All The World's A Stage - the Shakespeare thread

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by JozefK, Apr 23, 2016.

  1. Siegmund

    Siegmund Forum Resident

    Location:
    England, UK
    I remember that series as extremely variable in quality (it ran over a five year period). It will now look very dated and highly un-cinematic. Lots of good performances, though. I recall being very impressed by the Hamlet, the Henry lV/Henry V plays and the (rarely performed) Henry Vlll.
     
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  2. ando here

    ando here Sitting Weed Floating Bull

    Location:
    new york, ny
    If someone ever gave me a definition of what cinematic is supposed to mean I'd go make a lemon souffle. Some of those BBC projects have laughably poor production value but there's conviction and commitment by cast and crew in every one of those films.

    I, too, like Henry VIII and the Henry IV/V productions. And if you can sit through all three parts of the Henry VI series it will reward you in unexpected ways.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2017
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  3. Siegmund

    Siegmund Forum Resident

    Location:
    England, UK

    That was a good one, too, but by that time, I think they'd somewhat washed their hands of the project. No attempt was made at naturalism, unlike in the early days of the series where realism was the word. There was also, obviously, less money being thrown at the screen but the idea of making it into a stage play filmed in the studio seemed to work. The lack of 'names' in the cast also made for a less distracting watch.

    However, if you haven't already, I'd strongly advise you to watch this:

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Wars-Roses...=1505384535&sr=1-3&keywords=wars+of+the+roses

    The RSC's groundbreaking production of the Henry Vl - Richard lll plays, filmed by the BBC in 1965 on the stage of the RST in Stratford. Although it is heavily adapted and contains some 'extra' material by John Barton, the acting and the overall vision behind it set it apart as the finest Shakespeare ever mounted for the small screen. The scene in which Richard of Gloucester (Ian Holm) murders Henry Vl (David Warner) is probably the finest Shakspearean acting I've ever seen.

    I do have some nostalgia for the days when television leaned more towards the theatre than it did to the cinema. Although it requires patience and a refusal to be distracted by dated production values (wigs, false noses, etc), it often repays attention in more substantial ways than today's gleaming, cleverly-shot 'product'.
     
  4. Siegmund

    Siegmund Forum Resident

    Location:
    England, UK
    Poor NTSC quality but it's been remastered for the DVD. I love this - Richard of Gloucester played as he should be played: like a kid in a toyshop! :)

     
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  5. JozefK

    JozefK Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Dixie
    Jim Meskimen performs Clarence's speech from William Shakespeare's Richard III as a number of different celebrities

     
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  6. ando here

    ando here Sitting Weed Floating Bull

    Location:
    new york, ny
    The late Peter Hall directed this production. Of course, I've been familiar with his reputation over the years but I've never considered the extent of his influence. Hopefully this doc will address some of it (just put up on YT):

     
  7. ando here

    ando here Sitting Weed Floating Bull

    Location:
    new york, ny
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    'Tis the season for the bloody Macbeth and his fiend-like queen. Glad to see that the Internet Archive has the Orson Welles 1948 film of Macbeth streaming for posterity. Despite later high profile film productions I keep coming back to this one, not because Welles necessarily sticks to the text (he doesn't) but probably because his Expressionist but sreamlined black and white production does not overwhelm the text, but supports it. Shakespeare still reigns supreme in this one.
     
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  8. The Panda

    The Panda Forum Mutant

    Location:
    Marple, PA, USA
    The Royal Company film of Shrew is 11/5. Can't wait
     
  9. JozefK

    JozefK Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Dixie
    Cambridge University slammed over Shakespeare 'trigger warnings'

    Cambridge University is being slammed by several academics after it was revealed students were given “trigger warnings” about an upcoming lecture on Shakespeare, amid concerns from faculty the students could become distressed.

    Undergraduates were advised in a “Notes on Lectures” document circulated to students that a potentially triggering lecture on Shakespeare’s "Titus Andronicus" and "The Comedy of Errors" would include “discussions of sexual violence” and “sexual assault,” The Telegraph reported Wednesday.

    “If a student of English Literature doesn’t know that 'Titus Andronicus' contains scenes of violence they shouldn’t be on the course,” David Crilly, artistic director at The Cambridge Shakespeare Festival, told the newspaper. “This degree of sensitivity will inevitably curtail academic freedom. If the academic staff are concerned they might say something students find uncomfortable they will avoid doing it.”​
     
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  10. ando here

    ando here Sitting Weed Floating Bull

    Location:
    new york, ny
    Titus Andronucus in any incarnation is tough to sit through, imo. I'm not even sure what the appeal might have been for 16th century London audiences - blood feud dramas were an easy pull I suspect. But Julie Taymor makes it interesting.

    The move by the university seems absurd, inane... pointless. Greek lit - to which nearly every Western academic points - is loaded with blood-letting violence, not to mention The King James Version of The (original Greek and Hebrew) Holy Bible. Is the fire next?
     
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  11. Solaris

    Solaris a bullet in flight

    Location:
    New Orleans, LA
    Jeez, that's a couple of bridges too far. Being "triggered" is what helps you work through things. That and the therapy they so clearly need.

