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1063

Searching for Shakespeare
Topic by: kaream
Posted: December 26, 2007 - 3:23 PM PST
Last Reply: January 2, 2008 - 10:56 PM PST

author topic: Searching for Shakespeare
kaream
post #1  on December 26, 2007 - 3:23 PM PST  
A little chest-beating and horn-blowing here:

If anyone is trying to find DVDs of Shakespeare plays, I took a little time over Christmas to put together what I'm pleased to think is a pretty good list of GC's catalog.

I've actually seen probably between 1/4 to 1/3 of the movies listed, and there might well be some errors or omissions in my list. I don't have a public email, but this thread would be a good place to get back to me for corrections or updates.
underdog
post #2  on December 26, 2007 - 3:26 PM PST  
> On December 26, 2007 - 3:23 PM PST kaream wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> A little chest-beating and horn-blowing here:
>
> If anyone is trying to find DVDs of Shakespeare plays, I took a little time over Christmas to put together what I'm pleased to think is a pretty good list of GC's catalog.
>
> I've actually seen probably between 1/4 to 1/3 of the movies listed, and there might well be some errors or omissions in my list. I don't have a public email, but this thread would be a good place to get back to me for corrections or updates.
> ---------------------------------

'tis a very, very nice list, anon. And 'tis far, far better with a link so people can find it directly from here: Shakespeare on DVD at GreenCine, annotated.

Thanks much for that contribution!

(Oh, and as you note, we also have a Shakespeare genre, under Drama.)

kaream
post #3  on December 26, 2007 - 4:11 PM PST  
Underdog, if anyone has the time, could someone look at the disc you have of 'The Tragedy of King Lear (1982)' and try to puzzle out what it actually is?

See my annotation 'This is either the BBC series production with Michael Hordern, dir Jonathan Miller, or the contemporaneous Bard Productions version. GC's listing of cast & crew jumbles the two different films together, with no cover art provided.'
Cinenaut
post #4  on December 26, 2007 - 8:39 PM PST  
Wow, what a useful list!
kaream
post #5  on December 27, 2007 - 12:01 AM PST  
I see that someone on the GC staff has now posted the cover art for the unidentified Tragedy of King Lear, so this is definitely the Bard version, not the BBC. Thanks. You might still want to correct the cast/crew listings to remove the inappropriate BBC names (Michael Hordern, Jonathan Miller, etc). I've updated the annotation in my list.
kaream
post #6  on December 29, 2007 - 4:08 PM PST  
Hmm .. just curious --

Two enthusiastic (even effusive, if I may say so) responses here to this thread .. but two 7-out-of-10 votes at the list itself.

Any suggestions for improvements to the usefulness for the list?
underdog
post #7  on December 29, 2007 - 7:15 PM PST  
> On December 29, 2007 - 4:08 PM PST kaream wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Hmm .. just curious --
>
> Two enthusiastic (even effusive, if I may say so) responses here to this thread .. but two 7-out-of-10 votes at the list itself.
>
> Any suggestions for improvements to the usefulness for the list?
> ---------------------------------

I hate to say this, but 7 out of 10 on member lists is actually pretty darned high. People can be pretty persnickety or picky in their voting, so take that as high praise! But as far as getting more people to vote, well, that'll come.

One of these days soon I may repost my tips n' hints as far as doing a good GC member list, though some of them are here in the FAQ.
kaream
post #8  on December 30, 2007 - 4:56 AM PST  
I guess you're right -- the highest-rated list currently showing is your own Poker movies, at 8.6.

When I posted it publicly I figured at least some people would think 'Who gives a sh*t about Shakespeare?', and mark it to reflect just their own lack of interest; or that others might say, 'So? You just search for Shakespeare titles -- what's so hard about that?' without actually looking at the annotations.

With almost no exceptions, I deliberately didn't try to rate the different versions on their merits, since nearly all have GC members' ratings already -- but I'm sure to offend some with my remarks about Olivier's Othello or Hussey's Juliet, neither of which were intended as overall ratings of the movies themselves. And all the bosoms hanging out in the Pacino 'Merchant' -- hey, bosoms are good, especially when they relate to the story in some way; but it seems tacky to throw them up on the screen, to the detriment of the integrity of the story, just to boost your boxoffice receipts with the pimply-teenage-male crowd.

