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  1. #1
    Senior Member Country: England Maurice's Avatar
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    The South Bank Show (ITV, 08/02/09) explored The Tempest with scenes from Peter Greenaway's PROSPERO's BOOKS (1991) and other versions.



    The programme must have established who owns the rights to the movie. While there are videos of variable quality, the absence of a DVD is lamented in several threads including "Peter Greenaway" and "Prospero's Books" - in which Derek Jarman's THE TEMPEST (1979) receives due praise.



    Roman Polanski's MACBETH (1971), available on DVD, had a notable cast including Jon Finch as Macbeth, Francesca Annis as Lady Macbeth, Martin Shaw (Banquo), Terence Bayler (Macduff) and John Stride (Ross).



    Which timeless adaptations of Shakespeare's plays would be most appreciated by new, younger audiences - regardless of the vagaries of DVD availability or television ?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain
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    Kurosawa's "Throne Of Death" for sure !

  3. #3
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    The best one that was never made was Michael Powell's version of The Tempest. Given what he did in his other films, imagine what he could have done with that



    A script was written, although all of his scripts were tweaked a lot before they got to the final film so that's just a guide to what he might have done.



    But sadly he just couldn't get the financing. He could only get about half the amount he needed. This was after Peeping Tom and the big British film companies like Rank were already in financial trouble.





    But I'll agree with the subject of the thread that Polanski's Macbeth is one of the very best of those that has been made.



    I had always liked Macbeth and had seen quite a few different versions. But Polanski's version just blew me away. I was still sitting there, stunned, 10 minutes after the credits had finished



    Steve

  4. #4
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain
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    Would "West Side Story" count ? It's a wonderful musical and I think the film is quite good !

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    Jonathan Miller's King Lear (made for the BBC Shakespeare around about 1980) is a really full-on, intelligent and intense production. I cannot recommend it too highly.



    And also the Royal Shakespeare Company's filmed production of A Midsummer Night's Dream (Dir: Adrian Noble, 1996) is wonderful (if a little too brief). It's colourful, has excellent ensemble playing and is visually imaginative and inventive. I loved it.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator Country: UK batman's Avatar
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    Orson Welles' Othello is superb as is Chimes at Midnight. I also enjoyed his version of Macbeth, suitably gloomy and oppressive. I love Olivier's Hamlet as well. The best recent one IMHO is Oliver Parker's Othello which features a brilliant performance by Kenneth Branagh as Iago.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Country: Australia wadsy's Avatar
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    If I had to pick one it would be Orson Welles' Macbeth. I find it very modern,



    like a film noir!

  8. #8
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    Peter Brook's King Lear (1971) is stunningly bleak in a black and white wasteland, with wind and rain used to great effect. Paul Scofield delivers an amazing peformance. As pure cinema Shakespeare its at the top of the tree. Hadn't seen it until it was shown in the recent Scofield Arena, it can be picked up cheap on DVD.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Country: United States
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    name='Maurice']

    Which timeless adaptations of Shakespeare's plays would be most appreciated by new, younger audiences...?


    None. Your average kid these days has the attention span of a fruit fly lol

  10. #10
    GRAEME
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    Forbidden Planet is a nice primer for The Tempest.



    My favourite screen adaptation of Old Shakey is Tony Richardson's Hamlet with Nicol Williamson as the prince, Tony Hopkins as the villian and a heartstoppingly lovely Marianne Faithful as Ophelia.



    A faithful and stylish production. The one winge (for me) is that Gordon Jackson was way too old to play Horatio... But even he is excellent.



    Big bonus - Roger Livesey as the Gravedigger!

  11. #11
    Senior Member Country: Scotland narabdela's Avatar
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    name='James Fox']None. Your average kid these days has the attention span of a fruit fly lol


    So we are led to believe, but give them a well acted, well produced production of Shakespeare and they will surprise you. I'm a regular at Stratford and can vouch for it.

  12. #12
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    name='James Fox']None. Your average kid these days has the attention span of a fruit fly lol
    Fruit flies are well known for their ability to concentrate on a single thing for the whole of their lives

    So if your average kid has a similar attention span that means that half of them have an even better attention span than that



    Steve

  13. #13
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    name='billy bentley']Would "West Side Story" count ? It's a wonderful musical and I think the film is quite good !


    It is the greatest musical.

    Ta Ta

    Marky B

  14. #14
    Senior Member Country: UK
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    The only adaptation I have seen in Olivier's Henry V and I was very impressed with that.

