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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: September ::
Re: Grigori Kozintsev's Hamlet
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.2183  Monday, 17 September 2001

[1]     From:   Mark Harris <
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        Date:   Friday, 14 Sep 2001 08:57:39 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.2171 Re: Grigori Kozintsev's Hamlet

[2]     From:   Brian Willis <
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        Date:   Saturday, 15 Sep 2001 06:06:00 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.2171 Re: Grigori Kozintsev's Hamlet


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mark Harris <
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Date:           Friday, 14 Sep 2001 08:57:39 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 12.2171 Re: Grigori Kozintsev's Hamlet
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.2171 Re: Grigori Kozintsev's Hamlet

Sean Lawrence wrote:

> It is a really good film, but I wouldn't say that
> the film "looks
> great".  Maybe it was just the copy I saw, or the
> projectionist, but it
> seemed to me that the cameras Kozintsev had access
> to were unable to
> hold a focus.  What impressed me was how good the
> film was anyway.

I think it must have been the print or the projectionist, because the
print I saw was gorgeous and sharp (it had a 1995 date on it - I suppose
a re-release date). Facets Multimedia in Chicago showed it twice in
August, screened by my good friend and master projectionist Kirk Madsen,
who makes every print of every film look as good as it possibly can.

Mark

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Brian Willis <
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Date:           Saturday, 15 Sep 2001 06:06:00 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 12.2171 Re: Grigori Kozintsev's Hamlet
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.2171 Re: Grigori Kozintsev's Hamlet

I was fortunate enough to see the Kozintsev Hamlet at the Shakespeare
Institute since they are one of the few places to actually have a copy.

I was greatly impressed by this vision of the play.  The political
themes are particularly relevant: if Denmark is a prison then this
Hamlet is continuously seen cornered or trapped near stone or in
corridors.  Particularly effective: "O that this too too solid flesh" in
voice-over while Hamlet walks the wrong way through a throng of people,
totally isolated from the mob yet submerged in them. One feels moments
of liberation or attempted liberation as well: the "pluck out my
mystery"/ recorder scene being a vivid moment of lashing out. A nice
symmetry as well to the ocean cinematography: it begins the play, it is
the backdrop for "to be or not to be" and it is where Hamlet finds the
rest is silence - where he finally breaks free.

Ophelia is amazing in this film and she is as trapped as Hamlet, with
many parallel shots to emphasize her link with Hamlet (much like the
highly underrated Michael Almereyda/ "Ethan Hawke" film.) I hope that it
comes out on DVD because I will buy it the day it is released.

Brian Willis

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