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Home :: Archive :: 2004 :: August ::
Best Cinematic Hamlet?
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.1579  Tuesday, 24 August 2004

[1]     From:   Cheryl Newton <
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        Date:   Monday, 23 Aug 2004 10:41:49 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.1569 Best Cinematic Hamlet?

[2]     From:   D. Buchanan <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 24 Aug 2004 07:25:53 -0400
        Subj:   SHK 15.1569 Best Cinematic Hamlet?


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Cheryl Newton <
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Date:           Monday, 23 Aug 2004 10:41:49 -0400
Subject: 15.1569 Best Cinematic Hamlet?
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.1569 Best Cinematic Hamlet?

Bill Arnold <
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 >

 >OK: gadzooks, where is the *sense* in this quest? ... Does not the
 >*interpretation* of Will S.'s *Hamlet* fit into the equation? ...  Are
 >these *best" cinematic performances *mutually exclusive*?  Does not the
 >concept of *best Hamlet* imply some integrity to the script?

Bill & All - In my case, the "sense" is sheer enjoyment of seeing the
variations & interpretations.  I have my pet peeves & preferences, but
they're free floating.  The ultra modern Hawke, complete with fax
machines, red-lit dark rooms, and revolvers, triggers most of my hot
points, yet sneaks under my radar & I find myself enjoying it.  In my
purely subjective scoring system, I'm looking for consistency (mad or
not is irrelevant, as long as the director & actor are in accord),
appropriate age casting (Gertrude is not 5 yrs older than Hamlet;
Ophelia is not 15 yrs younger; Horatio is a similar age friend, not a
geezer/mentor), naturalistic rather than emotive acting. Fortinbras can
be or not be; don't care.  ~grin~ I am inflexible on just one point.
Hamlet must die in Horatio's arms.  (Apologies to Olivier!) Most
productions have some "best" elements.  In my mind's eye I keep a
constantly evolving production.  It's much more amusing than, say, soap
operas! But I have to admit that my retired English prof asks me, "My
God - take a break from it.  Haven't you read Macbeth or Lear?"

Cheryl

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           D. Buchanan <
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Date:           Tuesday, 24 Aug 2004 07:25:53 -0400
Subject: Best Cinematic Hamlet?
Comment:        SHK 15.1569 Best Cinematic Hamlet?

Best -- we will never agree. Favourite -- we need never agree. I like
Jacobi for all the reasons stated (and principally for his use of the
text). Klein cried his way through it. I've just ordered Campbell Scott.
I've always found it hard to take Mel Gibson seriously. But long ago I
saw a version, filmed at Stratford, Ontario, with Douglas Rain in the
role. It's been 30 years but I remember it as being quite good.

D. Buchanan

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