Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Lights, Camera, Action!

Dr. Alice Villaseñor, Medaille College
"...it was pronounced to be a prodigious bargain by every lady who saw it. I gave but five shillings a yard for it, and a true Indian muslin." Northanger Abbey chap. 3

Henry Tilney knew his Indian muslin. Now JASNA CWNY will have the opportunity to learn about the influence of Jane Austen on films from the great sub-continent. It’s time to roll out the red carpet and break out the supersized basket of popcorn and the 48 oz. big gulp soda, because  JASNA CWNY is going to the movies. 
Most Janeites know about the1940 movie version of Pride and Prejudice starring Lawrence Olivier, Greer Garson and big hoop skirts. However, there was an even earlier televised version of Pride and Prejudice that aired on the BBC in 1938. This one starred Curigwen Lewis as Elizabeth Bennet and Andrew Osborn as Mr. Darcy. Very little is known about this version, but at 55 minutes it must have had even fewer Bingley sisters than the 2005 version. See here for more details.

A quick search of Wikipedia shows that Pride and Prejudice has inspired the most film and TV versions at 11. Close behind is Emma with 6, including two modern adaptations: Clueless, set in upper class society in Beverley Hills and Aisha, set in upper class Delhi, India.

At our March meeting, our own Dr. Alice Villaseñor will introduce us to Aisha. Alice is an Assistant Professor of English at Medaille College in Buffalo. She has a Ph.D. in English from the University of Southern California, where she served as the Director of Public Humanities Initiatives for the Joint Educational Project at the University of Southern California. In this position she developed service-learning programs in the humanities. She is an active Jane Austen scholar and member of JASNA. She has served on JASNA’s Board and has chaired the International Visitor Program.

At Medaille Alice has taught many English courses, including ENG 435—Major Literary Figures: Jane Austen and Popular Culture, a course we would all like to take (without the final exam perhaps). With Aisha she will give us an introduction to how Jane Austen's Emma was adapted in another culture. Before we watch the movie, Alice will provide some context based on two other Bollywood adaptations of Jane Austen: the more famous Bride and Prejudice based on Pride and Prejudice and the lesser known I Have Found It based on Sense and Sensibility.

Some of the material Alice will share is from a book chapter that she co-authored with Ruth Blandón, which will be included in Pride and Prejudice: A Bicentennial Bricolage.

Alice is well known to us as an engaging and informative speaker, and this promises to be an exciting opportunity to learn more about Jane Austen’s impact on popular culture. Here are the details:

Event:    JASNA CWNY March Meeting
Topic:    Dr. Alice Villaseñor showing and speaking on the movie Aisha
Where:  First Baptist Church, 175 Allens Creek Rd., Rochester, NY 14618
When:   March 18, 2017 at 1 pm (We will be watching the movie, about 2 hrs.)

No comments:

Post a Comment