I thought I’d already posted this…

…but I’d actually posted the CASTING press release instead. So, for the sake of completeness, the official BBC Emma 4 press release!

Juliet Stevenson Reads Austen…

The gals at Jane Austen Today provide an excellent feature on Emma 2‘s Juliet Stevenson, my favorite Mrs. Elton and the voice of several Austen audiobooks presented by Naxos.  Naturally, one of them is Emma!

Emma 4 – On Location

There’s a nice selection of behind-the-scenes photos from Emma 4‘s Chilham location posted at the Republic of Pemberley.  They provide a nice preview of some of the costuming!

Emma 2 Soundtrack Notes

I’ve been paying a lot of attention to the Emma Adaptations Pages recently, which means I’ve rediscovered quite a bit of content. After over twelve years, there’s a ton of stuff about which I’ve entirely forgotten. Worse, much of it is sorely in need of revision. My perspective has changed a TON since 1997; seriously, a lot of the crap I wrote back then screams “21 and dumb” – you know, kinda like Emma herself. Or maybe just clueless, which is also apropos.

Anyway, here’s my little review of the Emma 2 soundtrack, circa 1997 with additions circa 2007. You can read the full article, which includes soundclips, here.

The Emma2 score (runs Runs 42’53”) – composed, orchestrated, and produced by Rachel Portman – is a breathtaking example of musical storytelling.

The main theme is a romantic, bittersweet, and haunting motive, airy and distant, which takes us back to a time and place when life was quiet and cheerful, if not completely happy. It at once encompasses the universality of Austen’s work and themes in its broad, sweeping strings, while at the same time capturing the intimate essence of snug, country community in its gentle woodwinds, harp, and quartet components. “Three or four families in a country village is the very thing to work on,” Austen once wrote.

Other themes, most notably the forbodingly driving horns and strings of the “Elton’s Rejection” and “Emma Insults Miss Bates” themes, bring home the very pressing and real horror of Emma’s blind mistakes in contrast to the gentle propriety of the main theme. Paired with the melancholy variation of the Main motive which follows it in “Miss Bates” and “Mr. Knightley Returns,” this “Blunder” Theme comes to signify both her anxious revelations and their wretched aftermath.

“The Dance” also perfectly parallels the emotions played out on-screen. As Mr. Knightley rescues the partnerless Harriet, the small sound of the dancehall ensemble is magnified into a glorious, fully-symphonic triumph.

You can buy this soundtrack through Amazon.com. If you order through this link, we will get a portion of the proceeds. You can get the piano sheet music for the End Titles and Frank Churchill Arrives in a collection of Austen film music (Emma2,S&S, P&P2, and Persuasion). It’s available from Faber Music for about five bucks a set. ISBN 0 571 51793 5.

A fun note – The End Titles track is included in the queue area music loop for the Soarin’ attraction at Walt Disney World’s Epcot park. The piece is not, however, included in the Condor Flats or Soarin’ Over California queue area loops at Disney’s California Adventure at the Disneyland Resort.

Not as Clueless as we thought?

Or perhaps moreso. 😉

Reader Keith just passed along the following from Movieline:


As If?
EXCLUSIVE: Clueless Sequel? Silverstone’s Rep Says No, Heckerling’s Rep Says No Comment

Written by Kyle Buchanan | 28 Apr 2009, 1:30 PM

The seminal 90’s comedy Clueless has certainly spawned some spiritual sequels, but it’s never had an actual one — though that hasn’t stopped rumormongers and wishful thinkers from gossiping about the possibility from time to time. Lately, though, a weirdly specific Star story has spread like wildfire online, claiming that Alicia Silverstone and writer/director Amy Heckerling were spotted in Tarzana (the valley?!) discussing a new chapter in the life of Cher Horowitz. Movieline got in touch with reps for both parties to find out what’s up.

“I have heard nothing about this whatsoever,” said Silverstone’s publicist, Elizabeth Much. “I would certainly be very surprised if this rumor has any truth to it.” Much is an old hand at swatting down Clueless 2 talk — last time she was contacted, erroneous reports were saying that Silverstone had discussed the sequel on Graham Norton’s talk show.

Then, we got in touch with a rep for Heckerling, who was more mysterious: “Officially, no comment.” Does that mean Star had it right, or might Heckerling be looking to leverage this sequel buzz for a career jolt in the wake of her direct-to-DVD I Could Never Be Your Woman? Developing…at least, until we hear that a frantic Brittany Murphy is stalking the streets of Tarzana, desperate to escape the Lifetime movie ghetto.

Thanks, Keith!

Clueless Sequel?

Various sources have been buzzing about a possible Clueless sequel starring Alicia Silverstone, who would reprise her role as Cher Horowitz. According to NZCity, original Clueless director and writer Amy Heckerling has written the screenplay.

