Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by JozefK, Apr 23, 2016.
The full Shakespeare in the Shadows in 30 minutes long.
I love this version of Hamlet, the graveyard scene with Billy Crystal is wonderful,
A bit off topic.....but thought it might be of interest
No, I haven't seen the clip you posted. I'll have to investigate. Thanks for the reading group info (in advance)!
Shakespeare and The Australians
A panel of Australian noted intellectuals, playwrights writers and actors discuss Shakespeare's influence today (2016, anyway).
Now, I'm watching this 1975 BBC "Play of the Month" production for the first time now. A few of these actors reprised their roles in the later 1982 tv production of King Lear. But I don't particularly care for that later group of actors. In this earlier version the strength obviously lies in the strong performances of Lear's daughters. It's rarely aired. Most grateful for the upload. Recommended.
One of our group's readers has a Shakespeare blog https://ghostofshakespeare.com/ which this month explores openings. He notes that while Othello opens with the sub-plot of Iago exploiting Rodrigo, Wells opens with the play's unwritten aftermath -- Othello and Desdamona's funeral and Iago's imprisonment. (Wells explains on John's site, which won't let me copy and paste, basically that you write a play for people who are just getting quiet and you never want to start off a play "at the top of your bent" while that is exactly what you need to do in a movie, grab them from the get-go).
Here's Well's sequel-first opening to his Othello:
agreed, his sense of timing serves him so well. But Jack Lemmon is just awful. I didn't think he could ever do anything bad.
so glad to finally see that in a theater b4 covid. wow
People sometimes forget that Shakespeare was a moneylender. You certainly can't avoid his preoccupation with market value reading the plays or poetry. Here's a filmed performance of Al Pacino as Shylock in The Merchant of Venice (2004, Michael Radford), one I had the luck to initially see live in Central Park many moons ago. That production was far more spare and, unfortunately, far more effective. But I like Jeremy Irons as Antonio in this one.
I like Pacino's Shylock a lot, as well as Irons' Antonio (probably Shakespeare's most overtly gay character).
I've always been baffled by Shylock's lengthy Bible story in I, iii -- both the meaning of the story of Jacob and the piebald sheep (Genesis 30:25) and why he is bothering to explain it to Antonio. I think I have a handle on it now (I looked into it before the plague hit, when I thought we'd be doing Merchant after Measure For Measure and Cymbeline, both of which turned out to be Zoomed.) I'll dig it out and finish it -- still plan to do Merchant after our return to real readings with The Dream.
Here's a link to a Folger article on Melancholy and Shakespeare -- I'm reading Barbara Ehrenreich's 'Dancing In The Streets,' which (in part) explores the rise and fashionability of melancholy and its relationship to the suppression of community joy and celebration in the wake of Calvinism.
Renaissance Melancholy: Shakespeare's Jaques and Robert Burton
Happy Shakespeare's birthday! Probably. In 1564, they recorded baptismal dates but not birth dates (usually 2-3 days earlier), and he was baptised on April 26. He died on April 23, 1616, so assigning the same date to his birthday was both a reasonable guess and a memory saver. Here are three versions of It Was A Lover And His Lass, a song from As You Like It set to music by Shakespeare's contemporary, Thomas Dowland. First, the great countertenor (male singer in the lower women's ranges) Alfred Deller in a classical rendition:
My favorite version is by the Ken "Snakehips" Johnson band, perhaps the greatest of the black British swing bands of the 30s and 40s. Snakehips was from British Guiana and died on stage at the Cafe de Paris during the bombing of London in 1941:
And here's a sunny pop/rock (and not entirely faithful) version by Don McLean:
And here's a decidedly unsunny fragment from my favorite Shakespeare film, Peter Brook's King Lear, Paul Scofield as the retired King telling Goneril how sharper than a serpent's tooth it is to have a thankless child:
Just ordered the Macbeth with Christopher Ecclelston. It's been out a couple years but I'm just getting around to it.
We're still talking about you, Mr. S - Happy Birthday!
In celebration here's a nice copy of old Liz and Dick in their 1967 Zeffirelli romp.
Comcast is offering a bunch of Shakespeare videos for his birthday. Many are free, including RAN, which I'm watching today, on everybody's short list for greatest Shakespeare film of all time.
