Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Period Drama Week Tag Questions Part 1

It's Period Drama Week over at Miss Elizabeth's lovely blog Elegance of Fashion. One way in which to get involved in this special event is to participate in this tag, which is compiled of 20 questions relating to Period Drama's.
I really enjoyed answering these questions and hope that you enjoy reading them. Don't forget to stop by Elegance of Fashion to see what other exciting things as happening throughout the week.

1. How did you get into period dramas?
I remember as a child staying at my grandparents and seeing  The King and I. I became entranced by the costumes and language which seemed so foreign as child who mostly grew up on Disney films. So it started there but it really wasn’t until about 5 years ago where I became trapped in the period drama world.

2. What is it that you like about period dramas?

This is a hard question, really its everything about them, I suppose the simplest way to put it is to borrow a few words from Amanda Price from the mini-series Lost in Austen :

"I love the love story. I love Elizabeth. I love the manners and language and the courtesy."

3. Do you usually read a book and then watch the adaptation or do you watch the adaptation and then read the book?
Usually try to read the book first and in most cases I have read the book before I have even heard of the film adaptation. But I think as time goes by and as  more novels are made into films and as life gets busier I think this will change.

4. What are your top three period dramas and why?
Another hard question. I don't have a top 3, I have a top 15 or 20 I think. I am going to leave out the Austen adaptations because I have already spoken enough about them. So here are 3 films I love from my Top 15 :)

1. The Abduction Club (2002)
This one was an easy choice. I love this film, it has action, adventure, romance, a little comedy, exquisite costumes, dashing gentlemen, feisty young ladies, gorgeous scenery and a Irish-styled soundtrack- what more could you want! It is my favourite movie to sit down and watch with one of my sisters (the one closest to me in age), we both adore it and spend hours, literally, speaking about it afterwards.

2. Lorna Doone (2000)
I watched this film for the first time earlier this year, since then I have watched it so many times I don't even want to think about it. I love the time period in which this film is set and the scenery is lovely.

3.  The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (2008)
Picking the 3rd one was a little harder but when it came down to it I knew it was going to be this one. This film is gorgeous but terribly sad, I think it has some of the most amazing acting performances in a movie. Two of the lead characters are young boys who have to carry the film and they do it magnificently.

5. From those three period dramas that you picked, who are your favorite characters in each one?

Catherine Kennedy from The Abduction Club. I love Anne, Catherine's younger sister too so it was hard to choose but I love Catherine because she reminds me so much of Elinor Dashwood from Sense and Sensibility (Anne's a lot like Marianne too). Catherine is protective, sensible, beautiful and responsible. She cares so much for her family that she is willing to set aside her own feelings to try and do what is best for them.

Lorna is my favourite character from Lorna Doone.  She is strong, feisty but also beautiful, serene and kind. I loved Amelia Warner's portrayal of her, I thought it was very captivating and the emotion she put into her performance was so believable.

Shmuel from The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, he is seriously the cutest little kid ever. I just wanted to take him home! I cried almost every time I saw him on the screen, he was so gorgeous. And seriously who cannot love a kid with huge eyes and a name like "Shmuel" it is such an awesome name!

6. Which author do you like the adaptations of their works best?

Jane Austen, I suppose because she is my favourite author, its just so hard not to like the good adaptations of her work. But I still think that adaptations of Elizabeth Gaskell’s novels are the most well adapted films from novels- Wives and Daughters and North & South were so beautifully filmed and scripted and stayed so faithful to the novels. And although I haven't yet seen Cranford  (but I just bought the novel so once I have read it I plan to see it) but I have heard it too is very good. 

7. Which period drama characters are the funniest to you (Keep it under three)?

Squire Hamley
I cannot help but laugh at almost laugh at almost everything he says in Wives and Daughters.

John Thorpe
I know that he could easily fall into the 'most annoying' category but I just find him hilarious. He has no idea that no one cares at all about what he is saying or that his gig has this or that. I loved William Beck's portrayal of him in the 2007 adaptation, I must admit that although he was super creepy I found that it only made it all the more funny for me.

