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Rumpus Film Writer Nicholas Rombes took up the cause of Jane Eyre recently in the column “Into the Splice” in Filmmaker Magazine. Why did plain Jane need his help? Because, as Rombes relates, she was being assaulted by a bored audience member with a Blackberry.  This less-than-charming lady, he writes, would “sigh heavily, throwing her head back. When she wasn’t doing this, she was answering her phone calls (at least twice), fidgeting in her seat, or stretching her arms above her head.” This interruption provides the context for a fascinating piece on (1) Rombes’ love of the film, and (2) his anger at being brought out of his fictional reverie. He explains:

What I objected to most about the woman in front was that she had brought elements of the contemporary world—her BlackBerry—into the time-capsule of the film’s world. … for the duration of Jane Eyre, I wished to enter as fully as possible the fiction of the past. I hated the hellish light emanating from her BlackBerry because it reminded me that, for all I knew, the actress who portrayed Jane Eyre on the screen might very well have had—at the very moment she almost-but-did-not-kiss Rochester—a BlackBerry of her own tucked beneath her period-specific nightclothes. It’s too easy to wax poetic about the importance of solitude. This is not about solitude. It’s about the importance of fantasy in a reality-based, real-time culture, governed by corporations who promote inattention as a valuable commodity.