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Home :: Archive :: 1999 :: March ::
Re: High School Shakespeare and Getting Back
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.042  Tuesday 2 March 1999.

[1]     From:   Hugh Howard Davis <
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        Date:   Monday, 1 Mar 1999 09:43:37 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0328 Re: High School Shakespeare

[2]     From:   Mary Hjelm <
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        Date:   Monday, 01 Mar 1999 08:38:28 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0328 Re: High School Shakespeare

[3]     From:   Mike Jensen <
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        Date:   Monday, 01 Mar 1999 09:10:48 -0800
        Subj:   SHK 10.0328 Re: High School Shakespeare

[4]     From:   Richard A Burt <
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        Date:   Monday, 01 Mar 1999 14:04:51 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0328 Re: High School Shakespeare

[5]     From:   Nancy Charlton <
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        Date:   Monday, 01 Mar 1999 22:51:49 -0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0313 Getting Back . . .


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Hugh Howard Davis <
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Date:           Monday, 1 Mar 1999 09:43:37 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 10.0328 Re: High School Shakespeare
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0328 Re: High School Shakespeare

Pat Dolan asked

>Speaking of which, is it true that Les Liasons Dangereuses has been set
>in high-school? Now that would be cool.

Yes it has.  The film is called -Cruel Intentions-, and it opens this
week.

Hugh Davis

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mary Hjelm <
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Date:           Monday, 01 Mar 1999 08:38:28 -0700
Subject: 10.0328 Re: High School Shakespeare
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0328 Re: High School Shakespeare

Helen Ostovich wrote:

>I have no problem with teen-directed versions of Shakespeare.  What I
>want to see now is senior citizen Shakespeare:  how about a King Lear
>whose place is either in the streets or in an old folks' home, but not
>in your home?  How about an age-reversed Romeo and Juliet as
>octogenarians in love, but separated by warring factions of children?
>Just how much older than Desdemona IS Othello-and just how old is she?
>_All's Well That Ends Well_ may be the perfect senior citizen play:  who
>wants a return to marriageable youth when Bertram is the available
>husband?  More suggestions welcome.

I'd love to see an older Beatrice and Bertram.  Their maturity already
strikes a nice nice against Hero's and Claudio's youthful infatuation.
Why not make them 40ish?

--Mary Hjelm

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mike Jensen <
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Date:           Monday, 01 Mar 1999 09:10:48 -0800
Subject: Re: High School Shakespeare
Comment:        SHK 10.0328 Re: High School Shakespeare

Pat Donal wrote:

> The current spate of filmed Shakespeare strikes me more as the
> industry's response to a variety of critiques-often right-wing, but not
> always-which suggest that the industry (a crude term, I know, but the
> best I can do before my meeting this afternoon) is culturally pernicious
> and illiterate (not non-literate).

Ah, Pat, perhaps the following is what you mean by this.  Perhaps not.
It FEELS like you are over reacting a bit.   Pernicious?

Ken Branagh, in an interview in CREATIVE SCREENWRITER magazine, says
that Hollywood has no interest in Shakespeare per say.  They are only
interested in making money.  If Shakespeare makes money, they are
interested in making Shakespeare films.  Your rhetoric sounds like you
are putting on some layers of judgement and interpretation that the film
industry may not feel fits them. But then your may be more interested in
your interpretation than in theirs?   (A review of CREATIVE SCREENWRITER
is forthcoming in SHAKESPEARE BULLETIN.  I know Jim, I know.  I was in
bed with pneumonia the entire December break so I'm a bit behind.  I'm
making progress every weekend.)

Note: Branagh's comments were directed at the Hollywood film industry.
I do not know if he would include others as well.

Mike Jensen

P.S. I saw a preview for a movie with a title something like 10 REASONS
WHY I HATE  YOU.  It is clearly SHREW given the CLUELESS treatment and
set in a high school or college.  The lead female character was even
named Catherine.  I thought it looked dreary, but the rest of the
audience seemed amused.

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Richard A Burt <
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Date:           Monday, 01 Mar 1999 14:04:51 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 10.0328 Re: High School Shakespeare
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0328 Re: High School Shakespeare

Yes, it is true that Dangerous Liasons has been set in high school. The
film is called Cruel Intentions and opens Friday.

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Nancy Charlton <
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Date:           Monday, 01 Mar 1999 22:51:49 -0800
Subject: 10.0313 Getting Back . . .
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0313 Getting Back . . .

I wonder if anyone else here has noticed the paradox of Marilyn Bonomi's
calling for an end to political discussion and another thread, namely
the forthcoming Shakespeare productions set in high schools.

Are we to make Shakespeare "relevant" in ludicrous ways, yet ban
discussion of current, crucial events in the USA and in the world where
Shakespearian insights may be incisively illuminating?

A football field is not Scotland or any other nation; the action there,
being boxed in by rules of the game which are several removes from the
polities which frame the Shakespearian cosmos.  Why not instead offer
kids the compliment of assuming that they are capable of performing acts
of historical imagination:  demand that they understand Elizabethan
England and then learn to relate precisely to our contemporaries.

As for readers in other countries, how about some political parallels
elsewhere than the USA?

I agree with Marilyn that when the discussion veers to US politics ONLY,
to the exclusion of an Shakespearian reference, that it shouldn't be
here.

Nancy Charlton
Portland OR
 

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