five episodes and then deleted it from the DVR. It's just trying too hard to be Veronica Mars AND Nancy Drew AND dark/gritty AND a ghost story AND teen sexcapades, and maybe some other things too. One of the ways it's trying to be dark/gritty is to write Nancy and her father attorney Carson Drew as having some kind of long-standing conflicted relationship, because of course that is more interesting than a positive parent-child relationship. And the writers probably said, "Well, Veronica Mars and her dad got along, so we can't do that!" However, Scott Wolf plays Carson Drew, and although the actor is, in fact, old enough to be Nancy's father, he has such a baby-face that it's hard to take him seriously as anybody's father.
  14. Thanks for this, Noel T. Manning. A&F doesn't even have a film thread for Yesterday, and I believe many dismissed the movie, but you have articulated my experience with it as well. I'm not a participant in the Ecumenical Jury, but just wanted to say this.
  15. BethR

    Blinded by the Light

    Gurinder Chadha's first film, Bend It Like Beckham (2002), about a Sikh family whose daughter wants to play soccer, would fall into an adjacent category of Pics About the British Indian Experience.
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