Monday, July 14, 2008

Bodice-Ripper, Maybe

My one guilty pleasure: trashy, sensationalistic period films (sometimes known as bodice-rippers).

This is why I am so excited for Brideshead Revisted. The trailer looks so ridiculous, so intricately yet erratically plotted, so filled with latent homosexuality, so puritanically smutty (you know, there's enough sex to satisfy our prurient selves, but the sex--and the money, power, material wealth, etc.--always leads to destruction of the soul, which makes it then easy to rationalize our enjoyment of the film). Nevermind that it probably does the book (by Evelyn Waugh) a great disservice; resistance is futile, I must see this film:

However, when trolling about the Internet looking for a release date I came across some rather distressing news. The film is PG-13. Yes, PG-13. Perhaps this isn't the Dangerous Liaisons the trailer makes it out to be. (Why does everything have to be watered down so it can receive a PG-13 rating? It seems particularly silly in this case since the film clearly isn't being marketed to a young demographic, nor can I imagine many middle- and high-school girls clamoring to see an adaptation of a novel they have probably never heard of (this isn't Jane Austen or Wuthering Heights)--unless that girl was me circa 1998; I definitely would have begged my parents to let me see this.)

Anyway, great literary adaptation; delicious guilty pleasure; watered down period melodrama? We shall see.


Pop Cultural Anthropologist said...

As usual, you are right on the money. A great novel (one of my favorites) has obviously been "Miramaxified" to the point of utter blandness. I clicked on your trailer link, and I really don't like the fact that they have focused on the weaker elements of the story.

In any case, I have stopped watching movies in theaters. I wait for the marketing hype to die down, and let time be the best judge. If the movie holds up after a few years, I watch it on DVD. The only exceptions that I will make are for films by Lynch, Almodovar or Von Trier.

Anindita Ghose said...

Waiting on this one as well. While on period films, I liked Marie Antoinette by Sofia Coppola for the manner in which it was just incidentally a "period" film. It had all the loveliness that attracts me to settings like that but yet, the story telling and the characterization were so fresh and zesty. It could be any modern day girlie story just in a different context.