First Impressions: Why All the Austen Haters Are Wrong
Ep 57: Movie Review: Austenland

Ep 57: Movie Review: Austenland

January 9, 2021

Gentle listeners, we present a review of Austenland (2013), a movie that skewers Austen-addict Jane (Keri Russell) as she goes on a Regency roleplaying retreat and meets a real life Mr. Darcy (JJ Feild). Directed by Jerusha Hess, this movie might be considered the "Napoleon Dynamite" of Austen-related media, winning you over with its broad yet quirky humor. It's getting hot in here... let's take off all our clothes and hope Brett Mckenzie doesn't have to deliver a newborn foal at an inopportune moment. [Episode recorded 1/2/21 so there is no discussion of recent US current events]

 

Full credits for the movie can be found at its IMDB entry.

Ep 56: Movie Review: Bridget Jones’s Diary

Ep 56: Movie Review: Bridget Jones’s Diary

December 13, 2020

[Note: File updated 12/20 with a small fix to the movie clip used in the intro - it was cut off in the first version of this episode!]. Time for the perfect Christmas movie review! We're taking on the beloved classic Bridget Jones's Diary, one of Kristin's favorite movies of all time. This "lean" adaptation of Pride and Prejudice with a very sexy Wickham, a very perfect Darcy, and a man we all call Mr... Mister...MISTER... FITZHERBERT! Because that is his name.

Songs featured in the podcast include Chaka Khan's I'm Every Woman  and Marvin Gaye and Diana Ross's duet Stop Look Listen (To Your Heart). At one point in the podcast Kristin misidentifies Marvin Gaye as Al Green - we apologize for the mix-up.

Ep 55: Movie Review: Bride and Prejudice

Ep 55: Movie Review: Bride and Prejudice

November 8, 2020

(Note: This episode was recorded on November 1st 2020, so there is no discussion of the US presidential election or its outcome.) Join us, gentle listeners, for our movie review of the effervescent Bollywood P&P adaptation Bride and Prejudice, directed by Gurinder Chadha. This movie ports Austen's classic tale to modern-day India for an east-meets-west story of cultural misunderstandings, sharp social commentary, and ultimately, true love. Fantastic performances and Bollywood musical numbers make this movie a real treat, and Austen's story becomes a clever template to tease out issues of pride and prejudice among Indians, Americans, Brits, and expats.

Ep 54: Wuthering Heights

Ep 54: Wuthering Heights

September 17, 2020

IT'S HERE. Thanks to all our amazing listeners who contributed to our fundraiser! We hit our goal, and as promised, we're bringing you a review of Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights, the 1992 movie starring Ralph Fiennes and Juliette Binoche (note, we tried to get those two dots over the "e" in Bronte, then decided we have our lives to live). Join us as we give this difficult text a second look, reframe our understanding of the story, and try to find a rainbow out on those stormy moors. And stay tuned after the Wheatsheaf mailbag portion of the show for some vanity bonus content!

Ep 53: Movie Review: Pride & Prejudice 1940 with Garson/Olivier

Ep 53: Movie Review: Pride & Prejudice 1940 with Garson/Olivier

July 10, 2020

Another movie review! Maggie and Kristin tackle the delightful 1940 adaptation of Pride and Prejudice starring Greer Garson and Sir Laurence Olivier. We adored this absolute gem of a movie for its light tone, its fantastic performances, and its imaginative departures from the original story. We also reference information from a book we previously reviewed, The Making of Jane Austen by Devoney Looser, which contains a ton of valuable background information and insight into how this movie was made. For more information on this book, check out episode 35 of our podcast!

Ep 52: The Jane Austen Society: Author Interview with Natalie Jenner

Ep 52: The Jane Austen Society: Author Interview with Natalie Jenner

June 1, 2020

Please join us for an interview with debut author Natalie Jenner, whose delightful book THE JANE AUSTEN SOCIETY was released in May 2020 from St. Martin's Press (NA) and Orion (UK). The book follows a group of unlikely Janeites in postwar England who come together to save Chawton cottage, and wind up saving themselves instead (through reading Jane, of course!). We discuss Natalie's personal relationship with Austen, her connection to Chawton, and what inspired her to create her story and characters. We also delve into some fascinating insights about Austen's work that are woven into the book. As a meditation on what Austen can mean to us through difficult times, The Jane Austen Society is the perfect book for First Impressions listeners, especially those ready to experiment with reading Austen-related fiction. SPOILER NOTE: Although we attempt to avoid major spoilers in this podcast, we do discuss the book's characters and relationships in depth. If you like to be completely unaware of these details when you begin a new book, we recommend only listening to the first 15 minutes or so of this podcast!

Minipod 3: The Mandalorian

Minipod 3: The Mandalorian

May 25, 2020

And now for something completely different! Once again we have another just *slightly* off-topic minipod for a little extra fun in these crazy days. In this episode, Maggie, Kristin, and Special Guest (TM) Kevin take on hit Star Wars universe series The Mandalorian. Plus, you get bonus Bay content, as he keeps us on track when our Star Wars knowledge fails us. SPOILER ALERT: This episode includes details about Season 1 of The Mandalorian. But don't you deserve to be spoiled? After all, you work hard.

Ep 51: Exploring Jane Austen Fan Fiction with Sarah Pesce from Lopt & Cropt

Ep 51: Exploring Jane Austen Fan Fiction with Sarah Pesce from Lopt & Cropt

May 18, 2020

Maggie and Kristin welcome Sarah Pesce of Lopt & Cropt to continue our exploration of the wonderful world of Jane Austen Fan Fiction, this time from an editor's perspective! In our lively discussion, Sarah explains how reading JAFF can provide new insight into Austen's original works. She gives us a tour of the JAFF universe with an overview of online archives, an explanation of common tropes used in the romance world, and a fantastic list of recommendations that will keep us busy for quite some time! Have you ever wondered what Jane Austen's works have in common with science fiction or fantasy? Join us to find out!

And for more on JAFF or to get an author's perspective, check out episode 36: Writing Jane Austen Fan Fiction with Lona Manning!

Ep 50: Movie Review: Pride and Prejudice 2005

Ep 50: Movie Review: Pride and Prejudice 2005

May 10, 2020

Big news! Maggie and Kristin are back to review the 2005 movie version of Pride and Prejudice, starring Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen and directed by Joe Wright. Knowing that this adaptation has generated some controversy in the Austen community, the girls attempt to tread lightly over difficult ground, acknowledging where this movie shines while also attempting some thoughtful critique. While we'll never be able to love this version wholeheartedly, we fully support and respect our fans that do! We hope you enjoy our thoughts on the movie, the direction, the performances, and the "Brontefication" of Jane Austen. For purists, please note that Kristin says something historically inaccurate in this podcast: by 1797 there was a trend toward natural hair color because of the 1795 hair powder tax. So please disregard her assertion that all the men would have had powdered hair!

Minipod 2: Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn

Minipod 2: Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn

April 18, 2020

Hi y'all! We're back with another fluffy minipod for those of you who need extra podcasty-goodness during this time while we're all staying home. In this mini-episode, Kristin and Maggie talk about something ENTIRELY unrelated to Jane Austen - the recent theatrical release of Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn. Despite not having even a whiff of Jane Austen about it, Maggie and Kristin greatly enjoyed this darkly funny superhero movie from the DC-comic universe, and highly recommend it.

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