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Emma

Berenson’s ‘The Prisoner’ Strikes a Delicate Balance Between Fear and Paranoia

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In this age of great distrust, when even the most open-armed neighbor turns out to be a blood-thirsty sleeping cell waiting to enact some extremist cause, suspicion becomes the first natural line of defense, a secondary reflex when culture forces us to internalize the prevalence of danger. The Prisoner will feel like a fresh twist. The setting works in reverse, as the choice of story attempts to excoriate layers upon layers of phobia and paranoia. You could even venture to whisper that the story has a cleansing effect. In this case, John Wells, the main protagonist, is a Muslim convert who goes into hiding in the very epicenter of al Qaeda jihadist world, and so to infiltrate ISIS. Even though…

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5 Lines We Loved From Clueless on its 20th Anniversary

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I was 10 years old the first time I watched what has become a cult classic—Clueless—which made stars of Alicia Silverstone and Paul Rudd. July 19 marks the 20th anniversary of this film based on Jane Austen’s novel, Emma. The first time I watched this saccharine-sweet high school flick, I was instantly obsessed. It seemed like styles from the movie instantly began to infiltrate popular culture: I and every girl I knew had a fuzzy feather pen at school, plaid raged in its 90s glory transformed into schoolgirl skirts and crystal chokers adorned trendy girls’ necks. All of that fabulous lingo we’ve come to know and love spouted by the likes of Cher, Amber, Tai and Dionne was overheard in…

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Book Review: Alexander McCall Smith brings Emma into the 21st century

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In her lifetime, Jane Austen gained neither great fame nor fortune from novels that today are considered some of the best in the world. This year marks 200 years since the publication of Austen’s “Emma,” the story of a well-meaning but misguided matchmaker who makes more mischief than marriages. Modern times demand modern celebrations, so what better way to honor this literary jewel than with a charming reimagining of Emma Woodhouse’s story, set in the 21st century. Scottish writer Alexander McCall Smith, beloved for creating irresistible female characters including Mma Ramotswe of the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, offers, for our edification, the delicious Emma: A Modern Retelling (Pantheon, April 7, 2015). Some Janeites may consider such an endeavor an…

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The star wore Prada: How great fashion can save a lackluster film

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Any book lover has had the unique experience of watching one of your favorite novels come to life on the big screen. It’s a moment filled with fear that the story will be butchered, forever tainting your view of the book, and awe that you’re finally seeing something you’ve only ever pictured in your mind. I’ve watched some truly awful adaptations of my favorite books (I’m looking at you, The Time Traveler’s Wife) and some truly amazing ones (hello, Princess Bride). But sometimes the beauty of a movie can triumph regardless of what’s happening in the story. A character will put on a certain dress or suit and make a scene pop in a way that didn’t seem possible in…

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