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Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: January ::
Shakespeare's Bottom Pinched
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0156  Wednesday, 26 January 2005

[1]     From:   Colin Cox <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 25 Jan 2005 08:10:56 -0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0139 Shakespeare's Bottom Pinched

[2]     From:   Alan Horn <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 26 Jan 2005 01:12:34 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0139 Shakespeare's Bottom Pinched

[3]     From:   Alan Horn <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 26 Jan 2005 01:12:34 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0139 Shakespeare's Bottom Pinched


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Colin Cox <
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Date:           Tuesday, 25 Jan 2005 08:10:56 -0800
Subject: 16.0139 Shakespeare's Bottom Pinched
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0139 Shakespeare's Bottom Pinched

 >An article in the Daily Telegraph on Tuesday 25th January,
 >"Shakespeare's Bottom pinched by Levi admen", describes how Midsummer
 >Night's Dream has been expropriated for a television advert.

I have not seen the article, but I have first hand experience of this
commercial. Many of the Will & Company actors were auditioned for the
part, the African-American actors in the company that is. Unlike the
Levi rep, the casting directors were quite insulting as to their faith
in young people to handle the language!! Having done this play umpteen
times with umpteen groups of nine and ten year olds, throughout
California, I have seen, with my own eyes, children's ability to grasp
these plots, often at a far more comprehensive level than many casting
directors I know!!

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Alan Horn <
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Date:           Wednesday, 26 Jan 2005 01:06:57 EST
Subject: 16.0139 Shakespeare's Bottom Pinched
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0139 Shakespeare's Bottom Pinched

 From the Telegraph article: "In the ad, Bottom exits a factory walking
past a gang of older men wearing unfashionably high-waisted jeans. One
of the men says, 'Bottom, thou art changed, what do I see on thee?', as
he grabs Bottom's loose fit 501s. The focus switches to Titania, a
waitress sweeping up in a cafe, who says: 'What angel wakes me from my
flowery bed?' She is mysteriously drawn out on to the street towards
Bottom, exclaiming, 'Mine eye is enthralled to thy shape.' The ad ends
with Titiana whispering to Bottom: 'I love thee.'"

In the play, of course, Bottom's transformation is grotesque and Titania
is magically manipulated to fall for him. Are people supposed to get the
irony?  Does the ad contain a self-mocking critique of consumerism? Or
is the play being reinterpreted and revalued?

By the way, has anyone seen it? Is it available online? Will it play in
the US as well?

Alan

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Alan Horn <
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 >
Date:           Wednesday, 26 Jan 2005 01:12:34 EST
Subject: 16.0139 Shakespeare's Bottom Pinched
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0139 Shakespeare's Bottom Pinched

More from the article: "'For a period in the late Nineties denim became
unfashionable,' said Louise Foster, of the fashion trade magazine
Draper's Record.  '501s - Levi's flagship brand - in particular suffered
from the so-called "Jeremy Clarkson effect," the association with men in
middle youth. But when demand for denim returned Levi's found itself
caught between cheap jeans and cooler, more expensive designer brands
such as Diesel.'"

Perhaps Shakespeare is only there to offset the racial theme-a white guy
dissociates himself from his square, older white peers by putting on a
hiphop fashion accessory (baggy jeans) and ends up attracting a sexy
black girl (see photo with article). The admakers want to make the brand
a little black to make it hipper and younger. But not too black-hence
the high culture frame.

Alan

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