Amph The Shakespeare Discussion Thread: "Anonymous"

Discussion in 'Community' started by JediNemesis, Sep 14, 2006.

  1. JediNemesis Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2003
    star 4

    Sir Larry

    Works much better if you close your eyes, I find. :p The set's a trifle dated and the wig makes him look like Michael Jackson, but look no further as far as voice is concerned (I didn't know it was possible to roll your Ws . . .) Also possibly the first time I've heard an actor shout properly without losing the rhythm of the verse; he's a little squeaky sometimes, but I blame the video.

    Interestingly, too, the speech is a compound of the actual "Sun of York" soliloquy and Richard's long solo in 3 Henry VI. I'd be most fascinated to learn how often bits of the 3H6 speech are interpolated; they certainly give a good deal more insight into Richard's motives. Plus it's a darn good speech which suffers from being in a relatively obscure play.

    Peter Sellers

    Oh my [face_laugh] If not to heaven, then hand in hand to hell . . . because that's one of the funniest things ever. Not only does he nail Olivier's precise and deliberate style of speaking, it's astonishing how funny a song can be when it's spoken slowly enough to hear the lyrics [face_hypnotized]

    Sir Ian

    Didn't have a chance to watch the clip, but I've seen the movie, and it's great. He's great. May I reiterate how much I'm looking forward to his playing Lear? :p




  2. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    I was hoping to find a clip of Olivier and Claire Bloom, who played Lady Anne; I've heard he did a terrific job of that scene. No such luck; however, I did find the following article on Olivier's amendments and additions to the play.

    McKellen's transposition of the play to the 30's worked astonishingly well in the clips I saw.
  3. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 8
    Olivier's version of Richard III is pretty painful; for all his reputation, the man didn't ever really produce what I would call a perfect or even a near perfect Shakespearean film. Hamlet is a great film in its own right, but its flaws are quite monumental. But compared to Richard III, Hamlet is the Ritz, if you get my drift.

    Olivier's makeup and wig never quite work and strangely the supporting cast let him down; Gielgud is an icon, but he's absolutely off the mark as Clarence (in my opinion). And the film absolutely drags; the final battle seems to go on forever and has no cinematic impact whatsoever.

    McKellen's version is, of course, the definitive film of RIII. The updating works spectacularly and look no further than Nigel Hawthorne for the definitive Clarence and Jim Broadbent as the definitive Buckingham (two characters that were quite butchered in Olivier's version). McKellen's film never drags and he makes several scenes work that really flop in Olivier's. I still remember vividly how absolutely flat the scene where Richard 'reluctantly' accepts the kingship played in Olivier's version; in McKellen's it's hilariously funny and it crackles with menace.

    I'd also highly recommend Pacino's Looking for Richard; Pacino overplays tremendously and the behind the scenes stuff is actuallly more interesting than the scenes from the play, but it's very entertaining and Winona Ryder is a great Lady Anne.

    Saw the RSC clips; I found the actor who was Richard to work quite well. But I fail to grasp why modern takes on Shakespeare have to do things like having Richard wave a tablecloth and conjure Edward with a paper crown and then have Richard bellow "NOW is the winter . . ." while Edward charges across the stage toward him like a lemming over a cliff. I mean, does the text speak or not? I mean, it's called 'theatrics' for a reason, but sometimes it gets a little silly.
  4. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    "Looking for Richard" will go on ze list, along with McKellen's version of Richard III; I am now eager to see the whole thing.
  5. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 8
    Sadly, no, Olivier chooses to squeak like that through the entire movie; one of many choices in that film that . . . well, let's say I'm not entirely sure of the reasoning behind them. :p
  6. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    What surprised me was his distance from the camera. Bit odd.
  7. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 8
    That's something else he maintains through the film; the scene where he and Buckingham work the crowd and he finally accepts the throne is played almost entirely from high angle where you can see the whole crowd.

