Difficulties of Multiculturalism

The BBC's Little Dorrit

I've been meaning to mention this. My wife and I finished it up (it's a 4-dvd set) last weekend, and I recommend it enthusiastically. I can simply repeat what I said a couple of years ago about the BBC's Bleak House, except that in this case I haven't read the book at all, but my wife has, and she says the dramatization is very faithful:

"The BBC still does this sort of thing beautifully. I read the novel decades ago and really didn’t remember it very well, so I can’t evaluate the film’s representation of the book. But taken on its own terms it’s great: stupendously good acting and general production which certainly convince you (or me, anyway) that this is really what Victorian England was like. And of course since it’s Dickens it’s a great story."

Really, I would be hard put to find anything much to criticize about it--perhaps Andy Serkis's comically stereotyped French villain, Rigaud. I kept thinking that the actress who plays Amy Dorrit looked borderline anorexic, but she gives a very convincing and moving performance. 

There is an older BBC Little Dorrit, from 1988, in which Alec Guinness plays William Dorrit, and which Janet says is also very good, better in some ways.


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It's amazing that a young woman who spent her entire life in the poor house would look anorexic. ;-)

I only watched the first couple of episodes of the older version and I think it's more accurate, but as the newer version progressed, I like it better and better.

The older one seems to have been filmed, indeed it MUST have been filmed with an eye towards making every scene look like something painted by the Old Masters. There are a couple of scenes that are exactly like paintings by Vermeer.


Yes, I meant to say something to that effect (about the poorhouse), but my mind wandered, or something. It did occur to me, in response to that thought, to consider that nobody else in the family was undernourished, but that would (could) have been because she slighted herself.

I'll eventually watch the older one, too, I'm sure.

OT - Maclin, there is a slight chance that instead of moving to Edinburgh, we might have the opportunity to live part-time here and part-time in the US. We could choose wherever we wanted to live in the US. We both agree that provided we can get internet access (for Nick's work) we would like to live in the country.

Now, if you could live anywhere in the US where would it be and why?

Also, which state has the "best" climate? (I realise this is subjective, but all input welcome). We would likely live there during the summer.

For various reasons we are considering North Carolina, but it's all pretty theoretical anyway.

Well, the truth is, I can't think of anywhere I'd rather live than where I am. I'm sure there are other places I'd like just as well, but not more. And there are any number of changes I'd like to make here--e.g. stop the bay shore from eroding, have a better house, etc. And I'd love to be able to visit other places, in and out of this country, maybe for extended periods. But move? Nah, not really interested.

Best climate? Patriotism is strong but not strong enough to make me lie: there are good reasons to hate the climate here, although a lot of folks move down from the northeast and midwest to escape the winters.

Any place in the southeast corner of the country, as far north as DC and as far west as west Texas, will have very hot and humid summers, the variation being in its length more than its temp: ours is roughly May-October. (Further west it's even hotter, but dry.) Up in the mountains in North Carolina it's not as bad, and it's also very beautiful there.

You should move here, Louise. Cost of living is low and I have lots of nice homeschool friends. It does get really hot, though.


Sally's little town in NC is very nice, too.


Thanks, Janet. I was going to ask which town, but it may not be appropriate to tell me. Perhaps you could tell me the nearest major city?

Surely California has the best weather? I have a friend who lived in San Diego for a few years, and he swore up and down that it was paradise. Weather-wise, anyway.

Probably so, although some would give the award to northern California.

The British TV miniseries that I'm still waiting for in DVD is the late Seventies serial of Our Mutual Friend. The more recent one, from the 1990s, is great. But the earlier one has a lot of sentimental interest. I was just starting to read Dickens. And it had a very pretty young Jane Seymour as Bella Wilfer.

PS That late Seventies serial of Our Mutual Friend IS available on DVD, but only in PAL format, so far as I know (US is NSTC).

I don't know that novel. I don't think I've read even half of Dickens.

Is this one of the old Masterpiece Theatre series? When I see those now I'm really struck by how cheaply they were produced--no big scenes, fairly plain sets, few exterior shots, very staid camera work. But the writing and acting are great.

I was thinking of California, but then I remembered the surfers and the San Andreas (sp?) Fault and decided "No."

What I want (I'm not fussy) is a place where the weather is a temperate 20C all year round. Except on beach days when I want it at about 30C, low humidity. Thanks.

I was thinking of Northern California too, but to get far enough away from those horrid big cities, you go somewhere that's really in the middle of nowhere. It looks very like Far North Queensland in that respect. If you want to go a respectable distance away from "Brisvegas" (which extends really for hundreds and hundreds of kms up the coast) you end up amid the crocs and no health services.

I'm spoilt here. Here you can be in the country proper (50 acre farms and all that) and yet a mere 30 min drive from the major hospital!

The same could be said of this area, and probably of the vicinity of most medium-sized cities in the U.S. Depending on what you have in mind as "major hospital," I guess. I mean just a fairly big & well-equipped one, not a world-famous one.

North Carolina! Move to North Carolina, Louise!

And I'll tell you: we live in Lincolnton, which is not much of a destination but is nice, just a quiet, largely undiscovered small town. We're about 45 minutes from Charlotte, which is a fairly major city with all the city goodies (which I practically never want badly enough to drive there, but there it is), and 1/2 to 1 hour from very pretty mountains, depending on what part of them you want to go to. It's hot here in the summer, and humid, but that's when we escape to the mountains. The nights here cool down, too, which they don't in Memphis, and that makes the summers seem less brutal.

Cost of living gets higher the closer you get to Charlotte; around here, according to the real-estate agent next door, sales are starting to pick up, but houses are going for a fraction of what they would have cost three years ago. Our town is at the really-rural end of a largely rural county, and lots of our friends live in the country, which is lovely: rolling and green, with mountains visible in the distance.

We have a very nice parish and a priest whom we love. People are friendly. All in all, in the almost-3 years we've lived here, we've been very happy.

But Northern California . . . hmm . . . I really like Northern California . . .

I mean just a fairly big & well-equipped one, not a world-famous one.

That's all we have here in Tas!

Thanks, Sally! If we move to the US, NC is a real possibility and in the country near Charlotte (or perhaps closer to the mountains) is pretty appealing. :)

Moreover, in North Carolina, you get people like this! (warning: fairly disgusting humor toward the end)

But seriously, NC would be an excellent choice--it's got a good mix of good things, including some very beautiful coastline.

Those blokes would make excellent neighbours. :o

Good to hear about the coastline - we live near the water here.

The reason I know about John Boy and Billy is that their show, which originates in NC, is syndicated all over the south. Or were--I used to listen to them sometimes on the way to work, but I haven't heard them for years. They had one character I really enjoyed: Mad Max, who would call up and complain colorfully about almost everything, remarking frequently that "I wish they would just SHUT UP AND QUIT RUINING MY LIFE!"


I thought you would be able to relate to that sentiment.:-)

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