The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0400 Thursday, 3 March 2005
Date: Tuesday, 01 Mar 2005 00:26:04 -0800
Subject: Pinter's Lear
The Independent today (Mar. 1) says that Harold Pinter is giving up
playwriting in favor of political commentary. He's written 29 plays
since 1957 and, the story says, "the screenplay /The Tragedy of King
Lear/, which has not been filmed" (or published).
This project seems to have been under way for a few years, according
to Pinter's website; the actor Tim Roth is to direct.
(http://www.haroldpinter.org/films/films_kinglear.shtml) Roth earlier
told the Independent that the film "will be similar in style to either
Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet
<http://www.filmunlimited.co.uk/Film_Page/0,4061,35016,00.html> or Akira
Kurosawa's Ran <http://guardian.imdb.com/Title?0089881>, which swapped
Lear's daughters for sons."
Roth's website says the film is not yet in production and gives no
cast but quotes Roth on Pinter's screenplay, "This is a very hefty
piece, to say the least, and I'm not interested in a bunch of people
standing around a castle talking....What Harold Pinter will do is
rearrange, cut and then turn it from a stage piece into cinema."
Pinter is well-known as a screenwriter but hasn't adapted any
Shakespeare. Roth hasn't been in any Sh. movies but, interestingly,
played Guildenstern in the movie of Stoppard's play in 1990, Cromwell in
2003's To Kill a King, and Gregor Samsa in Metamorphosis in 1987.
The latest two Lear films seem to be Brian Blessed's 1999 version (video
available in UK) and Richard Eyre's 1998 TV production, with Ian Holm as
Lear (video available in US and Canada).
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