Band of Brothers is an HBO miniseries about American troops fighting in Europe during WWII. Ten hour-long episodes follow the fortunes of “Easy Company” from basic training to the end of the war, covering several significant campaigns, such as the landing in Normandy and taking the Eagle’s Nest. The narrative is based on real people and events; some episodes begin with veterans talking about their memories, but it’s not until the last one that it’s revealed they are, in fact, the characters from the series, some of whom still live.
I had quite a lot of time on my hands during the New Year’s holidays and a large part of it was most enjoyably spent watching the three full seasons of the True Blood TV show. For those of you so unimaginably uninformed as to not recognize the title, it’s a vampire story in a contemporary urban setting, dealing with the attempts of the vampire minority to blend into mainstream (human) society. I was so enraptured with the show that I went on and read the first three novels of the Southern Vampire Mysteries series by C. Harris, which the show is based upon. By convenient coincidence, there were so many vampire-related movies on TV during the holidays that I felt I needed to complete the circle by finally watching the Twilight movies, which I shun for a long time for suspicion of being a sentimental teenager romance. The exercise has left my indulgent, eager mind completely immersed in modern vampire lore and melodramatic romances.
Strange as it may sound, of all Austen’s novels, Pride & Prejudice, although probably the most famous, is the only one I had known next to nothing about prior to reading it this January. I had no idea whatsoever about what the plot was, which made for some delicious surprises, and I felt no certainty that it would end well, unlike with the others, where there was a constant awareness that a happy ending is practically guaranteed. Needless to say, I did like the book immensely; much more than Sense and Sensibility, though probably not as much as Emma, and I wasn’t really hit immediately after finishing. It took me a few days of going over it in my mind almost in spite of myself to realize the extent of the impressions.
And then I gave in and started looking for more. First I watched the movie from 2005, starring Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen, and was positively enraptured. Some two weeks later, I had a flashback and looked for the other recent adaptation, the BBC’s mini-series from 1995, with Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth. I have little to say about the book – not because it was uninspiring or anything like that, of course; merely because I can’t presume to add any substance to the immense body of critique, commentary and analysis that must accompany such a classic; however I am in the mood for talking about the two movie adaptations and how they compare.