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Even if you don't believe that he wrote all those plays let's talk about his best film adaptations and anything else William Shakespearean.

Members: 10
Latest Activity: May 31

Discussion Forum

Hamlet 30 Replies

Hamlet is Shakespeare's longest play and among the most powerful and influential…Continue

Started by Ando. Last reply by Ando May 18.

Macbeth 8 Replies

Macbeth is a much…Continue

Started by Ando. Last reply by Ando Feb 25.

King Lear 3 Replies

In 1971 Peter Brook & Company presented a staggering King Lear. It's really the only Lear I return to time and again to marvel and sneer. Paul Scofield is the most truculently…Continue

Started by Ando. Last reply by Ando Jan 30.

Henry V 21 Replies

The Olivier version is my favorite but Branagh makes a credible Harry. Branagh claimed that the film, Platoon,…Continue

Started by Ando. Last reply by Ando Jan 29.

Measure for Measure 2 Replies

Before I even dive into a discussion the poster art on the play, alone, is worth a dedicated thread...…Continue

Started by Ando. Last reply by Ando Jan 18.

Julius Caesar 38 Replies

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Started by Ando. Last reply by Ando Dec 30, 2014.

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Comment by Ando on March 12, 2012 at 7:14pm

Tom Stoppoard's film (based on his play) about the two hapless minor character school chums of Shakespeare's Hamlet is currently on Instant Watch.

Comment by Ando on March 11, 2012 at 7:38pm

Wish I hadn't read that The Substance of Fire is a kind of contemporary King Lear story. But I did. Without that foreknowledge, though, the film would probably have had far less resonance (made less sense) than it did. Here are Ron Rifkin, who plays the patriarch, Isaac Geldhart and the playwright/screenwriter, Jon Robin Baitz taped back in '96.


Comment by Sevorin on March 5, 2012 at 4:45am

Thanx for the Shapiro interview.

He makes a point that I've argued elsewhere -- often feeling like Vanzetti standing on street-corners talking to scorning man -- that whatever other experience or background one attributes to Shakespeare, he must have been a professional playwright -- a guy who worked with actors day in and day out, even inserting the names of members of his cast, which a lordly snoot like Oxford would never have done.

Comment by Ando on March 5, 2012 at 3:58am

Columbia University Professor James Shapiro on "Who Wrote Shakespeare?":

Comment by Ando on March 3, 2012 at 10:32pm

Could Shakespeare have been a woman? Viginia Woolf considers that possibility:

 

Comment by Ando on March 3, 2012 at 4:31pm

Akira Kurosawa's Hamlet film, The Bad Sleep Well, (another good one, JS!) jettisons the narrative details of the play but stays true the character's central dilemma.

 

 

Kurosawa & his crew discuss the making of the film:

 

Comment by Ando on March 1, 2012 at 2:40pm

Currently on Showtime (On Demand as well) -

Comment by Just Gus on February 29, 2012 at 7:04am

Comment by Ando on February 26, 2012 at 10:36pm

When you're considering a writer as prolific as William Shakespeare and the relatively small number of films that claim to be adaptations the only "must see" is "must see more". I tend to like the more imaginative takes on his plays like Peter Greenway's Prospero's Books, Akira Kurosawa's Ran and Peter Brook's King Lear. One of the best of the filmed stage plays in the BBC/Ambrose Video Shakespeare series, as Sevorin alluded to, is their Henry VI trilogy: with hilariously cheap set designs and clunky direction the ensemble nevertheless manages to give an incredible performance (similar to what The Globe performances must have been like) of this seldom produced triad.

Comment by Sevorin on February 26, 2012 at 7:20pm

Olivier's Richard III and Othello are definitive, though the latter is more a filmed stage play.

 

His Henry V is enjoyable if you're in the right mood, but a lot of it has not stood up so well. The final moment -- when we're thrust from the real world back into the Globe -- is still a joy, however.

I have come to despise Branagh's Shakespearean productions, but part of his Henry V is worthwhile.

Branagh's Much Ado About Nothing suffers from his wretched hand, but Emma Thompson is a wonderful Beatrice.

Nigel Hawthorne is an adept Malvolio in Twelfth Night. And if you're not too demanding when it comes to cuts and edits, Zefferelli's The Taming of the Shrew is a glorious testament to the screen power of Burton and Taylor.

I enjoyed the Mel Gibson Hamlet, though so much of it was cut and re-arranged that I wondered whether i was getting Hamlet at all. He delivers some nifty line readings, though, such as, "Words, words, words . . ."

Really, though, you'd be better off chasing down the television productions on DVD that are available through your local library. The BBC did all the plays, some better than others. I especially recommend its version of Much Ado About Nothing  with Robert Lindsay and Cherie Lunghi.

 

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