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By Shakespeare, William; Anderegg, Michael; Shakespeare, William

Cinematic Shakespeare takes the reader contained in the making of a few major diversifications to demonstrate how cinema transforms and re-imagines the dramatic shape and elegance crucial to Shakespeare's imagination.


Cinematic Shakespeare takes the reader contained in the making of a few major diversifications to demonstrate how cinema transforms and re-imagines the dramatic shape and magnificence important to Read more...

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Sample text

Or were they a last-minute decision (Olivier’s elimination of “How all occasions do inform against me”)? To simplify matters, there are two primary ways of shortening a play: one is to eliminate entire scenes, characters, and blocks of text (again, Olivier’s choice for Hamlet); the other is to trim throughout, shortening nearly every scene or speech but keeping in the film at least the outline of everything in the play (Kosintsev’s Hamlet, even though it uses a Russian translation of Shakespeare, follows that route).

If they really believed their frequent claims that film is a visual medium, so that images can substitute for words, they would cut much more of Shakespeare’s text than they generally do, or, indeed, create an entirely new verbal structure. Again, Kurosawa’s Throne of Blood provides an exemplary instance even as it is inimitable. Both Macbeth and not Macbeth, Shakespeare and not Shakespeare, a “pure” film that is highly theatrical, Throne of Blood draws as much on Shakespeare’s sources as on Shakespeare.

Having moved from establishing his and his new queen’s authority to the dispatching of pressing state business, he can relax and turn to the purely domestic question of whether Laertes should continue his year abroad. ” This point is completely lost in Olivier’s adaptation, where one might think that Claudius seemingly has nothing better to do than make travel arrangements for the son of his prime minister. This is a minor problem that may go unnoticed by most filmgoers; on the other hand, we may be seeing and hearing a moment where context would have helped the viewer follow more clearly what goes on in this scene—the fact that Claudius sees the question of coming and going from his court as a state matter, not to mention the foregrounding of his deliberate, ostentatious granting of a requested leave of absence for Laertes that he will deny to his “son” Hamlet, something that may go by unnoticed in the absence of the build-up Shakespeare has provided.

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