Friday Hoyden: Jane Austen Fight Club

For those of you who haven’t already seen it. [Update 2010-08-02: now with transcript (thanks Chally!)]


Fade from black into a shot panning over misty hills. Gentle piano music plays and we transition into a shot looking up into trees. And then down into yellow flowers as a bee flies around to the right.

To black and then two young ladies are walking, arm in arm, through a garden. Pink flowers are to the left of the shot, and, closer to us, yellow flowers are to the right. The woman on the left is in a white bonnet and a blue dress, holding a purple posy. The one on the right is wearing pink and a fascinator and has a smaller white posy.

Lizzie (which, as we will learn, is the name of the lady in pink, and who is smiling as she leans in head in a little towards her companion): I want you to hit me as hard as you can.
Fanny (the one in blue): What?

They stop and turn to each other. Close up of Lizzie, who has a hint of a smile about her features.

Lizzie: Hit me.

Fade to black and a voiceover: Wait. Allow me to begin earlier.

Back again. Then: Fanny and two women just behind her sides look very bored indeed.

VO: For all of us, life had become an endless surrender to propriety. [One of the ladies is sitting at her sewing.] A lady had her duties, [the pianist is shown, head resting on the piano, bored] her expected accomplishments, her polite affections [as Emma, as well will soon know her to be, meets a man passing in a corridor and they greet each other formally] and the primary objective to marry or, for all intents and purposes, perish [as the shot pans from a couple with eyes only for each other to a sad-looking young woman sitting on a couch with a fluffy white dog. The dog jumps down from her lap and her head sinks into her right hand].

Black, and back to the shot of the three women. Lizzie comes down the staircase.

Fanny in VO: She changed everything. [As we return to the opening conversation and Lizzie smiling hugely.]

[More contemporary music starts. Lizzie is making mock jabs at Fanny] Lizzie: Come on! Hit me before I lose my nerve! [Fanny slaps her lightly on the shoulder. Lizzie looks and her shoulder and then contemptuously at Fanny.] Really?

A group of young women, some in dresses and some in long period undergarments, are gathered around in a garden, cheering on a fight between Lizzie and a woman who wins.

VO: It was on the tip of everyone’s tongue…

[Close up of Emma, who raises her hand] Emma: Can I be next?

VO: … she just gave it a name.

[Shot quickly pans to Lizzie.] Lizzie: Ladies. [She slips off her dress to show frilly undergarments] Welcome to Fight Club. [She walks forward, out of shot.]

[Lizzie’s VO begins as there are shots of one of them admiring a bruise on her cheek in the mirror and the sewer from before lowering her sewing from in front of her face, revealing a black eye. She smiles.] VO: The first rule of fight club is one never mentions Fight Club.

Lizzie, walking down a line of fighters standing outside: No corsets, no hatpins, and no crying. [She turns back to give a stern look to someone who looks aside and down, abashed.] If this is your first invitation to Fight Club… [change of shot] you must fight. [She smiles back at them.]

Another fight scene, with the onlookers cheering them on, in which Fanny wins over Lizzie. In another, one fighter swings from a tree to kick another in the chest. In another, a fighter cartwheels to standing and then has her nose twisted. In another, one fighter simply punches another in the face. With that shot, the voiceover starts again…

Fanny VO: After Fight Club, we were inclined to see the world differently. [A shot of one woman playing the piano with her skirts hitched up and a gash on her leg. Lizzie dances in a close and contemporary style with a young man.]

[Fanny is sitting at a table with a young woman who is cutting a cake.] Woman: Is that your blood?

[Fanny glances down at the rose on her dress, which is stained.] Fanny: Oh. Yes. Some of it. [Her companion looks horrified.]

Lizzie VO: You’re going to start a fight with a complete stranger.

Emma walks up to someone with whom she is playing croquet and slaps her lightly. A woman is reading a book as someone walks up behind her and pushes her into a hedge.

Lizzie VO: And you’re going to lose.

One of the fighters is dragged backwards over a lawn, to the right of the shot.

Fade to black as Fanny’s VO continues: We were no longer good society.

The music flares as the young women come down a staircase, the movement jumping forward a little with each surge of the music. Lizzie is at the front. Coloured splotches appear on the screen with the words, in white, ‘IN 1810?.

