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Old 09-27-2013, 12:20 AM   #1
cabel
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Default The Shakespeare on Film Thread

Discuss the best of the Bard on the big screen. Compare, contrast, and recommend your favorite versions of your favorite Shakespearean works and the actors and directors that made them.

Here are my personal favorites:

Throne of Blood (Macbeth), Toshiro Mifune, dir. Akira Kurosawa
Henry V, Laurence Olivier
Hamlet, Kenneth Brannagh

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Old 09-27-2013, 12:26 AM   #2
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Default Re: The Shakespeare on Film Thread

Mel Gibson was a great Hamlet.

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Old 09-27-2013, 08:27 PM   #3
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Default Re: The Shakespeare on Film Thread

Haven't seen that version.

Would have been kind of awkward if he had played Shylock.

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Old 09-27-2013, 09:18 PM   #4
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Personal favorites (aside from the BBC Shakespeare and maybe The Hollow Crown):

Zeffirelli's Romeo and Juliet. Still remember the first time I saw this, at a library screening, and falling in love with Shakespeare (and Olivia Hussey) then and there. Ideal place for it.

Throne of Blood, indeed. I think Harold Bloom has called this the best Bard adaptation on the big screen.

Chimes at Midnight. Welles pretty much WAS Falstaff, and at the top of his game till the end.

Reinhardt and Dieterle's underrated '35 A Midsummer Night's Dream. Cagney as Bottom and Olivia de Havilland as Hermia -- enough said.

Another underrated gem: Charlton Heston's Antony and Cleopatra, with Hildegarde Neil as the Egyptian queen. Lush and very close to the play's spirit.

It'd be nice to have An Age of Kings on DVD.

EDIT: Just looked on Netflix and saw they DO have Age of Kings on DVD. EDIT: Forgot to mention Polanski's superb Macbeth. And Burton's Hamlet. And Peter Brook's King Lear. And of course Olivier's Richard III *doh*

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Old 09-27-2013, 10:32 PM   #5
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Mel Gibson was a great Hamlet.
Yes. I still remember that version. He amazed the world, everyone was face-palming when he was announced as Hamlet but he did good.

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Old 09-28-2013, 10:57 AM   #6
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Default Re: The Shakespeare on Film Thread

I thought Dicaprio's R&J was really goofy.

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Old 09-28-2013, 12:25 PM   #7
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I thought Dicaprio's R&J was really goofy.
It was just awful, man. AWFUL.

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Old 09-28-2013, 08:34 PM   #8
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Speaking of goofy, Brannagh's musical version of Love's Labours Lost is a guilty pleasure of mine.

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Old 09-28-2013, 08:45 PM   #9
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Default Re: The Shakespeare on Film Thread

I saw Zeffirelli's Hamlet and Branagh's Henry V at around the same time in my early teens,and that's what really gave me a love for Shakespeare.Gibson really killed it as Hamet.

I'm looking forward to seeing Tom Hiddleston as Hal/Henry V this weekend.

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Old 09-28-2013, 08:47 PM   #10
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I thought Dicaprio's R&J was really goofy.
As I said elsewhere,there oughta be a law against setting Shakespeare in a modern context.

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Old 09-28-2013, 09:14 PM   #11
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As I said elsewhere,there oughta be a law against setting Shakespeare in a modern context.
I dug Ralph Fiennes' Coriolanus. Haven't seem Whedon's Much Ado About Nothing as of yet.

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Old 09-28-2013, 11:56 PM   #12
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I loved Whedon's much ado about nothing, probably the best modernized Shakespearean play.

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Old 09-29-2013, 01:30 PM   #13
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Default Re: The Shakespeare on Film Thread

Al Pacino was a good Shylock in that Merchant of Venice.

There is another Romeo and Juliet movie coming out with Hailee Steinfeld, Douglas Booth, Damian Lewis, Ed Westwick.

The Tempest film with Helen Mirren wasn't very good.

The 1999 A Midsummer Night's Dream film with Christian Bale was good.

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Old 09-30-2013, 07:50 AM   #14
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As I said elsewhere,there oughta be a law against setting Shakespeare in a modern context.
Fie to that.
Or we wouldn't have gotten fun stuff like...









Or other great variations (Throne of Blood, Ran etc...) where time and/or setting are changed.
It should all be fair game.


