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Home :: Archive :: 1999 :: February ::
Re: High School Shakespeare
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.0323  Friday, 26 February 1999.

[1]     From:   
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        Date:   Thursday, 25 Feb 1999 10:44:03 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0314 Re: High School Shakespeare

[2]     From:   Kenneth Requa <
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 >
        Date:   Thursday, 25 Feb 1999 21:53:32 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0310 Re: "Soul"; HS Sh.


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           
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Date:           Thursday, 25 Feb 1999 10:44:03 -0500
Subject: 10.0314 Re: High School Shakespeare
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0314 Re: High School Shakespeare

Mark Perew writes that

>While I was underwhelmed with the "Romeo+Juliet" film-it's nothing more
>than eye candy-it was the vehicle which sparked my daughter's interest
>in Shakespeare.

I'm glad to hear that it has, and particularly that it provided an
eventual avenue into his spending time together with his daughter.
However, for all the deficiencies of the film-and it has several,
particularly as a film-I don't know that classifying it as eye candy
serves it, or we who spend our time talking about Shakespeare, well.  It
participates in a range of cultural transactions, some of them quite
sophisticated, that reveal quite a bit about how Romeo is being
understood in culture at the moment.  Dismissing the film as puffery
and/or a distortion of the playtext cuts us off from a clear-eyed
understanding of how the thing works, as film, as performance, as
performance text, and so limits an understanding of our purported
subject.

Kirk Hendershott-Kraetzer

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Kenneth Requa <
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 >
Date:           Thursday, 25 Feb 1999 21:53:32 EST
Subject: 10.0310 Re: "Soul"; HS Sh.; Hotstaff;
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0310 Re: "Soul"; HS Sh.; Hotstaff;
Characters;
Linguist

>The apparent idea
>is to get both the highly coveted youth audience and the art
>house/scholarly set to both go see the film (I might question how large
>this audience truly is as well). But will they manage?  It seems to me
>that many academics balk at Shakespearean films which merely appropriate
>plot, so could this all backfire?

It seems to me that the idea could work, if some "academics" would
realize that any exploration of Shakespeare is worth seeing because it
is someone else's vision.  Because we can't speak with the author to
discover what his vision really was, and because he never made any films
we can watch, we are forced to explore the plays as each one of us
struggles with what the play really is.

Another positive aspect to all of this transposition is that it
illustrates the universal quality of Shakespeare.  What other author has
had most of his works set in nearly every time period and setting
imaginable.  I think that even if they may have different motives, I
think the filmakers encouraging this sort of Shakespeare is helping to
create a new "branch" of Shakespeare interpretation that cannot be
ignored.
 

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