    Also, get off my lawn! :D
     
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  12. ando here

    ando here Sitting Weed Floating Bull

    Location:
    new york, ny
    [​IMG]
    Exited to find this BBC/Ambrose Video of Measure For Measure that I mentioned earlier. It remains my favorite of the BBC series from the 70s.
     
  13. ando here

    ando here Sitting Weed Floating Bull

    Location:
    new york, ny
    Incidentally, eBay has the entire BBC Shakespeare box set (37 discs) on sale for roughly 90 bucks; or you can buy the individual films (in a plan paper sleeve) for less than 2 dollars a piece. Love that.
     
  14. ando here

    ando here Sitting Weed Floating Bull

    Location:
    new york, ny
    Ran across this interview of F. Murray Abraham (Amadeus, Scarface) on TheaterTalk discussing his starring role as Shylock in The Merchant of Venice, which toured the U.S. 6 or 7 years ago. Great insights.



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  15. ando here

    ando here Sitting Weed Floating Bull

    Location:
    new york, ny
    Julius Caesar (1953, J. Mankiewicz)

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    One thing this production does not have (intentionally, anyway) is a sense of humor. Granted, the play lacks it as well, but events are so often so weighty that frequently after Caesar is murdered - and the famous forum speeches from Brutus and Mark Antony - productions of the play drag on til the end. Though the 1953 movie is one of the more remarkable of Shakespeare on film it doesn't really escape this fate. But it's often quite stirring.

    Wide screen streamer
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2017
  16. JozefK

    JozefK Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Dixie
    Gunsmoke
    "Jealousy"
    s2 e39
    (1957)

    When an old friend of Marshall Matt Dillon comes to Dodge City with his new bride, a faro dealer with a grudge against the marshal fills his head with lies about Matt and his wife...

    Hmmmm... I wonder what Shakespeare play this could be based on?



    Matt = Cassio
    Friend = Othello
    Wife = Desdemona
    Dealer = Iago

    No classic but not bad, at least until the fairly ridiculous resolution. Written by Sam Peckinpah.
     
  17. The Panda

    The Panda Forum Mutant

    Location:
    Marple, PA, USA
    It's been many years, but I seem to remember Deborah Kerr was really good.
     
  18. Scopitone

    Scopitone I wanna be Archtop when I grow up

    Location:
    Denver, CO
    I caught the Twilight Zone s4 ep "The Bard" this morning on Syfy. Never seen that one.

    A wannabe writer uses a black magic textbook to conjure up Shakespeare, who helps him write a play. Includes lots of hipster language and some glorious footage from Burt Reynolds essentially playing Brando.
     
  19. danomar

    danomar Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    It was not until a few years ago that I realized Kurosawa's film Ran is essentially King Lear. Unlike King Lear, I like Ran.

     
  20. JozefK

    JozefK Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Dixie
    Throne of Blood = Macbeth

     
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  21. Mr Bass

    Mr Bass Chevelle Ma Belle

    Location:
    Mid Atlantic
    Some of my favorite video versions of Shakespeare:

    Antony and Cleopatra - Richard Johnson Janet Suzman

    One of the few with physically convincing leads

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    Pericles - BBC

    Probably the only video we are likely to see of this play but BBC for once did a pretty good job staging it. The women's parts are finely characterized and the men are good enough. I have seen outstanding stagings in the theater unfortunately never filmed.

    [​IMG]

    Twelfth Night - Helen Bonham Carter, Ben Kingsley

    Really well done film reworking of the play. The setting is movie like but still permits acting true to the stage.

    [​IMG]

    Two Gentlemen of Verona - Royal Shakespeare Company

    An early comedy that Shakespeare returned to many times for plot devices. Quite difficult to bring off . This is well done with young leads.

    [​IMG]
     
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  22. Siegmund

    Siegmund Forum Resident

    Location:
    England, UK

    The problem with the film of Julius Caesar is that Shakespeare's source play just isn't all that good. And it shows.

    I'm not impressed by Brando's performance in it: he seemed to be wishing to make a point, ie that he could make every line ring clear as one in the eye to critics who had criticised his previous 'mumbling' film performances. But, to me, he just comes over as an Olivier imitator.

    Brando was a stage actor for about ten years before films claimed him but, afaia, Mark Antony was only his second (and final) Shakespearean role.
     
  23. ando here

    ando here Sitting Weed Floating Bull

    Location:
    new york, ny
    Other than Shaw's Caesar & Cleopatra I can't think of a better dramatic treatment of the time period/subject. What exactly do you feel the faults of the play are? It's a dramatic display of relationships between men of power and influence and the ways in which they wield them. Cassius is one of the best parts in all of Shakespeare's cannon. Brutus, the other large role in the play, is a far more complex character - and I've yet to see a persuasive portrayal - but the play is full of intriguing characters. Granted, we see a lot of posturing but the drama of politics is inseparable from that form of theatricality.

    A full version of the play, like the following 1979 BBC production, offers a more subtle and rounded experience than the Mankiewicz film:

     
  24. The Panda

    The Panda Forum Mutant

    Location:
    Marple, PA, USA
    Welles' Othello coming here in April. Hot dog!
     
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  25. The Panda

    The Panda Forum Mutant

    Location:
    Marple, PA, USA
    The film of the Royal Company's version was here in the winter. I was in heaven. I'm sure Siegmund has his reasons, but I'd never agree with him. Damn, I love that play.
     
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