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Friday, January 22, 2010

'Anne of Windy Poplars' (1940)

As I am a big fan of the 'Anne' series by L.M.Montgomery I couldn't resist taping Anne of Windy Poplars the other night. It was on very late and the timer on my video machine doesn't work so I had to stay up more than half of the night!

I can see why many 'Anne' fans have written bad reviews of this film. It is incredibly old-fashioned and corny. It is also extremely melodramatic.

In the book Anne, who has recently graduated from university, goes to a small town to teach. Unfortunately, this town is dominated by Pringles who dislike Anne from the start. She finds Jen Pringle, a girl in her class, especially difficult. She also finds a fellow teacher, Katherine, very cold and unfriendly.

The film sticks to the spirit of the book but the story is changed in a few ways. There are several new characters who are rather quaint and irritating, such as the man who stokes the stove at the school, and an old sailor. There is also a rather handsome Pringle, Tony, who becomes keen on Anne. I didn't mind him.

I haven't read the book for a long time and it's somewhat confused in my mind with the 1980's series so I may be wrong. However, the old lady who dominates the Pringles is much nastier in the film I think. This annoyed me. Her role is acted extremely well.

It is obvious that the movie was shot in a studio which was a pity. The series was shot on location and the scenery was beautiful. The sweeping photography showed the vistas of Prince Edward Island to perfection.

In spite of these issues I enjoyed the movie and wish that I could have watched it as a teenager. (I liked corny films much more then!) Anne Shirley, who changed her name because of the character, makes a lovely Anne. She is sweet and brave. Patric Knowles who played Gilbert was a bit stiff. The actress who played Katherine was also excellent.

Now I have to try and get this converted to DVD!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Books Read in January

The Conjurer's Bird by Martin Davies

This was an enchanting mixture of history and romance although I thought
that the story's ending was a let-down. A young naturalist sets out to find
out the truth about a famous bird discovered by Joseph Banks in the South Seas.

The book was based on historical fact and certainly made me more interested in
Banks. His life was apparently fairly mysterious in some aspects.

Here is my review of : Very Valentine by Adriana Trigiani.

With Violets by Elizabeth Robards

This is a beautifully written novel about the ambitious, young woman artist, Berthe Morisot, and her love affair with Edouard Manet. The prose does descend into the 'purple' sometimes, I feel, and the dialogue is a bit contrived at times, but I enjoyed it very much.

The characterization is very good. Berthe is a very likeable young woman, torn between trying to please her mother who wants her to marry well, and her love for a married man. She is also an excellent artist.

Edouard Manet is also well-imagined. He is handsome and charming, but has a certain ruthlessness. I also liked the character of Degas, who seems to be either understanding or annoying because of his sarcasm.

The struggles of the Impressionists are interesting. Morisot is very determined to have her art respected, and this is always difficult for a new style of painting. Robards writes well about the problems that the Impressionists faced.

The Women in Black by Madeleine St.John

This was a charming book about women who worked in a
department store in the sixties in Sydney.
It contrasts the innocent Aussies with the more sophisticated European
migrants very well and St.John's characters are
very realistic.

The central character is young Leslie who changes her name to Lisa in order
to seem more grown-up and confident.
(You can see why I liked it! lol) Magda, a Hungarian migrant, takes her
under her wing, and helps to transform her into
a young woman with poise and grace, who knows where she is going.

This novel is based on the famous Sydney department store of David Jones and
reminded me of shopping there when I was young.
It used to have a Food Hall and a piano player (sometimes) and always seemed
very glamorous.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

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Thursday, January 07, 2010

Buy The Best Ticket Deals At A Cheap Seat

Would you like to buy the best deals on tickets at sporting and music events at American and Canadian venues? A Cheap is an online ticket broker that can provide you with the hottest deals on events such as hockey, football, tennis, and even Broadway shows. A Cheap can also help and advise you on ordering your seats.

Tickets for the Chicago Blackhawks are also available at A Cheap This hockey team has not won the Stanley Cup since 1961 but they were restructured under a new General Manager in 2004-5 and they may do better in the future. There are many excellent events featuring the Chicago Blackhawks this year at the United Center in Chicago.

You can buy tickets to watch events at the Mellon Arena through A Cheap The Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is the home of the Pittsburgh Penguins of the National Hockey League and many ice hockey games are held here. Interestingly, the Mellon Arena used to host the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera, and it still holds large musical events. The great guitarist, Eric Clapton, will play at the Mellon Arena in February.

You can also watch another great hockey team, the Calgary Flames by buying tickets at A Cheap The Calgary Flames were in the Stanley Cup Finals in 2004, the first Canadian team in a decade to advance to this level. There are many Calgary Flames events to choose from.