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Cary Fukunaga’s ‘Jane Eyre’

We talk with the young director, Cary Fukunaga, about his moving new interpretation of the Charlotte Bronte classic, Jane Eyre.

Charlotte Bronte’s “Jane Eyre” was a hit in 1847, and it’s never lost its pull.

The story – and love story- of the poor, obscure, plain young woman, Jane, who refused to live without soul and heart and dignity in a time when all three were so vulnerable, especially for a woman.

Hollywood loves this story, and its setting on the windswept moors. It’s been put on film 18 times in a hundred years.

Director Cary Fukunaga

Now, the hot young indie director Cary Fukunaga takes his turn. And it’s terrific.

This hour, On Point: we talk with director Cary Fukunaga about his compelling new “Jane Eyre.”



Cary Fukunaga, director of the new film “Jane Eyre,” which opens in some cities tomorrow, and nationwide next Friday.  He also wrote and directed “Sin Nombre,” a critically acclaimed film about Central Americans immigrants en route to the U.S.



Behind the scenes of Cary Fukunaga’s “Jane Eyre”:

Take a look at Cary Fukunaga’s last film “Sin Nombre”:

Excerpt: “Jane Eyre,” (Second Edition, 1847)
By Charlotte Bronte


A preface to the first edition of ‘Jane Eyre’ being unnecessary, I gave none: this second edition demands a few words both of acknowledgement and miscellaneous remark.

My thanks are due in three quarters.

To the Public, for the indulgent ear it has inclined to a plain tale with few pretensions.

To the Press, for the fair fields its honest suffrage has opened to an obscure aspirant.

To my Publishers, for the aid their tact, their energy, their practical sense, and frank liberality have afforded an unknown and unrecommended Author.

The Press and the Public are but vague personifications for me, and I must thank them in vague terms; but my Publishers are definite: so are certain generous critics who have encouraged me as only large-hearted and high-minded men know how to encourage a struggling stranger; to them, i.e. to my Publishers and the select Reviewers, I say cordially, Gentleman, I thank you from my heart.

Having thus acknowledged what I owe those who have aided and approved me, I turn to another class; a small one, so far as I know, but not, therefore, to be overlooked. I mean the timorous or carping few who doubt the tendency of such books as ‘Jane Eyre:’ in whose eyes whatever is unusual is wrong; whose ears detect in each protest against bigotry – that parent of crime – an insult to piety, that regent of God on earth. I would suggest to such doubters certain obvious distinctions; I would remind them of certain simple truths.

Conventionality is not morality. Self-righteousness is not religion. To attack the first is not to assail the last. To pluck the mask from the face of the Pharisee, is not to lift an impious hand to the Crown of Thorns.

These things and deeds are diametrically opposed: they are as distinct as is vice from virtue. Men too often confound them; they should not be confounded: appearance should not be mistaken for truth; narrow human doctrines, that only tend to elate and magnify a few, should not be substituted for the world-redeeming creed of Christ. There is – I repeat it – a difference; and it is a good, and not a bad action to mark broadly and clearly the line of separation between them.

The world may not like to see these ideas dissevered, for it has been accustomed to blend them; finding it convenient to make external show pass for sterling worth – to let white-washed walls vouch for clean shrines. It may hate him who dares scrutinize and expose – to raise the gilding, and show base metal under it – to penetrate the sepulcher, and reveal charnel relics: but hate as it will, it is indebted to him.

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  • Elisabeth

    Please ask the director if they read the counter point to Jane Eyre – The Wide Saragasso Sea by Jean Rhys. This is the other side of the western european romance story with a focus on the story of mad woman in the attic – the narrative of the tragic mulatta.

  • g, Buffalo

    What the director just said resonates so strongly with me and I hope many women and men out there. Not willing to stay with someone you love when that relationship is wrong and having the will power to leave. Self-respect, self-love and strong willpower.

    I have been in bad relationships. They ended, all badly. The last relationship I left, because it wasn’t the right relationship. He didn’t respect me. And everyone around me thinks that I didn’t love him because I didn’t stick around and tried to change myself, him or the situation.
    No, I chose to be alone than to be in a bad relationship.
    It took me years to get here. I wish I had that kind of wisdom at 18. :)

  • Ellen Dibble

    Think of love as a high wind, and then Jane Eyre trying to sail in this high wind with a steady hand. What is against her? Mostly, I think, that need for love, probably intensified by the lack of insulation (peers, family). There is an all-or-nothing framework. Does Charlotte Bronte show other parts of Jane’s world being possibilities? Barely enough to say there are no other practical alternatives to this inappropriate (older, employer) one.
    Do women always write about being reasonable against the currents of passion? And if one is finally convinced the heroine was right and struck the correct balance between passion and reason, with both coming out triumphant, then what happens?
    The sequel is not up for discussion. But Charlotte Bronte DID marry, herself. She alone of the sisters. Happily, I believe.

  • Ellen Dibble

    Jane Eyre, the book, depicts evil as insanity, the crazy wife in the attic, whose fiery death is of mythic proportions. The 19th century view of insanity might have been just that, and Charlotte Bronte was accepting that. I am wondering how Fukunaga depicts this view of evil, or of the mad wife in the attic.

  • Vlasta Vranjes

    Jean Rhys was a woman…


  • Ellen Dibble

    OMG, Charlotte Bronte’s father must have been rolling over in his grave when she let loose with the introduction Tom is reading, about self-righteousness not being morality. The book is a cautionary tale about snap judgments. It is about forgiveness of self and other, about error and redemption, all that.

  • Pingback: Jane Eyre, the Movie (2011) « Raven-ous!

  • Hammy

    This is the most boring and inaccurate conversation ever. My friend, who is a Jane Eyre obsessed, is sitting here, bored to hell. You people are quoting pointless parts and missing the point of the story. This director is so unqualified to speak about this. JEAN RHYS IS A WOMAN!

  • Smildito73

    Horrors. Jean Rhys is not a “he” but a “she”!

  • Vickels

    when the heck will a woman make this film about a woman written by a woman?

  • Pingback: Jane Eyre: A Self-Styled Woman « the self-styled life

  • Nancy Edmunds

    I listen to Tom faithfully, but missed this show until today. There were THREE Bronte sisters; Charlotte would be delighted that Tom has contriubuted to the eradication of Anne from literary history. Anne wrote Agnes Gray and The Tenent of Wildfell Hall, and was the only sister who worked as a governess for more than a year. Very, very disappointing. No response to the observations listed here, Tom?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cristina-Weber/100002919574563 Cristina Weber

    I think
    that it is a virtuous endeavor to vindicate a difficult subject.seofixes

  • sorketeclor

    I agree with many of these points, but many marketers make incorrect assumptions about the strategy Birthstone Charms, messaging and emotional connections that will resonate with their target audience.

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