    We often use 'stagy' as a perjorative, but I think he thought it was a good thing.
  8. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    Olivier never quite mastered screen acting, I think, though obviously he was hot stuff on the stage.
  9. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    Here's Olivier as King Lear, and I note he's far less mannered:

    King Lear

    I liked John Hurt as the Fool...
  10. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 8
    God, that was outstanding. Having found Olivier quite terrible as Richard III and, frankly, a bit off as Hamlet, I have to eat my words regarding his Shakespearean talent.

    This is outstanding and probably the best Olivier I've ever seen; he's very natural and very real, not at all stagy. When the Fool desperately tries to distract him outside the gates, his confusion is heartbreaking and that moment when he falls to the ground weeping . . . I actually teared up. I've never seen anyone deliver that "Let me not be mad" line so beautifully. Wow.

    And the "sterility" speech was fantastic as well.

    As you say, not very mannered; very naturalistic.

    And Hurt is outstanding as the Fool; it's a hard part to play. You have to be silly but keep the seriousness at the front. His delivery of the "Lear's shadow" line was amazing.

    Okay, I'm going to have to watch this movie then . . . Olivier, you have another shot with me and judging from this, he's going to change my mind about him.
  11. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    I thought Dorothy Tutin spoke the verse a little fast...
  12. JediNemesis Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2003
    star 4
    I'll watch the clip in a moment (I'm a touch stuck for time; we've only just got back and there's unpacking and stuff to do) but from Rogue's comment it sounds like it could be interesting.

    Anyways. Ian McKellen was superb as the King, and the supporting cast were fantastic too. The one bum note was Romola Garai; Cordelia's only a tiny part but that doesn't excuse this kind of woodenness. She was upstaged by everyone, including the set [face_plain] She may be more used to film but it really stood out in a production otherwise this good . . .

    I confess to not having read the play before seeing it, so I was completely unprepared for a lot of it. I know the story, but, well . . . "Lear's shadow" . . . Or the stark atheist intellect of Edmund. What a killer of a part. It may partly have been down to his looking like a young Sean Bean (right down to the haircut and the grin) but the actor playing Edmund blew me away. Awesome performance. His name's Philip Winchester, I think; definitely one to watch.
  13. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

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    Nov 2, 2000
    star 8
    Edmund is a great part; absolutely gleeful.
  14. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    A quote from Walter Matthau: "I'd love to work with Barbra Streisand again. In something appropriate. Perhaps Macbeth."

    Ouch!!
  15. darth_frared Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 24, 2005
    star 5
    interesting article about shakespeare and his sonnets here.
  16. topgoalscorer_no11 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 23, 2001
    star 3
    I saw that version King Lear, and would agree that Olivier/Hurt are staggeringly good!

    Also, I saw Love's Labour's Lost at the Globe in London a month or so ago, and in spite of its reputation as one of Shakespeare's least accessible comedies and my unfamiliarity with the material, it was wonderful- not bad for five pounds!
  17. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 8
    Did anybody see the new As You Like It? It was on HBO recently with Kevin Kline and Bryce Dallas Howard. Apparently, updated to feudal Japan. Well, anyway, it had Kevin Kline. :p I was flipping channels the other night and stumbled on it in the middle; didn't watch it, just curious if anyone else did?
  18. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    Damn...I meant to, but often I can't find network stuff locally. :p
  19. Hammurabi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 14, 2007
    star 4
    The new Othello production featuring Chiwetel Ejiofor (and some other guy) is really making me wish there weren't an ocean between me and West End.
  20. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    You and me both. McGregor as Iago sounds wonderful, though he isn't getting the reviews. Ejiofor is, and well deserved.
  21. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    Has anyone seen the movie "Titus"?
  22. Yodas-evil-twin Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2005
    star 5
    No, but I have seen a T.V. movie adaption of Macbeth starring Ian McKellan.
  23. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    Where did you see that? I bet he was great.
  24. Yodas-evil-twin Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2005
    star 5
    We watched it in English class. It's out on DVD and really worth buying.

    Here's a clip.
  25. darkmole Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2000
    star 4
    Titus is a good movie -- one of the very few Shakespeare films worth watching.