The only film I really expressed an opinion about was the one that didn't even belong on the list in the first place -- the Shostakovich/Rostropovich/Weigl 'Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk'. Now, here, you want nudity and sex? -- it's got 'em. And they're absolutely integral to the story.

Speaking of which, a film that GC doesn't have -- and I do *not* recommend you acquire -- is the somewhat interesting but thoroughly bastardized 2001 David McVicar Royal Opera production of Verdi's Rigoletto, in which McVicar is so intent on scandalizing his audiences with onstage nude simulated sex that's extremely explicit that he has to make total hash of Verdi's story, characterizations and motivations. The Pacino 'Merchant' is by no means reduced to hash in the same manner, but still the gratuitousness of all those irrelevant breasts is very offputting -- no matter what gimmick they rely on to try to excuse them.
Vanamonde
post #9  on December 30, 2007 - 9:07 PM PST  
Thank you, kaream!

If only there was an easy way to alphabetized the list.

Marlon Brando as Marc Antony in "Julius Caesar (1953)" amazed me - not the Brando you expect!

And as beautiful as Michelle Pfeiffer is, Calista Flockhart's Helena was excellent in "A Midsummer Night's Dream (1999)".

I knew a man who visited Florence, Italy and he saw the ACTUAL balcony where Romero spoke those famous words to Juliet...except I pointed out to him it is a work of FICTION, I do believe.

Am I wrong, yet again?
kaream
post #10  on December 31, 2007 - 11:23 AM PST  
It would certainly be easy enough for me to alphabetize the list, and I suppose this would be a more intuitive presentation. I tend to think of the plays in terms of how they're categorized -- Tragedies, Histories, Comedies -- with the Histories arranged by rulers, John through Henry VIII.

Thanks for the suggestion. I'll get it fixed over New Year's.
Chyekk
post #11  on December 31, 2007 - 1:09 PM PST  
> On December 29, 2007 - 4:08 PM PST kaream wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Hmm .. just curious --
>
> Two enthusiastic (even effusive, if I may say so) responses here to this thread .. but two 7-out-of-10 votes at the list itself.
>
> ---------------------------------

Well, I rated it a 10. And I never do that!

If only there were as many Becket plays.....

Thanks for the list.
kaream
post #12  on December 31, 2007 - 7:48 PM PST  
You're welcome -- and thank you!

It's alphabetized now, and I think I've got all of the annotations cleaned up and rearranged properly, but let me know if you see anything more that needs fixing.

Actually, are you aware of this 4-DVD 'Beckett on Film' set?
1) 'Waiting for Godot', 'Not I', 'Rough for Theatre I', 'Ohio Impromptu', and a Beckett documentary
2) 'Krapp's Last Tape', 'What Where', 'Footfalls', 'Come and Go', 'Act Without Words I'
3) 'Happy Days', 'Catastrophe', 'Rough for Theatre II', 'Breath', 'That Time'
4) 'Endgame', 'Act Without Words II', 'Play', 'Rockaby'
kaream
post #13  on December 31, 2007 - 7:55 PM PST  
Oops -- I see GC does have the whole set, but all their listings incorrectly refer only to Disc 1's contents.
kaream
post #14  on December 31, 2007 - 8:10 PM PST  
> On December 30, 2007 - 9:07 PM PST Vanamonde wrote:
> ---------------------------------

> I knew a man who visited Florence, Italy and he saw the ACTUAL balcony where Romero spoke those famous words to Juliet...except I pointed out to him it is a work of FICTION, I do believe.
>
> Am I wrong, yet again?
>
> ---------------------------------

