Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Biography - Jane Austen|
Genres: Television, Documentary
Studio: A&e Home Video Release Date: 09/26/2006
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M. Dirig | Binghamton, New York United States | 04/20/2007
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I found this DVD very disappointing. It attempted to present an interesting position about Jane Austen's life but it fell short in the area of facts about her life. Nothing can be worse, in my opinion, than when a documentary distorts the facts about a famous person's life but it is even worse when they get some of them completely wrong like this one did. Their attempt to make a more worldly perspective on Jane Austen was interesting but I found this annoying because it was the focus of the whole documentary after a while. At this time in history it seems that everyone is trying to make things more global! I am glad that women in Iran are reading Jane Austen and that India is turned on by it, that is great, but I wanted to know more about Jane Austen herself not have to endure some feminist plateau so that somehow we could take a simple Regency woman's writing to push our own subjective views or cause. I also resented that the only man on the DVD that liked and talked about Jane Austen was portrayed as a person who was effeminant. Why can't a man like Jane Austen's books? Just because Jane Austen's female characters were strong does not mean they were feminists. The kind of feminism that we experience now in the USA, something I am glad exists, did NOT exist in Jane Austen's time. If you read her letters you would see she is a proper, subservient female of her own era. Certainly I have nothing against her characterisms of strong women, though. I would have liked to see in this DVD more attention to the accurate details of Austen's life and work is all."
L. Siert | RAF Lakenheath | 10/04/2007
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I was terribly disappointed in this DVD. It seemed more like an advertisement for other movies than a biography on Jane Austen. My $20 would have been better spent elsewhere. I think I would have discovered more about Jane Austen in a book than on this DVD. It seemed there wasn't enough information to fill the time, so they highlighted several other movies made that were based on the Pride and Prejudice theme. I yawned through most of it. The little information they did reveal about Jane Austen wasn't even very interesting. I know there is much more they could have told as I've been to the Jane Austen house in Bath. I learned more there in a 15 minute talk than I did on this DVD."
Jane Austen's Enduring Appeal
Stavros K | Nicosia, Cyprus | 02/20/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A&E's Jane Austen Biography (2004) is a lively, informative, and interesting documentary on the extremely popular British novelist whose work continues to attract readers and film viewers. I could never imagine that such an engaging documentary could be produced on an author with very few surviving images and rather elusive biographical details. The documentary relies largely on a variety of period images, clips from films based on Jane Austen novels, dramatization of moments from Austen's life, and a number of interviews with academics, readers and writers who have studied Austen's work and life. What I find to be especially successful is the way the documentary thematizes and accounts for the lasting influence of Austen's work and its appeal for contemporary audiences. An impressive feature is the footage that acts as evidence of the British novelist's enduring, global appeal and diverse contemporary influence. Azar Nafisi talks about the feminist politics of reading Pride and Prejudice in Iran, Suzan Reed's English students in a Connecticut school in the United States are keenly involved in Austen and her work, and the director Gurinder Chadha talks about filming an adaptation of Pride and Prejudice for Bollywood."
In over their heads
egreetham | Massachusetts | 05/21/2007
(2 out of 5 stars)
"A weak and disappointing attempt to capture Jane Austen's life in a format familiar to most television viewers. Capturing the life of a contemporary celebrity in viewable format at least does not have the problem of lack of materials. Making an interesting and accurate viewable life of a woman who lived before the age of photography, who was not a celebrity in her lifetime, and of whom there is no authenticated full-face portrait except a sketch by her sister--that's hard. (Even Ken Burns has failed--how many times can we look at the same few paintings of Thomas Jefferson?)
This production does not meet the challenge--those responsible don't seem familiar dealing with literary lives, nor with late 18th century manners and mores. It's more sucessful dealing with ways in which Miss Austen is famous now--Jane Austen as 21at century star. You might want to watch this if you wanted an easy gloss on Jane Austen's current cultural appeal, but if you are looking for the real story of her life, I'd skip it."