Lizzie punches someone and something sprays out of the latter’s mouth, shown in slow motion. Next, there is a shot of the women dancing in a very anachronistic style, some on a balcony, some in a front garden. Then a shot of a young woman pulling a young man in towards her. Again the coloured splotches, and the words ‘AND 2011? appear.

Back to a fight as Lizzie gets punched, and a close-up as she thuds to earth. She leans up a little and smiles. Splotches and ‘LIZZIE’. A shot of Fanny smashing her companion’s head into the cake and ‘FANNY’. Emma punches someone in the face, and she is shown with her name, teeth bared. One of the Dashwoods flips the other over as they walk across a lawn, tossing her shoes down the lawn. ‘THE DASHWOODS’ appears amongst splotches with pictures of them both with their fists raised and bruised cheeks. Lizzie, in a faux leopard fur coat, backs away from Fanny, who has her back to us.

Lizzie: In the end you’ll thank me!

She puts on her sunglasses, gestures widely, sharply and defiantly, and turns to walk away.

Indoors, two women confer. One of the women: I suppose they think this will throw them into the path of eligible young men.

…as Fanny is pushed over, only to fall into a young man’s arms very stylishly.

Lizzie is pushed as she walks along with one of the women. Another fight shot. All the while, we have a voiceover from Fanny’s young man:

VO: You’re very clever, aren’t you? How’s that going for you? Being clever […as we see him behind her, talking in her ear.]

A shot of Fanny pulling her companion out of the cake by the hair, and the two women who were conferring, one now laughing and one now drinking tea. A shot of Lizzie and two others looking serious. Lizzie turns her head to her right. Meanwhile, Fanny is looking back.

Fanny: Splendidly.

Lizzie, back in her coat, walks past the one of the conferring women, who is on the balcony holding a cup of tea. She knocks it out of her hand and far onto the lawn.

A splotchy title card appears, with ‘Jane Austen’s’ in a delicate font, followed by ‘Fight Club’ in strong capitals.

Lizzie, post teacup-knocking, throws a punch in the air and walks off before us. Black, and it’s over.

Credits etc:

We were no longer “good society.”

Directed by Emily Janice Card & Keith Paugh
Written by Emily Janice Card
Director of Photography: Keith Paugh
Editing and Visual Effects: Jeff Dickson
Produced by Jeff Dickson, Emily Janice Card, Wendy Crompton
Stunt Choreography: Michelle Crompton
Sound Department: Leslie Paugh & Russell Lloyd
Makeup and Hair: Farrah Walker
Cast: Esther Rawlings, Emily Janice Card, Farrah Walker, Wendy Crompton, Michelle Crompton, Julie Hinton, Jessica Preece, Bonnie Anderson, Tiffany Jordan, Renee Miller, Kristen Hill, Kathryn Kulish, David Axelgard, Travis Morgan


You might also like, from an entirely different source, Mrs Darcy vs The Aliens, Trailer the First and Mrs Darcy vs The Aliens, Trailer the Second – tagline:

The Truth is Out There
(although, sadly, it is not yet universally acknowledged)

Categories: arts & entertainment, fun & hobbies

Tags: ,

6 replies

  1. I thought this was so, so perfect I nearly exploded from squee. Especially the Tyler Durden/Lizzie reveal – I may have punched the air and screamed “F$%^ YES.”

  2. I knew clicking that last link was going to be a bad idea. I’m up to episode 24 and there’s 40 more to go, it’s a good thing we’re having pizza delivered or no-one in the house would be getting fed tonight.

    • I haven’t been game to go past the first couple yet, Mim, but I see that my weekend’s procrastination tool has already been found. Nice one.

  3. I feel kinda bad, but Bunbun watched that and loved it. I’m dutifully not clicking the link though, I’ve got work to do tonight.

  4. Many thanks for the mention of “Mrs Darcy vs The Aliens”. Hope you will stick with it for all 65 (so far) episodes, @mimbles (and please do tell all your friends!)

    • Hi Jonathan – thanks for dropping by – sorry that your comment has got kinda lost because we’re all wearing our election goggles here.
      I’m very much enjoying the episodes so far, and looking forward to more.

%d bloggers like this: