Discussion in 'Community' started by JediNemesis, Sep 14, 2006.
I suspect they made changes...?
Well I'm taking an upper div Shakespeare class right now, and I love Shakespeare, so it's gotten me into the mood of watching a bunch of Shakespeare films as well...
Recently I watched Henry V (1989). I first saw this film in school when I was about 15. It had me at hello It was the first Kenneth Branagh film I'd seen and I was not prepared for how awesome he would be both as actor and director. But I hadn't seen it in ages, and I'm taking a Shakespeare course right now. So I rented it and watched it tonight to see if it held up to the glowing reviews of my teenage years.
It was even better than I'd remembered. Probably because I've now seen/read more of the surrounding histories, so the backstory is deeper to me. But also just because it's a damn fine movie. Not just a good adaptation, or a good "play" movie, an extremely good movie overall. It's staggering to think that Branagh could, at 28, create such a great work of art with such an amazing cast and get Oscar nods for Best Actor AND Best Director with a 9 million dollar budget when he had never directed a film before and had no training in it!
I honestly believe this is one of the best films ever made. In my top 20, for sure. I need to get my own copy. Also, the music is absolutely brilliant, particularly the theme for the Crispan's Day speech. And that long tracking shot as Branagh carries young Christian Bale through the muddy, blood-soaked battlefield is a thing of wonders, maybe in my top 5 scenes of all time. The more I learn deeply about Shakespeare, the more I adore and admire Branagh's work.
-sj loves kevin spacey
I haven't seen this one. Have you seen the Olivier version?
There's a new TV version of "Othello" tonight, for those who get CBC.
Found the Shakespeare Thread.
Tonight on PBS:
Great Performances: King Lear
"Sir Ian McKellen plays the titular king in this Royal Shakespearean production, allegedly about power and betrayal, but really about some insane real estate.*check local listings"
And miss Motown night on American Idol? That's asking a lot.
Good for your soul.
I haven't gotten around to ever watching a filmed version of Lear; I think I need too. It's the most difficult of the tragedies to read, I think. Some of the scenes are almost impossible to follow.
I've heard this production is amazing. They did cut the nude scene though.
I recently read an essay for my Lord of the Rings class that compared Theoden to King Lear. I don't remember the title atm, but it was pretty interesting.
Theoden is definitely a take on Lear.
I studied King Lear in HS, loved it. Though these sort of things are very rarely on TV here.
It was years for me between reading the play and finally seeing a stage production.
Saw this in person, when it was touring the UK - the nude scene was quite amusing.
"King Lear" is the most nihilistic of the tragedies, no question.
Shakespeare had two daughters, too.
Started reading the Tempest, my first Shakespeare comedy. Quite good so far, though some very strange story elements. Discuss if you've read it.
I think The Tempest is my least favorite of the plays I've read (I've read all the tragedies, Richard III of the histories, and this one and Much Ado About Nothing from the comedies).
I just don't feel that Prospero is much of a character; he's too literally all powerful to be at all interesting or engaging. When a character has that much power there's simply no energy or real drama; and its lesser in its prose. That incredible "rounded with a sleep" passage is probably the only strictly great piece of writing in the play.
I've read it twice, seen it performed once. Just dislike it. It feels pretty experimental, really; some scholars theorize that Shakespeare had taken licks for breaking the rules of theater as far as jumping through time and space too freely, so he wrote The Tempest in order to satisfy a strict reading of the "one location-short period of time" theory. I have no clue whether this is at all true, but it just doesn't seem to have the energy or the life of the other plays I've read.
On a related note, I saw, not long ago, a local university production of Richard III, updated to modern day corporate America. Richard, turned oddly but brilliantly, into a female character manuevers to take over the corporation led by her father. It was, strangely, absolutely brilliant; it was just a local production, but the gender switch really worked beautifully. And I think the actor who played Buckingham, who was pretty bad as Prospero in the production of The Tempest I saw, gave something like a definitive performance; I think I won't be able to shake Buckingham as a yuppie middle manager. That's somehow absolutely perfect. It was absolutely enthralling.
On another related note, I'm reading Bloom's Western Canon; I don't always have affinity for Bloom, but his chapter on Shakespeare is brilliant. He elevates King Lear to the absolute center of the canon; it is the pinnacle, in his terms, of all literature to that point and the wellspring of all literature sense. I'd maybe put Hamlet up there ahead of Lear (Bloom puts it just behind) but the chapter on the plays of Shakespeare and their centrality to our way of writing, reading, thinking and living is just brilliant.
Long. Post. Sorry.
I'd like to see that gender switch, no question.
[link=http://www.theonion.com/content/news/unconventional_director_sets]Unconventional Director Sets Shakespeare Play in Time, Place Shakespeare Intended[/link]
This is maybe my favorite Onion article of all time, perfectly lampooning the 'update' tendency.
Nah, the one about God holding a press conference to clarify 'Thou Shalt Not Kill' after 9/11 is the best of all time.
But yeah, that one had me on the floor.
[link=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=loDMRzPiCic]Brian Cox Gives a Shakespearean Master Class to a very unlikely Recipient[/link]
Got my claws on "Contested Will", James Shapiro's new book on the disputes on Shakespeare's authorship. It is fascinating.
9-11PM* | PBS | SEASON PREMIERE
Great Performances: Macbeth
"The brilliant Patrick Stewart stars in a TV adaptation of the Shakespeare tragedy that he performed to raves in both New York and London."
The Scottish play! At least he's got the right last name.
I love Macbeth and was in a production of it this summer. Stewart may be a little old though...
Olivier's stab (le mot juste, I think) at "Othello" is on TCM Saturday.