A Concise Companion to Shakespeare on Screen by Diana E. Henderson

By Diana E. Henderson

This Concise significant other offers a multidisciplinary variety of methods to an unlimited multimedia topic, Shakespeare on display.

The book’s members use the most recent considering from cultural reviews, communications, and comparative media, in discussion with literary, theatrical, and filmic techniques, so as to push the sphere ahead. they think about Shakespeare on display not just as a collection of complete items but in addition as a procedure. accordingly, the amount is prepared round themes equivalent to authorship and collaboration, theatricality, intercourse and violence, globalization, and heritage.

The Concise better half bargains readers various available routes into Shakespeare on display and helps extra research of the topic in the course of the inclusion of a bibliography, a chronological chart, and an intensive index. while, it serves as a focus for exploring primary concerns within the learn of literature and tradition extra extensively, resembling the relationships among elite and pop culture, paintings and undefined, textual content, photograph, and function.

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Jameson argues that in our present “we are condemned to seek History by way of our own pop images [or] simulacra of that history, which itself remains forever out of reach” (Jameson 1991: 25). With such arguments in mind, it is perhaps easy to dismiss the words of the man on the street or Vanessa Redgrave in Looking for Richard. Nevertheless, the desire to harness or rediscover the power of Shakespeare’s words implicitly, ironically suggests the fear that they recede from us. This becomes more resonant considering that even those making the most self-consciously postmodern Shakespeare films speak of the restorative power of the endlessly enduring, immediate, and relevant Shakespearean text.

Branagh’s Love’s Labor’s Lost is such a utopian vision, featuring “color-blind casting” and accent mixing, an inauthentic past “authorized” by a transhistorical, transcultural text. The documentary-style Looking for Richard similarly attempts to access a fuller, unifying, nonexistent past (despite Pacino’s sometimes describing this attempt in an ironic or self-disparaging way; see HODGDON). Though set in the present, the film follows (most particularly) Pacino’s romantic quest to “access” the perceived idealism of Shakespeare’s early modern language.

And open-ended. Notes 1 Luhrmann explained this to me in an interview on July 9, 2000 at the House of Iona (the Bazmark headquarters) in Sydney, Australia. The other quotations in this paragraph also come from that interview. 2 In fact, in a subsequent radio interview with Kim Hill, Luhrmann revealed that he gave the film that title so that even when audiences saw the 27 Elsie Walker wordless images and music of the preview they would still know to expect Shakespearean dialogue. “Nine to Noon” show, National Radio: Wellington (New Zealand), February 4, 1997.

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