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Home :: Archive :: 1994 :: June ::
Re: Nudity
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 5, No. 0536.  Thursday, 16 June 1994.
 
(1)     From:   John Collick <
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        Date:   Sunday, 12 Jun 1994 12:43:02 JST
        Subj:   nudity, radical movies
 
(2)     From:   Jon Enriquez <ENRIQUEZJ@GUVAX.BITNET>
        Date:   Wednesday, 15 Jun 1994 13:08:01 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.0530  Re: Nudity
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Collick <
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Date:           Sunday, 12 Jun 1994 12:43:02 JST
Subject:        nudity, radical movies
 
This may be a bit late but here's a couple of points about Shakespeare, movies
and nudity that may be of interest.
 
First of all Jarman's _Tempest_ is definitely out on video, I've rented it from
the local video store here in Tokyo.
 
Celestino Coronado directed two Shakespeare movies with some interesting
results. His MND was based on Lindsey Kemp's theatre production and made the
Oberon/Indian prince relationship overtly sexual. He also changed the scenes
with the lovers lost in the wood so that the two male characters ended up
chasing each other (I'm citing from memory here and it's a long time since I
saw the film).
 
In the mid 80s he also directed a video of Hamlet for Channel 4 which was very
interesting. Hamlet was played by two twins struggling with each other as
good/bad sides of the same character. The video was overtly sexual with a lot
of nudity.
 
MND was closer to Jarman's film in its evocation of a baroque chiascuro
'painterly' world. I thought that Hamlet was too self-indulgently bohemian and
that it lacked the shrewd political ideas of Jarman's films. Still, the sight
of two naked half-Hamlets fighting behind gauze was quite impressive.
 
John Collick
Waseda University

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(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jon Enriquez <ENRIQUEZJ@GUVAX.BITNET>
Date:           Wednesday, 15 Jun 1994 13:08:01 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 5.0530  Re: Nudity
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.0530  Re: Nudity
 
James McKenna writes on the subject of nudity:
 
>Is the real problem that when an actor steps naked into our presence,
>they break character because they reveal THEMSELVES rather than the
>nakedness of the character?
 
To some extent, yes.  I recently read a profile of Steve Martin in which he
quoted Groucho Marx along these lines:  If I did a nude scene, it wouldn't be
the character nude but S*T*E*V*E M*A*R*T*I*N N*U*D*E!  It's interesting that
JMcK mentions *Sirens*, because every review of this movie I've read makes a
reference to the fact that Supermodel Elle MacPherson is naked as a jaybird
therein. Many times the identity of the actor overrides the identity of the
character; in Greenaway's *Prospero's Books*, we recollect that John Gielgud
and a bunch of other actors are naked (not Prospero and some other characters).
 If a college group presented a naked Lady Macbeth, her friends, the theater
community, etc. would rush off to see the actor nude.  Thus, JMcK's assertion
 
>It seems to me that it [nudity] equals what it's made to equal.
>Or more accurately, it does what an actor and director make it do.
 
is only partially correct.  What the audience does with the fact of nudity
matters an awful lot.  Of course, what the audience does with any convention --
buckets of stage blood, ribbons representing blood, etc. -- matters an awful
lot.  If we are going to present more nudity, for whatever valid dramatic
reason, we must also account for our audience and how they will interpret it.
 
Jon Enriquez
The Graduate School
Georgetown University
ENRIQUEZJ@guvax     (Bitnet)

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