Wikipedia: 'Romeo and Juliet belongs to a tradition of tragic romances stretching back to Ancient Greece. Its plot is based on an Italian tale, translated into verse as Romeus and Juliet by Arthur Brooke in 1562, and retold in prose in Palace of Pleasure by William Painter in 1582. Brooke and Painter were Shakespeare's chief sources of inspiration for Romeo and Juliet. He borrowed heavily from both, but developed minor characters, particularly Mercutio and Paris, in order to expand the plot.'
...
'Bandello's version was an adaptation of Luigi da Porto's Giulietta e Romeo, included in his Istoria novellamente ritrovata di due Nobili Amanti (c. 1530).[3] The latter gave the story much of its modern form, including the names of the lovers, the rival families of Montecchi and Capuleti, and the location in Verona, in the Veneto.[6] Da Porto is probably also the source of the tradition that Romeo and Juliet is based on a true story.[7] The names of the families (in Italian, the Montecchi and Capelletti) were actual political factions of the thirteenth century.[8] The tomb and balcony of Giulietta are still popular tourist spots in Verona, although scholars have disputed the assumption that the story actually took place.[7] Before Da Porto, the earliest known version of the tale is the 1476 story of Mariotto and Gianozza of Siena by Masuccio Salernitano, in Il Novellino (Novella XXXIII).[6] ...'


Far be it from me to contradict the faithful, or the hucksters, of Verona (or Florence).
Vanamonde
post #15  on December 31, 2007 - 10:02 PM PST  
> On December 31, 2007 - 7:48 PM PST kaream wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> It's alphabetized now
> ---------------------------------
You are amazing! And no, I was not aware of that Beckett series.

My introduction to Beckett was seeing a live performance of "Krapp's Last Tape".

SPOOOOOOOOOOOOOL

16!



Chyekk
post #16  on December 31, 2007 - 11:30 PM PST  
> On December 31, 2007 - 7:48 PM PST kaream wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> You're welcome -- and thank you!
>
> It's alphabetized now, and I think I've got all of the annotations cleaned up and rearranged properly, but let me know if you see anything more that needs fixing.
>
> Actually, are you aware of this 4-DVD 'Beckett on Film' set?
> 1) 'Waiting for Godot', 'Not I', 'Rough for Theatre I', 'Ohio Impromptu', and a Beckett documentary
> 2) 'Krapp's Last Tape', 'What Where', 'Footfalls', 'Come and Go', 'Act Without Words I'
> 3) 'Happy Days', 'Catastrophe', 'Rough for Theatre II', 'Breath', 'That Time'
> 4) 'Endgame', 'Act Without Words II', 'Play', 'Rockaby'
>
> ---------------------------------

Yes, I am aware of that set. Some of the versions of the plays there are amazing. Especially "Endgame", "Happy Days" and "Play". I just wish Becket had written more full-length plays.

The documentary extras on those discs are disappointingly short.


kaream
post #17  on January 1, 2008 - 1:22 AM PST  
> On December 31, 2007 - 10:02 PM PST Vanamonde wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> > ---------------------------------
> > It's alphabetized now
> > ---------------------------------

I also took the opportunity to re-sort within titles by date, but leaving quasi- and non-Shakespeare productions (e.g., Macbeth, R&J, Tempest) beneath. The previous arrangement, by category of play, was sorted by my guess at the different versions' probable relative importance, but the more I thought about it the less I liked it that way.
Chyekk
post #18  on January 1, 2008 - 10:01 PM PST  
By the way, since we're on the subject of Shakespeare, do you know of any film version with modernized dialog? I'm only familiar with the 2001 BBC Othello, but I'd like to try some other ones.

Vanamonde
post #19  on January 2, 2008 - 5:03 PM PST  
Eeek! I'm in favor of changing anything in a Shakespeare play - except the poetry! Might as well have Roger Corman rewrite Tolkien.
Chyekk
post #20  on January 2, 2008 - 10:56 PM PST  
> On January 2, 2008 - 5:03 PM PST Vanamonde wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Eeek! I'm in favor of changing anything in a Shakespeare play - except the poetry! Might as well have Roger Corman rewrite Tolkien.
> ---------------------------------

I think I'd enjoy that! "The Two Towers" was tedious.

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