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Home :: Archive :: 1998 :: September ::
Re: Kurosawa; Holinshed; Wishbone; AYL; MND; NY
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0862  Friday, 18 September 1998.

[1]     From:   Peter S. Donaldson <
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        Date:   Thursday, 17 Sep 1998 10:51:42 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0851  Re: Kurosawa

[2]     From:   Bradley Berens <
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        Date:   Thursday, 17 Sep 1998 09:54:05 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0858  Re: Holinshed

[3]     From:   Nancy Charlton <
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        Date:   Thursday, 17 Sep 1998 13:10:55 -0700
        Subj: " Tempest" on Kid's TV

[4]     From:   Henry Griffy <
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        Date:   Friday, 18 Sep 1998 02:31:48 -0500
        Subj:   RE: SHK 9.0853  *As You Like It* Productions

[5]     From:   Robert Burke <
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        Date:   Fridayy, 18 Sep 1998 07:49:24 -0600 (CST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0669  Midsummer Study Guide Update

[6]     From:   Abigail Quart <
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        Date:   Friday, 18 Sep 1998 18:01:58 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0857  Re: Shakespeare in New York


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Peter S. Donaldson <
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Date:           Thursday, 17 Sep 1998 10:51:42 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 9.0851  Re: Kurosawa
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0851  Re: Kurosawa

I agree with Mike Jensen that High and Low is one of Kurosawa's great
films, and is too little known and appreciated (though the 87 people who
cast votes on the International Movie Database http://us.imdb.com gave
it a very favorable 8.8 rating).     It is also an adaptation (of the
novel "King's Ransom" by Ed McBain).  The English title refers to social
class, urban topography and camera angles!  My sharpest "auteurist"
friends thinks the camera jumps around too much inside Kingo Gondo's
apartment, but there are reasons for this! (I hopelessly argued).

I will miss Kurosawa, but am no worshipper, preferring Ozu and Mizoguchi
(Sansho the Bailiff, Ugetsu, Princess Yang Kwei Fei).  Ran is a serious
film, of course, but seems to me at times to be leaning on Kurosawa's
status as "artist" a bit heavily.  At the time of its US premier at the
New York film festival, Kurosawa was letting it be known that the film
"had nothing to do with Shakespeare," and some of this got into Vincent
Canby's review.  I was in the audience, as my brother had traded
something he wouldn't specify for two tickets (are anecdotes entirely
discredited yet?  I'm afraid none of Frobisher's crew appear in this
one), and the dean of humanities paid for the shuttle flight.  Richard
Roud announced that Kurosawa would answer questions, but  he warned the
audience that the director had declared himself on the matter of the
film's relation to Shakespeare already.  I wanted to be polite but I had
to ask about Ran's relation to Brook and Kosintsev or face the
possibility that this was not a research trip at all!  (there were
already doubters).  Such was the mystique of the event that there were a
few catcalls when i spoke and the translator was asked not to translate
the question.  I rephrased in the subjunctive {"yes but if it WERE a
Shakespeare adaptation would Mr.  Kurosawa have been influenced at all
by.....}.  This passed muster, and the translated answer was "Brook:
didn't see it.  Kosintsev: wasn't influenced by it."   I also recall the
superb session on Kurosawa in Tokyo in 1991, with Jack Jorgens, Ken
Rothwell, Kathy Howlett and others.  The papers were excellent, and Jack
Jorgens began a dialogue concerning the divergent meanings K's films
have here and in Japan that ought to be resumed.


[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Bradley Berens <
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Date:           Thursday, 17 Sep 1998 09:54:05 -0700
Subject: 9.0858  Re: Holinshed
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0858  Re: Holinshed

Greetings all,

Thirty years ago Stephen Booth wrote a useful book specifically about
how Shakespearean's should and shouldn't use Holinshed.  For those of
you who know Stephen, it is vintage high-Booth-opinionation, but still
quite useful.  I, for example, found it particularly helpful when
studying for my comps.  Unfortunately, it was a limited edition from the
Book Club of California.   Here is the citation from the Berkeley
library.  Best of luck finding a copy, but if your library has one it is
worth a look.

       Booth, Stephen.
       The book called Holinshed's Chronicles; an account of its
         inception, purpose, contributors, contents, publicatio...
       [San Francisco] Book Club of California, 1968.
       Publication (Book Club of California) ; no.
130.

        Best,
        Brad Berens

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Nancy Charlton <
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Date:           Thursday, 17 Sep 1998 13:10:55 -0700
Subject: "      Tempest" on Kid's TV

Thinking back to the wonderful thread on Shakespeare and children, I
wonder whether any of you caught "Wishbone" on PBS last Friday.  In this
episode, the kids in the story are putting on a production of "The
Tempest" and the precocious terrier Wishbone gets to be a most unlikely
but most charming Ariel.  I didn't see the whole thing, just happened
upon it while going through the channels, so am not sure of what the
outer plot was about.  In my estimation, few programs make "moral"
points as gracefully and effectively as does "Wishbone," and this one
seemed to be no exception.

The producers used animation most constructively, as in whisking Ariel
through the air, making people appear and disappear, in Prospero's
magic, particularly in drawing the faery ring of fire.  Professional
actors played a much-condensed version of the play, but managed to work
in all the great speeches (I think of them as arias, as in opera).
Caliban was downplayed greatly, I would surmise because the PC problems
would be just too much to cope with in a 30-minute production.

Anyway, it was children's TV at its best -- and didn't do too badly by
Shakespeare either.

Nancy Charlton
Portland OR

[4]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Henry Griffy <
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Date:           Friday, 18 Sep 1998 02:31:48 -0500
Subject: 9.0853  *As You Like It* Productions
Comment:        RE: SHK 9.0853  *As You Like It* Productions

Last semester, in the course of preparing a presentation about AYLI
web-resources, I came across a page describing (w/ photos) a 50's-era
doo-wop style production.  I imagine they encountered many of the same
issues you have/are/will.  The page is located at
http://www.cwru.edu/artsci/thtr/website/AsYou.htm

Henry Griffy

PS.  Best of luck.  The 60s seems like a fecund source of useful
analogues for themes like the pros & cons of being in & out of power, as
well as the motif of alienated (though privileged) offspring.

[5]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Robert Burke <
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Date:           Fridayy, 18 Sep 1998 07:49:24 -0600 (CST)
Subject: 8.0669  Midsummer Study Guide Update
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0669  Midsummer Study Guide Update

If it is not too late, may one request a program now?  The address:

        Robert R. Burke
        1100 Rockhurst Road
        Kansas City, Missouri 64110

Thanks.

[6]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Abigail Quart <
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Date:           Friday, 18 Sep 1998 18:01:58 -0400
Subject: 9.0857  Re: Shakespeare in New York
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0857  Re: Shakespeare in New York

Edna Boris said her kids had never seen a play performed, let alone a
Shakespeare play. Owing to a death in the family, I recently found the
letter I wrote my grandmother describing the first time I saw, and
loved, a Shakespeare play: it was Twelfth Night in Stratford,
Connecticut, a junior high school outing. I laughed at nearly
400-year-old jokes! That's a revelation to a 12 year old. I guess I
wished the same experience for Ms.  Boris' students.

Much Ado was written in Shakespeare's golden time. Pericles, are we
really sure it's his? Totally, absolutely positive? Was he not feeling
well that month?

For those of us who have seen them all, or nearly all-what a treat to
get a look at Pericles. For newbies?
 

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