    Ta Ta

    Marky B

  15. #15
    Super Moderator Country: UK christoph404's Avatar
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    Franco Zifferelli's "Hamlet" is pretty good, great cast including Paul Schofield and Alan Bates and Mel Gibson is not at all bad as the Prince of Denmark. It was all mainly filmed in Scotland on the coast near Aberdeen and is visually very impressive, as you would expect from Zifferelli.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Country: England Maurice's Avatar
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    name='Marky B']The only adaptation I have seen in Olivier's Henry V and I was very impressed with that.

    Ta Ta

    Marky B




    In the thread concentrating on "Henry V (1989)", Your favourite British films, the Kenneth Branagh interpretation is compared to Olivier (1944).



    The consensus is that "they're both great productions with many fine performances" (Steve).

  17. #17
    GRAEME
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    name='Maurice']In the thread concentrating on "Henry V (1989)", Your favourite British films, the Kenneth Branagh interpretation is compared to Olivier (1944).



    The consensus is that "they're both great productions with many fine performances" (Steve).




    They are very different. As a former secondary school English teacher - I'd opt for the Branagh if teaching it to kids. There is an antique theatricality and stilted delivery to the older film that the kids would find harder to get through. Shakespeare is alien enough without the further distancing of 1940's production values and Olivier's (now) outdated delivery...



    For Macbeth, I always preferred the BBC version with Nicol Williamson and Jane Lapotaire. The text is more closely delived than in Polanski's version - and I think Williamson better conveys the inner moral disintergration of the character. And Jane is so sexy - I had kids practically fainting in the classroom during her "unsex me" soliloquy!!

  18. #18
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    You never know when it comes to the teenage mind and attentiveness. Much to my surprise, I've heard animated discussions by teens about Julie Taymor's Titus. I'll give that one another try...one of these years.



    Branagh's productions are good intros, whether or not they work for me. And his Henry V works for me just fine.



    Zeffirelli's Romeo and Juliet. Tapestry-like imagery. Enough poetry and potent language survive. Cinematic. Heavy panting, heaving bosoms, swaying cod-pieces. Youthful exuberance and mood swings. Still gets to me after so many years. A great make-out movie.



    For some reason, "Hamlet" is a problem for me on film. I get restless watching. I prefer it on stage or in print.



    "Macbeth" always an easier sell. Accessible, easy to associate with. And I too favor the more traditional version with Williamson and Lapotaire. I can never get enough of her.



    Chimes at Midnight should be required viewing. Would make an excellent lead-in.



    Presentation counts for a lot. One of my most satisfying movie-watching experiences involved my then seven-year-old son. Maybe he was eight. Ninja Turtles were the rage. I rented Kurosawa's Ran and Throne of Blood. Told him not to worry about missing the subtitles, that the pictures would tell the story. (My fingers were crossed.) Attentive through both, and he "got" enough of the plot. Planted the seeds for connecting different art forms. He still remembers it to this day.

  19. #19
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    Romeo + Juliet (1996) was a very impressive updating, keeping all the original words but moving it from Venice, Italy to Venice Beach, California (or from Verona to Verona Beach).



    Leo DiCaprio made a good Romeo trying to avoid getting entangled in the gang violence. Claire Danes made a lovely Juliet, especially in her fairy costume at the ball. Good supporting cast and good direction by Baz Luhrmann





    Richard III (1995) was another clever updating, setting it in an alternative time-line, fascist England. A film version of the acclaimed National Theatre production starring Ian McKellen, Nigel Hawthorne, Maggie Smith and many other notables.



    Steve

  20. #20
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain
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    Trevor Nunn's 'Twelfth Night' (1996) is, I think, very good, though not flawless. It features just about every English actor you can think of - Nigel Hawthorne, Richard E Grant, Helena Bonham-Carter, Imogen Stubbs, Ben Kingsley, etc, and they all do a fabulous job. For once Viola and Sebastian actually look like each other (most other (stage) productions require a massive supension of disbelief because these supposedly near-identical twins usually look like not two peas in a pod, but a pea and a carrot). The bitter-sweet flavour of the play is superbly well captured.



    Afraid I find the BBC version of Hamlet that Graeme mentioned risible. The McKellen/Dench version (a filmed stage production) is excellent.



    Incidentally, I've recently watched 'Les Enfants du Paradise' and 'Fanny and Alexander' and it struck me that they both, one French, one Swedish, are hymns to the theatre, and they both take for granted that Shakespeare is the greatest writer.

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