Mrs. Hyacinth Gibson
I don't think I ever laughed so much in a period drama movie than in one particular scene in Wives and Daughters where Hyacinth Gibson (played by Francesca Annis) at almost the very end of the film does some quite hilarious waving actions through the window (I don't want to give away too much for those of you who may not have seen this film). Anyway it had both my Mum and I in tears.

8. Which period drama characters are the most annoying (Keep it under three)?

Mary Musgrove
She is the reason that I don't often watch the 2007 adaptation of Persuasion- well along with the marathon scene at the end. Mary really annoys me, I will leave it at that because I already wrote about it here during Jane Austen Week.

9. Which period drama characters are in your top three?

1. Catherine Morland from Northanger Abbey (2007)
The heroine of my favourite novel, just as I said during Jane Austen Week "I adore Catherine, she is the un-heroic heroine of literature. She possesses little of the "traits" that a heroine is expected to. She is not wealthy, or exceptionally beautiful or altogether intelligent. And I feel she is just so easy to identify with because she comes across at the beginning of the novel as an ordinary young girl who in general is nothing special. But as the novel progresses we see such a transformation of her character where Catherine becomes a heroine in her own special way."

2. Scarlett O'Hara from Gone with the Wind (1939)
Okay, this one seems a little strange but she has always been high on my favourite characters list. I love her despite and because of her many obvious flaws, to me she is so human and so easy to identify with in many ways. I admire her determination and sympathise with how dearly she holds onto the old life/world as everything changes around her. And Vivien Leigh was simply beautiful in the role, she really is Scarlett.

3. Will Scarlett from Robin Hood (TV series)
Harry Lloyd's Will Scarlett is my favourite male character in any Period Drama (followed closely by Richard Armitage's Mr. Thornton). He is one of those characters who rarely does anything for himself, its all about the people he can help and what he can do to ease their pain and suffering.

10. When you watch period dramas, what is it that you pay the closest attention to (ie. costuming, scenery, etc.)?

I suppose it is faithfulness and chemistry. Firstly if it is based on a novel I tend to get extremely frustrated if they deviate significantly from the original storyline. I also pay close attention to the chemistry between characters. For me costumes, hairstyles, make up, scenery and music all play a huge part in a film but if one is lacking I don't ever feel the movie is bad- it can usually be compensated for however if their is no chemistry between the two lead characters, there is nothing in my opinion that can fix the film, from there it just...flops.

Love Mel xx


Charity U said...

Love this! I read "The Boy in the Striped Pajamas" and it was a bit of a weird book...but wow, what a story.

Anyway, I loved reading all your answers!

Miss Laurie of Old-Fashioned Charm said...

I love that quote from Amanda Price! It suits the question perfectly!

Love your choices for top three favorites! I've never seen The Boy in the Striped Pajamas though, it seems very sad and I'm not much for films that take place too close to wars.

Cranford is one of my top favorites, it's just so full of lovely stories and characters! The series is a combination of Elizabeth Gaskell's Cranford, Dr. Harrison's Confessions and My Lady Ludlow. I have only read a bit of Cranford so I can't judge if it's like the books.

Michael Gambon's Squire Hamley is lovely! It might be my favorite character by him! I always laugh at John Thorpe of the book but in the movie he was sort of creepy!

I think you're right about the chemistry being important, the actors do this and sometimes they save a film. For me I don't like how far Pride & Prejudice 2005 strays from Jane Austen's original story but the chemistry between Keira Knightley & Matthew Macfaddyen (also Jane & Bingley) save it and make it enjoyable to watch.

I really enjoyed reading your answers! :)

Melody said...

The mini-series 'Cranford' is actually taken from 3 of Elizabeth Gaskell's novels - and from reading the titles of some of her short stories, maybe some of those too. Anyways, I'm not sure which 3 of them is obviously Cranford - but I'm sure you could find out somewhere.

Mel said...

Thank you. I really must read 'The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas' again, I love the film so much I often forget about the novel :)

Miss Laurie:
Thanks for the information and title of the books that the Cranford series is based on. I really must try and get a hold of those other too.
Ohh and I totally agree, its the chemistry of Keira and Matthew that saves P&P 2005. And I love Jane & Bingley too, they are such a gorgeous couple.

Thanks. I will definitely check into it. However I don't think I can wait much longer to see the mini-series so I think I will just read 'Cranford' first and the others at a later stage :)