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Shakespeare live on the Silver Screen

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Shakespeare live on the Silver Screen

Postby Geo3rge » Fri Jan 31, 2014 1:52 pm

Last evening I went for a short fifteen minute drive down to a cinema in New Brighton on the Wirral Peninsula (UK).
On show was a live performance of Coriolanus by Mr. Shakespeare. The production was being filmed from a theatre in London and viewings were simultaneously shown both nationally and internationally.
This was a rare treat for me and the play, actors and overall mood were all tremendously gripping.
I used to travel down to Stratford Upon Avon to see a play every now and then, but distance, time and expense have sadly curtailed that for the moment. The main star of the play was Tom Hiddleston, famous for being in the Thor films as Loki, I believe.
The cinema theatre was packed out and I have already made a booking for the next similar event in May, King Lear, starring Simon Russell Beale.
Seeing friends quite by chance at the event was an added bonus and we managed a coffee together before the production. It was a great night out; Shakespeare certainly makes you have to listen, think and ponder on what he is saying. Some tremendous lines and quite pertinent implications for our own troubled times.
Anyone else like theatre productions?
Geo3rge
Last edited by Geo3rge on Mon Apr 07, 2014 9:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Shakespeare live in the Silver Screen

Postby SteveH » Wed Feb 26, 2014 11:27 am

I'm a fairly regular visitor to Shakespeare's Globe, on the South Bank in London, usually as a 'groundling', i.e. standing in the central yard, which is both cheapest and gives the best view. The productions are nearly always brilliant. Last year, I saw 'Henry V' with Jamie Parker as the King, Also, Richard III, with Mark Rylance as the King, and the late, lamented Roger Lloyd Pack as Buckingham. I'm not sure that Rylance's understated style is altogether suited to the role, to be honest.
I've got a video of Richard Burton as Hamlet in a filmed New York stage production in the early 60s. It's in black and white, and the sound is a bit iffy, but it's bllomin' brilliant all the same, with RB over-acting for all he was worth. His delivery of "frailty, thy name is woman" is wonderful.
I've seen various film versions of Shakespeare, though only on my own TV via videotapes (which I no longer have the means to play, unfortunately).
[Edit] Ah! Glad to see I've now got full posting rights. Thanks, mods!
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Re: Shakespeare live in the Silver Screen

Postby HowlinWolf » Wed Feb 26, 2014 12:58 pm

My favorites:

Laurence Olivier's Hamlet, although very affected, is very affecting.

I very much liked Ian McKellen's quasi-Nazi Richard III, even though as a rule I find transplanting Shakespeare to a modern setting not a very good idea.

I liked Kenneth Branagh's Henry V, although it came across as a standard historical type movie that happened to be using Shakespeare as its script.

In 1977 a TV movie was made of "Waiting For Godot" with Donald Moffat and Bruce French. The tightwads at the IMDB are giving it only 7.5 stars. When I was in college a hundred years ago our Prof Dr. Abraham Rothberg treated a few of us teacher's pets to a live performance of it as the capper to three or four weeks of lectures about it. I mention Dr. Rothberg by name because "he enlarged my mind" and acquainted me with the giant that is Joseph Conrad.
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Re: Shakespeare live in the Silver Screen

Postby HowlinWolf » Wed Feb 26, 2014 1:55 pm

p.s.

HowlinWolf wrote:In 1977 a TV movie was made of "Waiting For Godot" with Donald Moffat and Bruce French.


Ralph Waite (Papa John Walton Sr. from "The Waltons" American TV series) played Pozzo. :shock:
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Re: Shakespeare live in the Silver Screen

Postby Geo3rge » Wed Feb 26, 2014 2:04 pm

Thanks for getting back to the thread. I feel I ought to do more of this - go to a live event, rather than watch a film (actually, I don't have a TV now, so this might spur me onto greater things...). There is definitely something about live action and dialogue that puts a real-time event into a different league from the edited film/video versions. I enjoy watching these versions too, including Olivier, though without a TV it's a bit difficult. I use the laptop - a bit tinny on sound but generally OK.
I think a good self resolution would be to go to a theatre or live filming event as previously described much more frequently, or at least as often as the bank balance allows. Shakespeare was a genius with words, as are so many other great literary figures. I have yet to read Conrad, but if you are so shaken and stirred by him then it might be worth my while to have a look.
It's quite stimulating to hear the interaction of word upon word and watch as a whole play unravels before one's ears and eyes. Astonishing, really, the power of words to inspire and transform.
Thanks again,
G.
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Re: Shakespeare live in the Silver Screen

Postby SteveH » Mon Apr 07, 2014 1:53 pm

I was on a boat once with four pipes, but nothing to light them with, so I threw one overboard, and the boat became a pipe lighter.
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Re: Shakespeare live on the Silver Screen

Postby Geo3rge » Mon Apr 07, 2014 10:05 pm

Some great choices there, Steve. I always felt that Richard Burton diverted his skills a bit too much into his Hollywood forays and perhaps something of his magnetic stage potential was lost as a result. He had such a marvellous voice and powerful charisma. I do also like Olivier in Henry V and Hamlet, though his Richard the Third is a bit too 'caricaturish' for my liking. Derek Jacobi is a sympathetic actor and I remember years ago going to watch over a two-night screening his Little Dorrit film, which was a wonderful experience.
My next venture is King Lear, in May, also shown live on the screen, so something to look forward to.
G.
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Re: Shakespeare live on the Silver Screen

Postby SteveH » Tue Apr 08, 2014 5:56 am

Glad you like my playlist. |he Lear sounds interesting. Where's it broadcast from?
I was on a boat once with four pipes, but nothing to light them with, so I threw one overboard, and the boat became a pipe lighter.
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Re: Shakespeare live on the Silver Screen

Postby Geo3rge » Tue Apr 08, 2014 6:01 am

It is being broadcast from The National Theatre (Southbank?). Shown simultaneously at various venues around the UK. Main star is Simon Russell Beale.
G.
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