2003

Al Pacino or Patrick Stewart as Shylock? Maybe Both

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.1643  Tuesday, 19 August 2003

From:           Brian Willis <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 18 Aug 2003 10:10:05 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 14.1634 Al Pacino or Patrick Stewart as Shylock? Maybe
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1634 Al Pacino or Patrick Stewart as Shylock? Maybe
Both

It might perhaps be true that one or even both films are not
commercially viable. But it would be an interesting study if they did
indeed come out close together. I've always felt that the greatest way
to study a play is to see different productions close together,
analyzing and discussing the different and similar choices they make.
Contemporary and period side by side. A more traditional, classically
trained actor in a contemporary production against a cinematic actor in
a period film. For selfish reasons, I hope they both proceed and make
enough money to justify the experiment.

Brian Willis

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Thirteenth Night

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.1642  Tuesday, 19 August 2003

[1]     From:   Graham Hall <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 18 Aug 2003 14:39:58 +0000
        Subj:   Hot in question

[2]     From:   Sam Small <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 18 Aug 2003 21:59:05 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1631 Thirteenth Night


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Graham Hall <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 18 Aug 2003 14:39:58 +0000
Subject:        Hot in question

Charles Weinstein (14.1631) is correct to pose the question:

>[...]Tell me: How much of Shakespeare's text may a film excise before
>it ceases to be a valid production of the play?  It's a question
>that Professors of English Literature should be particularly
>interested in asking."

It's a theme to which I warmed earlier this year on SHAKSPER in respect
of live performance. I offered a rule of thumb which might be applied.
There  have been occasions of late when the extent of cutting text alone
- usually  to reduce cast - is a disgrace but is exacerbated by
prolonged, irrelevant and daft "artistic invention" designed, one
suspects, to pad out the paucities  and allow quadrupling actors to
change costume. I believe there is a case  for legal action against
these blighters. Boycotting the company is another  (albeit weak)
option. Chucking rotten veg at 'em could ease the frustration (but could
damage the screen in the case of cinema/TV).

 It's a problem that is on the increase.

Best,
Graham Hall

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sam Small <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 18 Aug 2003 21:59:05 +0100
Subject: 14.1631 Thirteenth Night
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1631 Thirteenth Night

I too saw at least some of the awful production to which Charles
refers.  It was spiritless whilst trying to be world-inclusive as if
lecturing the pained viewers that the bard can travel.  The diction and
delivery of the lines was the one element that seemed to have had no
time at all spent on it.  Instead we had garish lighting and sweaty
makeup better suited for a Lagos market place in summer.  Charles was
too kind.

Without doubt the finest medium for Shakespeare in 2003 is television.
The theatre constantly produces barrages of inscrutable Elizabethan
banter, whilst the cinema is obsessed with what something looks like
rather than what it sounds like, hence 50 to 60 percent of the lines are
cut.  Television is never as expensive as feature film; a talented
company need not be tied up for weeks or months; television's pedigree
is in soaps, therefore the drama of words and body language is second
nature; big stars are more likely to commit to a week's shoot for a TV
production than months in a theatre as well as being glad of the
prestige it offered their careers.

Television can divide long, complete plays into several parts for easy
programming therefore a well produced TV production need not cut any
lines that have a direct bearing on important aspects of the play.
Dreadful films like Lurhman's R+L simply give the plot.  Because it is
visual at the expense of words the poetry is lost.  And the poetry's the
thing.

SAM SMALL

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Re: Romeo Is Banished

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.1640  Tuesday, 19 August 2003

From:           Stuart Manger <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 18 Aug 2003 15:25:55 +0100
Subject: 14.1627 Re: Romeo Is Banished
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1627 Re: Romeo Is Banished

Capulet is sufficiently politically astute and conciliatory to
absolutely forbid Tybalt from roughing up Romeo even when his cover is
blown at the Ball. In marked contrast to his treatment of his own
daughter!!

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DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the
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Fireworks and Fretting

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.1641  Tuesday, 19 August 2003

From:           Stuart Manger <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 18 Aug 2003 15:27:50 +0100
Subject: 14.1633 Fireworks and Fretting
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1633 Fireworks and Fretting

............ and I think a Japanese Hamlet in London in the autumn.

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DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the
editor assumes no responsibility for them.

The Image of Woman

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.1639  Tuesday, 19 August 2003

From:           Sam Small <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 18 Aug 2003 14:36:48 +0100
Subject:        The Image of Woman

I just happened across this passage from act 5 of The Taming of the
Shrew - a play I'm not familiar with in detail.

        Fie, fie! unknit that threatening unkind brow,
        And dart not scornful glances from those eyes,
        To wound thy lord, thy king, thy governor:
        It blots thy beauty as frosts do bite the meads,
        Confounds thy fame as whirlwinds shake fair buds,
        And in no sense is meet or amiable.
        A woman moved is like a fountain troubled,
        Muddy, ill-seeming, thick, bereft of beauty;
        And while it is so, none so dry or thirsty
        Will deign to sip or touch one drop of it.
        Thy husband is thy lord, thy life, thy keeper,
        Thy head, thy sovereign; one that cares for thee,
        And for thy maintenance commits his body
        To painful labour both by sea and land,
        To watch the night in storms, the day in cold,
        Whilst thou liest warm at home, secure and safe;
        And craves no other tribute at thy hands
        But love, fair looks and true obedience;
        Too little payment for so great a debt.
        Such duty as the subject owes the prince
        Even such a woman oweth to her husband;
        And when she is froward, peevish, sullen, sour,
        And not obedient to his honest will,
        What is she but a foul contending rebel
        And graceless traitor to her loving lord?
        I am ashamed that women are so simple
        To offer war where they should kneel for peace;
        Or seek for rule, supremacy and sway,
        When they are bound to serve, love and obey.

We cannot prove that it is Shakespeare's voice (it is Katharina's) but
it is seriously spoken by a serious character.  Does this resonate in
2003?  What do the women on this list make of it?  Is the speech purely
ironic in context?  Does it reflect a conservative mind already seeing
the green buds of a new social woman?  Is 2003 all about the current
similar economic performance of men and women?  If Shakespeare is so
universal where does this passage fit in?  Could a modern author write
such sincere material and get away with it?

SAM SMALL

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
The S H A K S P E R Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>

DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the
editor assumes no responsibility for them.

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