When we first heard that Andrea Arnold was going to be tackling an adaptation of Emily Brontë‘s “Wuthering Heights,” it seemed like an odd fit. Arnold’s previous feature length films “Red Road” and her sophomore, breakout effort “Fish Tank” didn’t exactly suggest that the helmer had it in her for a stodgy, stuffy literary based movie. But then again, Arnold is no ordinary director. Her first decision to shake things up came in casting newcomer James Howson in the lead role of Heathcliff, making him the first black actor to take on the part. And now with the film set to premiere in Venice, our pals over at C7nema have located four brand new clips from the film that show Arnold has clearly put her stamp on Brontë’s material.
The first thing you’ll notice about the clips is the immediacy and urgency of the camera work, one that drops the refined air of previous incarnations and gets right into the thick of the drama. The next you’ll notice is that this doesn’t come at the expense of the look of the film which, like “Fish Tank” before it, retains a strong eye to framing and composition even as it ducks and weaves between the characters. Oh yeah, and finally, we haven’t seen all the adaptations, but we’re pretty sure there wasn’t a sex scene portrayed with such…rawness. Arnold seems to have aimed for the primal emotion of the work with some interesting results.
We’ll have a review from Venice for you after it premieres next week, but until then check out the clips below.