William Shakespeare

Edwin Sherin – King Lear (1974)

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This historic 1974 recording of King Lear brings to audiences today both a great production of Shakespeare’s classic, but also a performance of towering brilliance from the formidable James Earl Jones. This recording, made at Joseph Papp’s legendary open air New York Shakespeare Festival, also captures the brilliant performances from the late Raul Julia, alongside a great cast that includes Paul Sovrino, Ellen Holly, Rosalind Cash, and Lee Chamberlain. Read More »

Sergei Yutkevich – Otello (1955)

Imdb Author: eva25at from Vienna, Austria:
This smart and colorful version of the bard’s play about the green eyed monster jealousy is popular entertainment: it runs like an Errol-Flynn-swashbuckler. Curly-head Desdemona looks like a (ripe) Hollywood starlet and Emilia is equally attractive. Sergei Bondarchuk’s performance remains astonishingly fresh. He is a handsome, commanding presence with a boyish naivity: easy to dupe, but very sexy. Andrei Popov is equally superb as Don Juan like Iago, a fiery-eyed rooster. This film anticipates even the daring relationship of the Laurence Fishburne/ Kenneth Branagh version: In one scene Bondarchuk & Popov coo like turtle-doves. Laurence Olivier’s (now politically incorrect) Othello and Kenneth Branagh’s genial Iago may be unsurpassed, but this soviet version is more entertaining than the moth-eaten Orson Welles film and definitely more intelligent than the Zeffirelli film. Yutkevich won the director award in Cannes! Read More »

Gregory Doran – Macbeth (2001)

Antony Sher and Harriet Walter star in a highly-acclaimed screen version of William Shakespeare’s classic story of tyranny and ambition.

On the stage this Royal Shakespeare Company presentation was universally lauded. Following sell-out seasons at Stratford’s Swan Theatre and in London, the production played in Japan and in the United States, where The New York Times praised director Gregory Doran’s interpretation as a “harrowing and disturbingly funny parable for the dawn of the 21st century”. Read More »

Orson Welles – The Tragedy of Othello: The Moor of Venice (1952)

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Want to be daring? Try watching Othello without the sound. The assembly of magnificent compositions that Welles has put together for his Othello is nothing short of astounding. Welles finds angles where they never existed before and extracts from the text, so elegant in word, a visual power unmatched by other Shakespearean movies. The heritage from Citizen Kane to Touch of Evil is evident in this stylistic tour-de-force.

Welles is an imposing Othello. Painted with shadows and light, Welles moves regally through the castle sets and strides powerfully along the beach or atop the ramparts. As Iago, Michael Mac Liammoir, the Irish stage actor, is quite creepy. His vast stage experience perhaps affects his performance in front of the camera too much, but the result is highly effective under Welles’ guiding camera and brilliant editing. Read More »

Thea Sharrock – ‘As You Like It’ at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre (2010)

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Rosalind, the daughter of a banished duke, falls in love with Orlando at a wrestling match, but her usurping uncle, jealous of her popularity, banishes her from court. Disguised as a boy she seeks out her father and his friends in the Forest of Arden. Here she meets Orlando again and, under the guise of a young man, counsels him in the art of love.

Directed by Thea Sharrock
Designed by Dick Bird
Music composed by Stephen Warbeck
Choreographed by Fin Walker

Recorded live at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, London, in October 2009. Read More »

Matías Piñeiro – La princesa de Francia AKA The Princess of France (2014)

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Victor returns to Buenos Aires after a stay in Mexico for his father’s death to prepare a radio production of “Love’s Labour’s Lost.” Reuniting with his repertory, he finds himself sorting out complicated entanglements with girlfriend Paula, sometime lover Ana, and departed actress Natalia, as well as his muddled relations with the constellation of friends involved with the project. As the film tracks the group’s crisscrossing movements and interactions, their lives become increasingly enmeshed with the fiction they’re reworking, potential outcomes multiply, and reality itself seems subject to transformation. An intimate work that takes characters and viewers alike into dizzying realms of possibility, The Princess of France is the most ambitious film yet from one of world cinema’s brightest young talents, a cumulatively thrilling experience. Read More »

Grigori Kozintsev – Gamlet AKA Hamlet [+extras] (1964)

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Synopsis:

A screen adaptation of William Shakespeare’s tragedy.
The somber Elsinore Castle that keeps secrets of many a crime is looming over the rocky coastline. Prince Hamlet once again puts the question: “To be, or not to be?” He is the first thinker in the line of warriors, a poet and a philosopher, a character so close to future generations. In the utterly corrupted kingdom, a lone hero is bound to take up arms to avenge his father’s death. This film became a champion among Lenfilm Studio’s prize-winning motion pictures – 23 awards in four years. The musical score was written by the great Russian composer Dmitry Shostakovich. Read More »