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Home :: Archive :: 1999 :: April ::
Re: Shakespeare Related Films
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.06632  Wednesday, 14 April 1999.

[1]     From:   Alexander Houck <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 13 Apr 1999 19:20:47 -0700
        Subj:   SHK 10.06623 Re: Shakespeare Related Films

[2]     From:   Moira Russell <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 13 Apr 1999 20:22:50 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.06623 Re: Shakespeare Related Films


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Alexander Houck <
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Date:           Tuesday, 13 Apr 1999 19:20:47 -0700
Subject: Re: Shakespeare Related Films
Comment:        SHK 10.06623 Re: Shakespeare Related Films

Hopefully, I will be able to remove my foot from my mouth after having
cited the incorrect Shakespeare play to Never Been Kissed.  While it is
embarrassing, thank you for correcting me.

Alex Houck
Santa Clara University

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Moira Russell <
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Date:           Tuesday, 13 Apr 1999 20:22:50 -0700
Subject: 10.06623 Re: Shakespeare Related Films
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.06623 Re: Shakespeare Related Films

Thomas Cartelli wrote,

>Finally, your "liking" or not liking the
>film is, I would think, less pertinent to this list-group than
>determining how the film stages/reproduces Shakespeare which it does in
>very intriguing ways.

Well, I didn't like the film precisely ~because~ of the way it staged
Shakespeare-as someone else lucidly said, the speeches which were
included seemed "undigested."  I imagine the filmmaker thought it would
be a great idea to make Prince Hal's chosen exile the sad, sleazy,
modern underworld of hustlers, but too many inessential elements were
introduced-the narcolepsy, the sudden jaunt to Italy, the endless road
scenes-and the atmosphere of those scenes seemed rather incoherent,
anti-verbal, rambling, intentionally cheap and pathetic, which made the
sudden bursts into Shakespearean verse jarring, rather than-as I assume
the original intent was-providing the essential illumination to each
scene they were included in.  I think River Phoenix is meant as an
emotional double for Falstaff-therefore, his abandonment at the movie's
end.

On a related note-what do people think of Keanu Reeves' various
Shakespeare performances?  I know he was in Branagh's "Much Ado About
Nothing," and wasn't he in another Shakespeare movie?  I hear he played
Hamlet onstage in Canada.  While I thought he brooded and sulked well (I
mean he had a dark, inward-turned expression which seemed to express
someone who could really hold a grudge) in "Much Ado" I didn't think he
spoke the verse very well.  I thought he did better as Prince Hal, with
that same held-back interior quality.  I can't imagine him as Hamlet, if
only because he doesn't seem like an actor who's able to speak very
fluently.

Moira Russell
 

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