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Thread: Enola Holmes

  1. #1
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    Enola Holmes


    Millie Bobby Brown on becoming a Victorian 'wild child' in Enola Holmes

    Starring as Sherlock Holmes' sleuthing little sister, Brown also produced the Netflix film — and did her own stunts! "I feel like this is my baby," she says.
    By Mary Sollosi September 07, 2020 at 08:30 AM EDT

    Elementary this isn't, dear Watson: Millie Bobby Brown is taking sleuthing up to the high school level. The Stranger Things star puts a teenage twist on the tales of English literature's most famous detective as the title character in Enola Holmes (out Sept. 23), Netflix's film adaptation of Nancy Springer's YA series following the capers of Sherlock's spirited little sister (an invention of Springer's outside Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's canon), who shares the family talent for the art of deduction.

    While her big brothers Sherlock (Henry Cavill) and Mycroft (Sam Claflin) have famed adventures in London, Enola enjoys an idyllic — if unconventional — upbringing in the countryside, where her free-thinking mother, Eudoria (Helena Bonham Carter), schools her in all disciplines except how to become a proper Victorian lady. When Eudoria mysteriously disappears and Mycroft insists on sending his untamed younger sister to finishing school, Enola runs away to find her mother — and her own future.

    "That's when we really begin the coming-of-age story," says Brown, starring at last in a Netflix offering that allows her to speak in her native English accent. "Who is she, who is Enola Holmes, what does she stand for, what does she believe in? She was so confident, and yet can be so innocent and really not knowing of her future, which is like every teenager at this time in their life."


    Enola Holmes
    ILLUSTRATION BY MERCEDES DEBELLARD FOR EW

    She lacks street smarts, but Enola finds her way in the big city by putting her mother's unorthodox lessons — including in the martial arts — to good use. "I 100 percent wanted to do all my stunts," says Brown, who had never done action on this scale before. "I don't want to make anything easy for myself!"

    To prepare for fight scenes in alleyways and a London teahouse, Brown trained for nearly two months, both in and out of her cumbersome period costume. "I [had to] prepare my body to breathe and to move in the corset," she says. "It's hard navigating the choreography that you've learnt so well in your trainers and your leggings and then switching up and putting an underskirt on, a skirt over that, a corset, then you have your petticoat, then you have your long socks, then you have your heels…"

    Brown's sister first brought Springer's novels to her attention, and "the story grabbed me and took me on an adventure the moment I opened the book." Inspired to see the project all the way through, the actress also picked up her first producing credit on the Harry Bradbeer-directed film. "I knew I wanted to do this. I knew I wanted to creatively take part," she says. "I feel like this is my baby."


    ENOLA HOLMES
    ROBERT VIGLASKI/NETFLIX

    Carrying a whole feature in the title role marks another first for the 16-year-old star. "On Stranger Things, with like 20 to 30 cast members, everyone gets their limelight," says Brown, who filmed Enola last summer after wrapping her third season of playing Eleven. "So walking onto the set and feeling genuinely empowered and feeling like I'd been given this platform was such an amazing opportunity, especially as a young girl." It's the kind of chance that would never be afforded to her 19th-century counterpart, brilliant though she is, which the film addresses when Enola leaves the intellectual utopia of her mother's household for the huge, unforgiving city. "We bring a certain sense of positivity and humor to it, but at the end of the day, [the film] is centered around equality," she says.

    That message will likely resonate with Brown's young, rabid Stranger fan base, though they have over a century on the Victorian teen. "What they call [Enola] in the film is a 'wild child,' but really, she's just fighting for her rights," Brown continues. "The film is based upon these pretty traditional men — and these wild women."
    Will she be doing Bartitsu?
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  2. #2
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    I meant Suffrajitsu

    SEPTEMBER 24, 2020
    The Martial Arts of “Enola Holmes”


    Enola Holmes: Netflix Poster With Millie Bobby Brown Teases New Mystery | Collider
    The new Netflix movie Enola Holmes stars Stranger Things actress Millie Bobby Brown in the title role as Sherlock Holmes’ younger sister. Based on the popular book series by Nancy Springer, the movie is the first mainstream production to feature suffrajitsu-style action as a major plot point (not counting the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it self-defence training scene in the 2015 movie Suffragette).

