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Home :: Archive :: 2004 :: August ::
Best Cinematic Hamlet?
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.1569  Monday, 23 August 2004

[1]     From:   Stephen C. Rose <
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        Date:   Friday, 20 Aug 2004 04:00:35 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.1558 Best Cinematic Hamlet?

[2]     From:   Bill Arnold <
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        Date:   Friday, 20 Aug 2004 07:30:28 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.1558 Best Cinematic Hamlet?

[3]     From:   Cheryl Newton <
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        Date:   Friday, 20 Aug 2004 12:08:31 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.1558 Best Cinematic Hamlet?


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stephen C. Rose <
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Date:           Friday, 20 Aug 2004 04:00:35 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 15.1558 Best Cinematic Hamlet?
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.1558 Best Cinematic Hamlet?

Wow! These responses are sufficiently varied that they appear to admit
no consensus at all.

My main complaint with the BBC Hamlet was the same problem I have with
John Edwards as a speaker. Both are much better when they speak normally
and much worse when the move into "emote mode".

Best,
S

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Bill Arnold <
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Date:           Friday, 20 Aug 2004 07:30:28 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 15.1558 Best Cinematic Hamlet?
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.1558 Best Cinematic Hamlet?

Cheryl Newton writes, "What the heck - I'll reveal my lack of judgment.
  I've seen Olivier, Williamson, Jacobi, Chamberlain, Kline, Scott,
Gibson, Hawke, & one or two others."

OK: gadzooks, where is the *sense* in this quest?  My response is
directed at SHAKSPEReans, not just Ms. Newton.  Does not the
*interpretation* of Will S.'s *Hamlet* fit into the equation?  How can a
*cinematic* production of a play be judged *best* if the interpretation
is that *Hamlet* was mad, or *best* if the interpretation is that
*Hamlet* was not mad?  Are these *best" cinematic performances *mutually
exclusive*?  Does not the concept of *best Hamlet* imply some integrity
to the script?  And how can we agree on *best Hamlet* if we cannot agree
on the *best interpretation* of the script left to us by Will S.?

Bill Arnold
http://www.cwru.edu/affil/edis/scholars/arnold.htm

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Cheryl Newton <
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Date:           Friday, 20 Aug 2004 12:08:31 -0400
Subject: 15.1558 Best Cinematic Hamlet?
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.1558 Best Cinematic Hamlet?

Gibson fans will definitely want to see the Campbell Scott production.
It shares the lavish sets, is less severely edited, & is more
imaginatively acted.  Two of my pet peeves with most performances are
avoided: Ophelia is similar in age to Hamlet (not jail bait!) & Gertrude
is old enough to be his mother.  Jamey Sheridan is Claudius.  At first I
thought , "Huh?"  but he's good.  Polonius & family are black.

The unique stage actions really set this apart from other productions,
which so often build unwaveringly on previous versions.  I don't want to
give them away; that would take away their impact as you watch the film.
I'll just say that the silent build up to the "To be" speech will have
you holding your breath, & there will be a few other incidents that draw
a gasp of surprise no matter how well you know the play or how many
times you've seen it played.

Cheryl

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