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Old 09-30-2013, 09:18 AM   #15
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I have no problem with modern takes on Shakespeare. I enjoy stuff like West Side Story, The Lion King, 10 Things I Hate About You, ect

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Old 09-30-2013, 11:29 AM   #16
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I dug Ralph Fiennes' Coriolanus.
So did I. A good number of people complained about it being set in modern day Rome, but I felt that it worked with that specific Shakespeare play. I was surprised to see that Ralph Fienes also directed it and apparently was Coriolanus in the stage play.

I think one of the main reasons a number of people didn't like it was because they spoke like how Shakespeare wrote it and people didn't feel like it belonged in the modern day and just felt weird. Personally that's one of the reasons I enjoyed it so much.

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Old 09-30-2013, 01:02 PM   #17
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I have no problem with modern takes on Shakespeare. I enjoy stuff like West Side Story, The Lion King, 10 Things I Hate About You, ect
More than Shakespeare, those just keep the basic story, not the words, which is what makes them work. After all, Shakespeare based his plays on previous stories and legends (Romeo and Juliet or Hamlet existed way before Shakespeare was born).

But taking Shakespeare plays and adapt them to modern times is, more often than not, a horrid exercise.

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Old 09-30-2013, 01:14 PM   #18
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The BBC aired the RSC's 2012 production of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar set in modern Africa which was really good in their Shakespeare unlocked season.

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Old 09-30-2013, 04:00 PM   #19
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More than Shakespeare, those just keep the basic story, not the words, which is what makes them work. After all, Shakespeare based his plays on previous stories and legends (Romeo and Juliet or Hamlet existed way before Shakespeare was born).

But taking Shakespeare plays and adapt them to modern times is, more often than not, a horrid exercise.
Yeah,having something loosely based on a Shakespearean story isn't what we're talking about. It's having the Bard's words mixed with guys in tank tops,carrying Colt 45s and driving sports cars.That's the stuff of nightmares.

I can give a little leeway to some of the comedies being set,not quite in the period.I think there was a version of 12th Night,for example,that was set in the 1800's that was OK.It's stuff like Hamlet & Romeo & Juliet that have no place in the 20th/21st century.

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Old 09-30-2013, 04:01 PM   #20
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Saw Pacino in Merchant of Venice for the first time last night.Great performances all around.

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Old 09-30-2013, 05:23 PM   #21
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Yeah,having something loosely based on a Shakespearean story isn't what we're talking about. It's having the Bard's words mixed with guys in tank tops,carrying Colt 45s and driving sports cars.That's the stuff of nightmares.

I can give a little leeway to some of the comedies being set,not quite in the period.I think there was a version of 12th Night,for example,that was set in the 1800's that was OK.It's stuff like Hamlet & Romeo & Juliet that have no place in the 20th/21st century.
Right. Part of the problem is that plays back then lasted like 4 hours (no TV, no internet) and characters just keep talking and talking about how they feel to no end. Now it's all much more about show and don't tell, which i think is just great.

I think Shakespeare's value nowadays is more literary than narrative.

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Saw Pacino in Merchant of Venice for the first time last night.Great performances all around.
You made me remember "Looking for Richard," a great documentary about staging Shakespeare in today's world directed by Pacino. Given the context, the scenes of Richard III staged there work just fine.

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Old 10-13-2013, 11:44 AM   #22
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Just watched Whedon's Much Ado. Loved it.

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Old 10-13-2013, 12:01 PM   #23
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I watched Throne of Blood for the first time last night. Great movie.

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Old 10-13-2013, 12:27 PM   #24
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Default Re: The Shakespeare on Film Thread

No love for Ian McKellan's Richard III? That movie is bursting with vile, infectious, energy.

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Old 10-13-2013, 05:23 PM   #25
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No love for Ian McKellan's Richard III? That movie is bursting with vile, infectious, energy.
No love from me. I found it to be really terrible. Specially when McKellen just talked to the audience through the fourth wall in his monologues, which is the most basic ineffective and primitive way to solve it. Not to mention that it feels and looks completely absurd. Then you have the ending, with the hero winking at you ala Superman cartoons and McKellen malevolently laughing while falling to his death... for some reason.

The only good thing IMO: the line"my kingdom for a horse" obtained a new meaning.

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