Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Wuthering Heights Reconceptualized

Wuthering Heights (2011) - Arnold

In Pictures:
In this version, Heathcliff is not a gypsy but a very photogenic black boy (played by Solomon Glave and later by James Howson) and the misty Yorkshire moors play huge part. Arnold skips the second half of the book entirely but gets the essence of the unrequited love and digs deep into the psyche of a boy who was scarred by abuse and love early on. Without music and sparse dialog the film is largely told by its visuals.

Emily Brontë's source novel about doomed love between Catherine and Heathcliff on the moor has been done to death. Using her dogma 95 trained economy filmmaking- the mostly handheld, painterly full frame, no artificial light cinematography is accompanied by wind, mud, rain and sun-flare mixed with blood, sweat and tears. Andrea Arnold's Wuthering Heights is, dare I say, much more beautiful than any of Malick's meandering pretty picture shows. It never recovers from its breathtakingly gorgeous first half where young Heathcliff and Cathy run around on the misty moor. You just wish it goes on and on like that.

My Interview with Andrea Arnold

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