LIT 380: Shakespeare in Film

Archive for April, 2012

Quite a Branagh Entrance

Despite the St. Crispin’s Day speech, long shot after the battle, and flashbacks,  the scene that stayed with me the most in Henry V (1989) was Kenneth Branagh’s entrance as Henry in the first few scenes. The chorus character first set the dark serious tone while lighting a match in front of his face and exposing [...]

Iraqi Version of Romeo and Juliet

I read this article from the New York Times on an Iraqi version of Romeo and Juliet where Montague and Capulet are portrayed as Shiite and Sunni, respectively. Other notable changes: the lovers are killed by a suicide bomber, Paris is an Al Qaeda fighter, and the Queen Mab speech (which is too risque for [...]

Almereyda, method of no madness.

In Almeryeda’s (2000) Hamlet, Ethan Hawke plays a Hamlet that is more depressed than is mad or vengeful. Throughout the film his voice is kept low, he rarely shouts or raises his voice which rules out anger at Claudius, even after the movie scene. This rules out the vengeful side of Hamlet that one might read when [...]

Dance for your dessert

I saw this humorous article on the Folger Shakespeare Theater blog about a big dance number they are rehearsing for their production of The Taming of the Shrew.

Rome + Juliet: Symbolism

With only about half of Shakespeare’s text from the play, Luhrmann uses film media as a way of visually expressing Romeo and Juliet’s story, creating multiple layers of meaning. The most obvious and frequent symbols are the hints towards Catholicism. Romeo + Juliet is overflowing with Catholicism with the Capulet house as the best. Everything from [...]

Branagh’s Hamlet

Branagh’s version of Hamlet seems significantly more dramatic than it needs to be. The fast speech, though necessary in order to keep the length of the film to a minimal 4 hours, makes everything seem urgent and amplified. Actors are often out of breath when delivering lines so quickly to meet the time constraints, making [...]

I am Keanau Hamlet.. I mean.. I am Hamlet

Durring our last class Prof. Roback brought something up, Hamlet’s resolution, and wheather or not his purpose becomes “blunted” or not, as his ghastly father so mentioned.  I thought about this while watching Almereyda’s Hamlet.  Almereyda’s Hamlet is a dark brooding video artist, his character may be dark and depressed, but as Almereyda show’s his character is more likely to [...]

Film Techniques in Hamlet: Branagh

In the film Hamlet by Kenneth Branagh, there were many different techniques the director used in order to portray the original play written by Shakespeare. A very important technique he used was flashbacks. When stories were being said,especially stories that happened in the past, the story would be shown while the storyteller’s voice would be [...]

Non Nobis Domine

Throughout Branagh’s Henry V, the viewer is fed with different stories that connect with each other to create the main storyline. The glue that sticks all the little stories together is a long shot made after the final battle. This part of the film gives closure to some points that needed it in order for [...]

Branagh’s Henry V

Branagh’s version of Shakespeare’s Henry V is a compelling interpretation revolving around the power of war and loss. Though Henry graciously wins the one sided war with minimal loss, Branagh still manages to convey the powerful effects of war.  After the war is won, a long take shows Henry and his army walking through the [...]