The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.0820 Monday, 18 March 2002
Date: Friday, 15 Mar 2002 16:46:34 -0500
Subject: 13.0809 Re: A Renaissance in Need of Reform
Comment: RE: SHK 13.0809 Re: A Renaissance in Need of Reform
>"O" may be the first instance of a Shakespearean film in the current
>crop or "Renaissance" which eschews the language but finds modern
>equivalents for every major plot point."
I haven't yet seen "O" although I am very much looking forward to it.
But I did want to point out that William Reilly's 1991 "Men of Respect"
is a modern language interpretation of "Macbeth" that follows the plot
almost too closely. For example, the Macbeth and Banquo characters -
hardened mobsters - stumble into a psychic's trailer while on the run
after a hit. There they receive the prophecies that will motivate the
rest of the movie, but it is hard to imagine these characters even
listening to an apparently crazed seer, let alone taking her seriously.
Some of the modernizations, however, are rather ingenious. Lady Macbeth
speaks about an abortion she had, at Macbeth's request, with the same
emotional weight as "I have given suck..." and the trees of Birnam Wood
are replaced with falling stars, which turn out to be firecrackers. And
my favorite Shakespearean aside, in the film's version of 1.2, which
contains a full report of Macbeth and Banquo's recent hit that closely
parallels the original, the report ends with, "What a piece of work that
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