Fast-Acting Armitage Effect and Two Upcoming BBC “Great Expectations” Projects

My favorite episode of Robin Hood Season 3 is “A Dangerous Deal” (YT link) where Guy encounters a young woman named Meg in the dungeon.

Once her disdain gives way to sympathy due to some fast-acting Armitage effect, Meg falls in love with Guy and rescues him from imprisonment and death. In turn, she reminds him of what he thought Marian once was: the one person who cared whether he lived or died.

Mortally wounded in the chaos of their escape, Meg dies in Guy’s arms on a misty riverside bank. Before she dies, he acquiesces to her last request and gives her a chaste kiss. What a way to go.

The actress who plays Meg, Holliday Grainger, had played Armitage’s stepdaughter in Sparkhouse.

Grainger has recently been cast as Estella in the upcoming BBC Films adaptation of Great Expectations, which Mike Newell will direct. Relatively unknown actor Jeremy Irvine will be PipRalph Fiennes will be Magwitch, and Helena Bonham-Carter will continue her witchy ways as Miss Havisham.

Today, Variety announced that, oddly enough, there will also be a BBC television production of Great Expectations with Gillian Anderson as Miss Havisham. PBS has scheduled this Masterpiece release for April 2012 for U.S. audiences. No word yet on Estella or Pip casting.

I am fond of the gorgeously green Alfonso Cuaron adaptation from the ’90s, despite the unconvincingly contemporization of the story and overwrought acting. I love the look of the film. Cuaron attired the actors in various shades of green and used the lush environment of Florida to create an otherworldly setting for the story. It’s no wonder that Cuaron directed the most “magical” Harry Potter film in the series—Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. (Coincidentally, Newell directed the next Harry Potter film in the series, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.)

In Cuaron’s version of Great Expectations, Finn (aka Pip) is a blue-collar fisherman and amateur artist who comes to New York due to the patronage of a mysterious benefactor. For Finn’s work, Italian painter Francesco Clemente created original art for the film. His striking portraits of the characters are the centerpiece of Finn’s art show.

The film soundtrack features the enchanting song “Life in Mono” by Mono, “Siren,” an original track by Tori Amos, and a beautiful score by Patrick Doyle.

The “Kissing in the Rain” scene is the highlight of the film, particularly because of Doyle’s music (the track shows up in many YT kissing fanvideos). I can’t find it on YT in English, but all you need to know is that Estella leaves a black-tie gala event and Finn chases after her and interrupts her dinner date by asking her to dance.

Note the green elements: the carpet at the gala venue, the columns, the tea lights in the restaurant, the attire of the other customers.

A “Northern Lad”: Tori Amos and Richard Armitage

While watching North and South, I kept hearing the song “Northern Lad” by Tori Amos when John Thornton showed up (Had a Northern lad. . .well not exactly had). Then I started watching Spooks and the same thing happened when Lucas of North showed up.

Like Armitage, Amos was born on August 22 (We’re a birthday trifecta!). When she lives in England, she’s a southwestern girl and resides in Cornwall.

As a child, Amos was a piano prodigy and won a full scholarship to study at the Peabody Conservatory of Music. Her breakthrough song was “Silent All These Years” and she has been Grammy-nominated five times for “Best Alternative Music Album.” She has a dedicated following of fans and I never pass up an opportunity to see her in concert; her ability to transform her songs into electrically emotional and sensual performance is mesmerizing. The setlist changes every night and her song selection spans the entirety of her career, including rarities and covers.

From Amos’s fourth album From the Choirgirl Hotel, “Northern Lad” is rumored to be about Amos’s English husband Mark and its baking imagery suggests that it is part of a sequence of songs including “Baker Baker” from Under the Pink and “Cooling” from the Boys for Pele era.

“Cooling” is one of my favorite Amos songs.

Favorite lyrics:

and I heard every word
that you have said
and I know I have been
driven like the snow

but this is cooling
faster than I can
faster than I can
this is cooling
this is cooling

Entire lyrics:

baker baker baking a cake
make me a day
make me whole again
and I wonder what’s in a day
what’s in your cake this time

I guess you heard he’s gone to L.A.
he says that behind my eyes I’m hiding
and he tells me I pushed him away
that my heart’s been hard to find

there must be something here
there must be something here

baker baker can you explain
if truly his heart was made of icing
and I wonder how mine could taste
maybe we could change his mind

 I know you’re late for your next parade
you came to make sure that I’m not running
well I ran from him in all kinds of ways
guess it was his turn this time

thought I’d make friends with time
thought we’d be flying
maybe not this time

baker baker baking a cake
make me a day
make me whole again
and I wonder if he’s ok
if you see him say hi

Favorite lyrics:

had a northern lad
well not exactly had
he moved like the sunset
god who painted that
first he loved my accent
how his knees could bend
I thought we’d be ok
me and my molasses
but I feel something is wrong
but I feel this cake just isn’t done
don’t say that you don’t
and if you could see me now
said if you could see me now
girls you’ve got to know
when it’s time to turn the page

Sarah McLachlan is Bringing Lilith Back

the goddess known as Sarah

We can stop feeling sad over those ASPCA commercials with Sarah McLachlan.

From Sarah’s official website:

Lilith Fair 2010!

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009 We are happy to officially announce the long awaited return of Lilith Fair in the summer of 2010. Please stay tuned for more details on the festival and other Sarah news.

Fingers crossed for a new Sarah album of non-holiday songs! Sarah is now a single mother of two and is sure to very busy.

My 2010 Lilith Fair line-up requests –

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