Gregory Doran – Macbeth (2001)

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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”.

To make this compelling screen version, Gregory Doran worked with all of the original cast and filmed at London’s Roundhouse. Brilliantly shot by director of photography Ernie Vincze, the production uses the edgy techniques of fly-on-the-wall documentaries. The effect is raw, intimate and strikingly dynamic. Continue reading

Béla Tarr – Macbeth (1982)

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Description: Made for television, this version of Shakespeareâs Macbeth contains only two shots, of five and sixty-seven minutes respectively. For critic Jonathan Rosenbaum it marks a turning point in Tarrâs career: “Practically all the important action is staged in the foreground, with the camera following some characters and picking up others as it relentlessly tracks their movements and machinations through fog, torchlight, and dank, grottolike settings. …this video reprises elements from Tarrâs first three features while anticipating the extended, choreographed camera movements and metaphysical demonology of his second three. Continue reading

Franco Zeffirelli – The Taming of the Shrew (1967)

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Quote:
Liz and Dick (a.k.a. Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton) almost seemed to be importing the psychodramas of their marriage into this 1967 film (of course, the same was true of every film they made together). Adapted from Shakespeare’s play and directed by Franco Zeffirelli (Romeo and Juliet) with his usual eye for sumptuousness, this version of Taming features a particularly boisterous, bawdy, fun performance by its stars. Composer Nino Rota–best known for scoring several of Fellini’s best-known works–received a National Board of Reviews award for his vivid soundtrack. –Tom Keogh Continue reading

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. Continue reading

Jean-Luc Godard – King Lear (1987)

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Description: Everything returns to normal after Chernobyl. That is, everything but art. Most of the great works are lost, and it is up to people like William Shakespear Junior the Fifth to restore the lost artwork of the human race. He finds strange goings-on at a resort enough to remind him of all the lines of the play, dealing with mob boss Don Learo and his daughter Cordelia, a strange professor named Jean Luc-Godard (sic), who repeatedly xeroxes his hand for no particular reason. He is followed by four humanoid goblins that keep tormenting Cordelia. There is also the gentleman whose girlfriend, Valerie, isn’t always visible. Then the film is sent off to New York for Mr. Alien to edit. Continue reading