Saturday, May 15, 2004

The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare on Film is a string of essays describing the problems involved in adapting what is essentially a thearical form to cinema. It's an academic work and so the writing is quite dry at times and because we have essays we have repetition - how many times you can write about Olivier's 'Richard III'?

There are three essays of note. 'Videos and its paradoxes' looks at the use of video as a study aid, and how the prouctions on show can colour the student's view of the play - so Anthony Hopkins characterisation of Othello in the BBC production is wildly different to Lawrence Fishburne's in the recent film - neither is necessarily correct, but the student might not make that connection.

'Filming Shakespeare;s history: three films of Richard III' offers the best and most honest review of Paccino's 'Looking for Richard' I've read, treating the film on its own merits and not as a version of the actual play. Finally, 'Flambiyant realist: Kenneth Branagh' again tries to re-dress the critical mauling his films have been subjected to - there really isn't anything like the four hour 'Hamlet'. The one disappointment is 'Shakespeare's cinematic offshoots' which looks at adaptations which are re-imaginings of the text. It's cursary, anodine and misses out 'In The Bleak Midwinter' and 'Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead'. Why?


posted 6:39 PM | link |

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The William Shakespeare Weblog is looking for contributions. If you want to comment or follow-up on something which has been mentioned or you have something which you think might of interest to readers please get in touch. We would particularly like to hear from anyone connected with a production of one of Will's plays for a prospective diary feature. Above all else Shakespeare's words are as relevant now as then and its important for this weblog to reflect that.
posted 09/05/2004 | link | email

(c) Stuart Ian Burns 2004

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