    The first martial arts shout-out comes very early in the film. During a montage in which Enola admiringly describes her famous older brother’s many talents, viewers are treated to a cute animation based on Bartitsu founder E.W. Barton-Wright’s 1901 “Self Defence with a Walking Stick” article.

    Bartitsu (or “baritsu”, as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle rendered it) was immortalised in Doyle’s 1903 short story The Adventure of the Empty House, in which Holmes explains that he’d used the art to defeat his arch-nemesis, Professor Moriarty, during their infamous battle at the brink of the Reichenbach Waterfall. The animation is especially notable in that Barton-Wright’s face has been replaced with that of Superman/The Witcher star Henry Cavill, who plays Sherlock Holmes.



    Having absconded from the Holmes family estate in search of their mysteriously missing radical suffragette mother Eudoria (played by Helena Bonham Carter), Enola makes her way to London where her investigations lead her to a women’s jiujitsu class taught by Edith Grayston (Susan Wokoma). Edith’s first name is clearly inspired by that of Edith Garrud, who was the first female professional jiujitsu instructor in the western world. It’s worth noting that Helena Bonham Carter’s character in Suffragette, self-defence instructor Edith Ellyn, was also named in honour of Mrs. Garrud, at the actresses’ own request. Enola Holmes is, thus, the second film in which Carter has been cast as a jiujitsu-fighting suffragette!



    Allowing for the artistic license of portraying a women-only Japanese martial arts class in London during the year 1900 – the Bartitsu Club was open for business then and did offer women’s classes, but it would be another nine years before Edith Garrud started her “Suffragette Self Defence Club” – the class itself is highly accurate. The trainees’ uniforms are period-accurate hybrids of Japanese martial arts do-gi and Edwardian ladies’ physical culture kit and even the mats on the floor are typical of the quilted style used in circa 1900 gymnasia. The techniques being practiced by the jiujitsu trainees in the background of this scene are also entirely plausible for this time and place.

    Retiring to the school’s office, Edith and Enola engage in a wary parlay – Edith clearly knows much more about Eudoria Holmes’ whereabouts that she’s prepared to reveal – and an impromptu, semi-playful physical challenge during which the frustrated Enola attempts a takedown nicknamed the “corkscrew”. This occasions another quick pictorial interlude, featuring a section of a (fictional) book titled Jujutsu: The Martial Art, whose cover may well have been inspired by the (real) Fine Art of Jujutsu, which was written by Emily Diana Watts in 1906.



    We’re treated to a quick riff through the pages – which are montages of photographs from actual early 20th century jiujitsu magazine articles – and then a step-by-step guide to performing the corkscrew manoeuvre, which will clearly be significant later on in the story.



    After some further skullduggery, Enola finds herself engaged in a desperate back-alley fight with walking-stick wielding assassin Linthorn (Burn Gorman) who is stalking her friend, the young Viscount Tewskbury, Marquess of Basilwether (Louis Partridge). This is, by far, the movie’s most elaborate and spectacular fight scene, well-choreographed by stunt co-ordinator Jo McLaren:

    continued next post
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  3. #3
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    continued from previous post


    Although Enola again fails in attempting the corkscrew technique during this encounter, the astute viewer suspects that she’ll pull it off in the end … which is exactly what happens when, after many more machinations, she finds herself again at a disadvantage in taking on the same assassin, this time in the shadowy hallway of Viscount Tewksbury’s family manor:



    Having rescued the hapless Tewksbury, it only remains for Enola to solve the Mystery of the Missing Mother – which does happen, after a fashion, though we suspect that there is more to discover in that regard during the inevitable and welcome sequel.

    In the meantime, here’s a featurette on the fight scenes of Enola Holmes:

    EDWARDIAN AMAZONS: THE ENGLISH SUFFRAGETTE
    by Lori Ann White

    Threads
    Enola-Holmes
    Suffrajitsu
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

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