This is an extraordinarily good album of The Sonnets, multi-genre, many great performances:
"Be not afeard, the isle is full of noises" (from The Tempest - Act III, Scene II), performed by Joseph Fiennes
"Live With Me and Be My Love" (from The Passionate Shepherd to His Love - Christopher Marlowe), performed by Annie Lennox
"As an unperfect actor on the stage" ("Sonnet 23"), performed by John Gielgud
"My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun" ("Sonnet 130"), performed by Alan Rickman
"Why is my verse so barren of new pride" ("Sonnet 76"), performed by Diana Rigg
"Who will believe my verse in time to come" ("Sonnet 17"), performed by Richard Attenborough
"That you were once unkind befriends me now" ("Sonnet 120"), performed by Paul Rhys
"How oft, when thou, my music" ("Sonnet 128"), performed by Juliet Stevenson
"When, in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes" ("Sonnet 29"), set to music and performed by Rufus Wainwright
"Being your slave, what should I do but tend" ("Sonnet 57"), performed by Janet McTeer
"Tired with all these, for restful death I cry" ("Sonnet 66"), performed by Alan Bates
"When I consider everything that grows" ("Sonnet 15"), performed by Marianne Jean-Baptiste
"Let those who are in favour with their stars" ("Sonnet 25"), performed by David Warner
"They that have power to hurt and will do none" ("Sonnet 94"), performed by Siân Phillips
"Those lips that Love's own hand did make" ("Sonnet 145"), performed by John Hurt
"Come again, sweet love doth now invite" performed by John Potter (John Dowland)
"Th'expense of spirit in a waste of shame" ("Sonnet 129"), performed by Ralph Fiennes
"Thine eyes I love, and they, as pitying me" ("Sonnet 132"), performed by Matthew Rhys
"I never saw that you did painting need" ("Sonnet 83"), performed by Imelda Staunton
"When to the sessions of sweet silent thought" ("Sonnet 30"), performed by Kenneth Branagh
"Is it thy will thy image should keep open" ("Sonnet 61"), performed by Fiona Shaw
"Mine eye and heart are at a mortal war" ("Sonnet 46"), performed by Henry Goodman
"No more be grieved at that which thou hast done" ("Sonnet 35"), performed by Keb' Mo'
"O never say that I was false of heart" ("Sonnet 109"), performed by Susannah York
"Look in thy glass and tell the face thou viewest" ("Sonnet 3"), performed by Timothy Spall
"Some glory in their birth, some in their skill" ("Sonnet 91"), performed by Peter Barkworth
"How heavy do I journey on the way" ("Sonnet 50"), performed by Gemma Jones
"Since brass, nor stone, nor earth, nor boundless sea" ("Sonnet 65"), performed by Jonathan Pryce
"Like as the waves make towards the pebbled shore" ("Sonnet 60"), performed by Richard Wilson
"The quality of mercy is not strained" (from The Merchant of Venice - Act IV, Scene I), performed by Des'ree
"Sweet love, renew thy force; be it not said" ("Sonnet 56"), performed by Tom Courtenay
"Since I left you, mine eye is in my mind" ("Sonnet 113"), performed by Zoe Waites
"Be wise as thou art cruel; do not press" ("Sonnet 140"), performed by Edward Fox
"Is it for fear to wet a widow's eye" ("Sonnet 9"), performed by Trevor Eve
"So it is not with me as with that Muse" ("Sonnet 21"), performed by Imogen Stubbs
"Devouring Time, blunt thou the lion's paws" ("Sonnet 19"), performed by David Harewood
"The Willow Song" (from Othello - Act IV, Scene III), performed by Barbara Bonney
"When my love swears that she is made of truth" ("Sonnet 138"), performed by Richard Johnson
"When I do count the clock that tells the time" ("Sonnet 12"), performed by Martin Jarvis
"What potions have I drunk of siren tears" ("Sonnet 119"), performed by Roger Hammond
"Not marble nor the gilded monuments" ("Sonnet 55"), performed by Richard Briers
"Sin of self-love possesseth all mine eye" ("Sonnet 62"), performed by John Sessions
"Let me not to the marriage of true minds" ("Sonnet 116"), performed by Thelma Holt
"Music to hear, why hearst thou music sadly" ("Sonnet 8"), performed by Ladysmith Black Mambazo
"When forty winters shall besiege thy brow" ("Sonnet 2"), performed by Caroline Blakiston
"No longer mourn for me when I am dead" ("Sonnet 71"), performed by Peter Bowles
"In faith, I do not love thee with mine eyes" ("Sonnet 141"), performed by Sylvia Syms
"Why didst thou promise such a beauteous day" ("Sonnet 34"), performed by Robert Lindsay
"Not from the stars do I my judgement pluck" ("Sonnet 14"), performed by Ioan Gruffudd
"My love is as a fever, longing still" ("Sonnet 147"), performed by John Hurt
"The little Love-God lying once asleep" ("Sonnet 154"), performed by Bohdan Poraj
"Shall I compare thee to a summer's day" ("Sonnet 18"), performed by Bryan Ferry
"Our revels are now ended" (from The Tempest - Act IV, Scene I), performed by Joseph Fiennes
Has anyone read ' Shakespeare in a divided America" by James Shapiro? I just picked it up....
Much as I admire Ran - and Kurosawa’s incredible filmography - Peter Brook’s highly truncated 1971 Lear is my favorite version of that play. Here it is in full. Subtitles are rather large but it helps to discern the language during the storm scenes.
Not yet. I’m just getting through his Shakespeare in America. It’s in my queue, though.
As I mention a few posts above, that's my favorite of all Shakespeare plays on film.
Just ordered it. His Year of Lear is on my to-read list, too.
Oh wow. Cool. The problem with most of them is that they’re rarely able to sustain a compelling dramatic vision throughout. Granted, that’s the problem with most movies, but there seems to be a considerable drop off of intensity in the Shakespeare films I consider masterworks, like Kurosawa’s Throne of Blood or Brook’s Lear. Not that the entire experience should feel like a runaway train but there should be a definite build-up of tension when crafting an adaption of The Bard. His plays were created for mass consumption, not meditation. Even the most literary plays are, essentially, potboilers. Kurosawa never made a Shakespeare equivalent to the tension building narratives of Rashomon or Seven Samurai, for instance, where we get peaks and valleys of intensity but always with an intimation of ultimate climax and definite payoff. It’s why I still find Desmond Davis’ BBC produced Measure For Measure (1979) the most satisfying Shakespeare watch on film. Though the sets are hardly realistic it’s a beautifully measured, fully realized Shakespearean world that never loses momentum or narrative intension while building toward the climax. It’s a subtle art - this mastery of holding attention - that, nonetheless, has an unmistakable effect on any attentive audience.
This a Russian King Lear that was made at the same time as Brook's, and the directors were in touch were each other during the filmmaking. I've never seen it available, not sure if it's ever been subtitled. Music by Shostakovich.
Brook filming on the Jutland Peninsula and the absolute starkness of that setting keeps the focus on the faces, figures and the wild.
Separate names with a comma.