Posts Tagged ‘William Shakespeare’

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Macbeth (Justin Kurzel, 2015)

November 10, 2015

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Like its eponymous character, Justin Kurzel’s adaptation of Macbeth is a film pulled in myriad directions for a sense of purpose. It is faithful to Shakespeare’s text in many ways, including period setting, but the film also cuts iconic moments (no “something wicked this way comes”) and reframes many a key scene with notably different staging. Macbeth keeps Shakespeare’s dialogue, but the stars will often deliver the lines at considerably more guttural and mumbling pitches than you’re likely to find on stage.

Kurzel’s film veers from being upfront and unapologetic about its protagonist’s gory rise to power in some sequences (something carried over from the director’s debut, Snowtown), but then dilutes other moments of violence with editorial embellishments that pull back from the horror. The combat sequences range from thrashing Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones-esque melee to slo-mo sword-swinging somewhat akin to 300 (which Macbeth star Michael Fassbender was actually in), thankfully minus the part where it looks like a computer vomited up bronzer…

Click for the full review for Vague Visages

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Much Ado About Nothing (Joss Whedon, 2012)

June 6, 2013

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Shot at the director’s home over twelve days amidst post-production for The Avengers, Joss Whedon’s version of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing was rehearsed and honed during various afternoon reads over the years. It’s a stylish take that cleverly transposes the text into a contemporary-seeming world of Californian house parties and cliquish gossip, while remaining a credible version of the comedy. The tone of the source material has echoes of Whedon’s own trademark banter, and that play’s witty words are kept intact for this latest transition to the screen…

Click through for full review at Sound on Sight

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GFF 2013: Much Ado About Nothing (Joss Whedon, 2012)

March 6, 2013

Much Ado About Nothing

Shot at the director’s home over twelve days amidst post-production for The Avengers, Joss Whedon’s version of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing was rehearsed and honed during various afternoon reads over the years. It’s a stylish take that cleverly transposes the text into a contemporary-seeming world of Californian house parties and cliquish gossip, while remaining a credible version of the comedy. The tone of the source material has echoes of Whedon’s own trademark banter, and that play’s witty words are kept intact for this latest transition to the screen…

Full review at Sound on Sight

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Coriolanus (Ralph Fiennes, 2011)

February 1, 2012

Originally written for Reel Time, now at Sound on Sight

Many of the more interesting Shakespeare adaptations in film history are those that tend to be furthest removed from the stage tradition of the plays; changing the settings and eras, applying different preoccupations, and even dispensing with the writer’s prose altogether in some cases. Regardless of their overall quality, the likes of Akira Kurosawa’s Throne of Blood and Ran, Peter Greenaway’s Prospero’s Books, 10 Things I Hate About You, Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet, and Michael Almereyda’s 2000 version of Hamlet are all, at the very least, in possession of a striking quality, positive or otherwise. Ralph Fiennes’ directorial debut Coriolanus, adapted from the play of the same name, is akin to the latter two of those cited films in that it keeps the Shakespearian dialogue but presents a modern setting rife with contemporary technology. Read the rest of this entry ?