Monday, November 12, 2012

Anna Karenina: Dreaming of France

This is it! Anna Karenina opens this Friday, November 16th. And I absolutely can't wait. From what I understand director Joe Wright and playwright Tom Stoppard have given us a fairly radical retelling of this tale. The entire story takes place within the confines of a somewhat rundown theatre, the novel's characters, actors presenting it as light opera!

According to Wright in the Washington Post, the theatrical metaphor works for the time period, a point at which the Russian aristocracy was struggling to define itself. 

 “They really didn’t know where they stood between the East and the West. So they decided they aspired to the West, and in particular to Paris. So they spoke French and they wore the latest Paris fashions — they even had their ballrooms covered in mirrors so that they could observe their performances whilst interacting with each other.”

I hope I am not stretching the point too much to say this post also works for the Dreaming of France meme held every Monday by Paulita over at An Accidental Blog. It's a weekly meme where we share our passion for France. Seems to me if anyone was dreaming of France, it would be Anna. Also the French have always been the fashion elite, who can blame the Russian ladies for salivating over Parisian fashions ... we're still doing it today.

Oscar nominated costume designer, Jacqueline Durran - for both Atonement and Pride and Prejudice - told the Guardian the director wanted her to focus "on silhouette rather than surface detail."

"He didn't want to end up with naturalistic 1870s costumes or to get constricted by the period. As the Russian aristocrats were obsessed with French culture in the 19th century, we came up with the idea of tweaking it a bit and using the heyday of couture from the 1950s to emphasise Anna's modern streak. That really helped Keira understand Anna."
Keira Knightly as Anna Karenina

16 comments:

  1. Looks like this one would be work it simply for the costumes. Well, the story might have some lasting effect too. I'm excited to see it. Here’s my Dreaming of France meme

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    1. I'm glad you approve! Yeah, the costumes are out of this world. Jacqueline Durran has done some gorgeous work here.

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  2. I wondered how you were going to swing from Anna to France! Beautifully done. And you even made me want to see the movie.... I saw most of a television series a few years ago, and read 600 pages of the book once. Perhaps I can get through a movie version?

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    1. Thank you Louise! Yes, it is a very long book which I vaguely recall reading in my college years.

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  3. I am sure the movie will be BEAUTIFUL even though I couldn't get through the entire book. :)

    Giveaway going on at my blog for GIRL ON THE CLIFF if you want to stop by.

    Elizabeth
    Silver's Reviews
    http://silversolara.blogspot.com

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    1. I hope so ... right now I'm not 100% sold on Aaron Taylor Johnson as Vronsky but I have high hopes for it anyway. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

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  4. I hope you enjoy the book-I would love to see Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet as a movie.

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    1. Me too Esme. Jamie Ford told me it is hard to find Asian leads that American audiences will go to see. A very sad state of affairs!

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  5. I'm excited too. You see, I've timed our Anna K. Read-Along to finish just in time for the wrap up post to come up Nov. 15, one day before the film comes out. But I just checked, as for me, I'm afraid Anna K. won't come to us until Nov. 30. And yes, from the trailer I can see where Joe Wright is leading us, and understandably so from playwright Tom Stoppard. I look forward to all the discussions on our blogs about this film.

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    1. I know! I'll be checking back on your blog for sure. Can not wait to compare notes!

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  6. ooo, a must watch. cool french connection.

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  7. wondered how you were going to swing from Anna to France! Beautifully done. And you even made me want to see the movie.... I saw most of a television series a few years ago, and read 600 pages of the book once. Perhaps I can get through a movie version?Russian Love

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    1. such a nice comment I'm actually okay with you adding the link to your agency where men can meet the Russian woman of their dreams. What would Count Vronksy say!

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  8. From Papa Linton’s assertion:

    "It doesn't really matter what one wrongly or rightly imagines to be god, because it still remains a figment of the imagination."

    I deduce that if I imagine Papa Linton to be god, he will become a figment of the imagination.

    But more seriously, Papa Linton is basically saying here that straw-manning is not a fallacy. I doubt he meant to say that, but that is what he's saying.

    And then having made side-swipes at ID, he goes on to say that science is chipping away at Christian belief. But if science is capable of disconfirming Christianity, then in principle it is also capable of confirming it. From which it follows that there is nothing in principle unscientific about mixing religion with science. Now he could consistently say that the mix isn't a fruitful one, but he can't consistently claim that it's "simply not science". Not that he has claimed that in this thread, but he did strongly imply that in the one on the Dover decision.Russian ladies for romance

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