Alicia Silverstone’s Clueless sequel
Alicia Silverstone is in negotiations to star in a ‘Clueless’ sequel, 15 years after the original made her famous.

27 April 2009
Alicia Silverstone is to star in a ‘Clueless’ sequel.

The 32-year-old actress is reportedly in talks with Amy Heckerling, the director and writer of the film – which was based on classic English novelist Jane Austen’s ‘Emma’ – that made her famous 15 years ago.

The pair were overheard discussing the new movie while shopping in Tarzana, California, earlier this week.

A source told gossip blogger Perez Hilton: “They were talking about the script they’re working on and how exciting this is for them. It’s been a dream of Alicia’s to bring Cher back to the big screen. Amy is writing it, but Alicia is giving her tons of ideas.”

Alicia hinted she was working on the sequel – reportedly titled ‘Clueless: High School Reunion’ – in an interview with Irish talk show host Graham Norton last November.

The film is rumoured to be going into production at the end of this month.

Alicia was just 18 years old when she shot to fame as Cher Horowitz, a ditzy rich teenager living in Beverly Hills.

Emma 4 filming in Chilham…

There’s video available at the Kentish Express, chronicling the transformation of Chilham into the village of Highbury!

Video: Chilham taken back in time for Jane Austen’s Emma

by Katie Alston

Charming Chilham has been taken back in time for the latest version of Jane Austen’s Emma.

The town square has been chosen as a backdrop for the costume drama which will be shown on BBC One in the autumn.

Keira Knightley’s best friend Romola Garai plays the leading lady, alongside Trainspotting’s Jonny Lee Miller and veteran actor Michael Gambon.

Crews arrived in the village last week to build sets and prepare the area for the start of filming on Tuesday.

They are expected to shoot in the square, in front of the local school, in the churchyard and at the village hall until Saturday.

The area has been transformed into an authentic 19th century setting, with gravel and straw hiding road markings, and burglar alarms being boxed in.

Horse and carts have replaced parked cars, and period costumes worn in place of jeans and jumpers.

With the square cut off from traffic, residents have been forced to leave their cars in the town’s lower carpark.

But to ease safety concerns, 24-hour security has been enlisted to patrol the area and police have assigned an officer to the shoot.

The film crew have also put in provisions to collect residents’ bins on rubbish day and have offered to carry shopping bags from the ca rpark at the bottom of the hill up to the front doors which are now backdrops to the romantic comedy.

Residents were sent letters telling them of filming plans back in January and no objections were raised.

Emma 4 Locations

Here’s an article from YourCanterbury.co.uk about Emma 4 locations:

BBC’s Emma to start filming in Chilham next week

Picturesque Chilham will provide the set for the BBC’s latest costume drama, a four-part serialisation of Jane Austen’s Emma.

Popular with location directors looking for a picture perfect English village, Chilham will stand in for the fictional village of Highbury in Surrey, the setting of Austen’s romantic comedy tale of matchmaking gone awry.

The large scale production, the latest in a series of popular period dramas commissioned by the BBC, will feature veteran actor Michael Gambon as Emma’s neurotic father, and Train Spotting star Johnny Lee Miller as Emma’s friend Mr Knightley.

The title role will be taken by Romola Garai, star of Atonement and Daniel Deronda, and the production also features Green Wing star Tamsin Greig.

The four day shoot starts in Chilham next week when a BBC film crew will transform several streets, the churchyard and the central square into a 19th century village.

A fountain will be constructed in the centre of the square, while roads including Taylor Hill, Church Hill and The Street will be laid with a gravel covering to hide the street markings, with all vehicles removed from the affected area.

Parish councillor Yvonne White said: “It’s very exciting. Chilham is quite often used for filming. Four years ago we had Agatha Christie team filming here, so people are used to a bit of inconvenience.

“But the BBC crews are very good. Generally they compensate people for their trouble and are very accommodating, and try not to disrupt village life too much. Everyone enjoys it really.

“The square is going to be closed to traffic because obviously it has to represent a picture perfect period village.”

First published in December 1815, Emma follows the fortunes of the eponymous heroine as she attempts to set up her friends in love matches that don’t always go to plan.

The novel has been adapted by award-winning writer Sandy Welch, who is responsible for a string of BBC hits including Our Mutual Friend, Jane Eyre, and North And South.

This production will be the first time Emma has been screened as a serialisation since the 1970s.

The novel’s last screen outings were both in 1996 when ITV made a single-episode drama, starring Kate Beckinsale and Mark Strong, while Gwyneth Paltrow starred as Emma in an Oscar-nominated film version by Miramax the same year.

POSTED: 08/04/2009 06:00:00