Shakespeare on film, stage and TV

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Shakespeare on film, stage and TV

Postby portia » Fri Jan 31, 2014 3:49 pm

I am, as I have mentioned before, a big fan of Shakespeare. So, here's a thread.
I will start of with a review of "Coriolanus," as I want to get it out of my mind.

There was nothing that functioned as scenery. That bothered a friend of mine, but it seldom bothers me, as I can invent it or ignore, as necessary.
Coriolanus is a simple story. A warrior is a"war machine" but cannot make a transition to politics. His disdain for "the mob" and pressure from the mob's leaders drives him out of Rome. He joins forces with an enemy of Rome and finds himself at Rome's gates. His old friends try to dissuade him from levelling and sacking Rome, but eventually his mother cnvinces him. He is killed by the enemy. The interesting parts are "why" he is so disdainful of the Roman Mob, and there are many possible answers.Also, why he would want to try politics, at all.
I saw Tom Hiddleston in the National Theater Live production from London last night. His Coriolanus was very intolerant of the people and even abusive. But, he was also an amazing general and fighter. The staging was more active and violent than I have seen in other productions (4 or 5) and I am sure it takes a lot of work to maintain. But the play can support it. In one scene we get Coriolanus, who has just been "Whooped" out of Rome, going to Aufidious, his great enemy. In a go-for-broke act of bravado (arrogance/ego?), Coriolanus tells Aufidius to take hm on as a soldier or kill him. Aufidious, understanding the opportunity, accepts Coriolanus.
But Coriolanus is prevailed upon by his mother--not a surprise, as this Coriolanus shows signs of being under Mama's thumb earlier-- and he refuses to lead the Army into Rome. Aufidious is furious and Coriolanus is killed.
There is one OTT bit, as Coriolanus comes out, after having single handledly attacking a city, and is covered in stage blood. But it doesn look--to me-- realistic as being from a battle. The makeup Deptartment also overdid it on wounds and scars.

It was a good clear production, without gimmicks. I hope that the National Theater will decide to release it in DVD after the run is over.
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Re: Shakespeare on film, stage and TV

Postby Arlaug » Sat Feb 01, 2014 1:39 am

Bless you for this.
I am a great Shakespeare admirer, both as a reader and as an aspiring actress. However I will state that I haven't never seen Shakespeare on stage. I live in a very small, remoted town, we don't have a proper theatre nor have I had extra money to travel to capital to see any stageing. Sadly, that is. But having internet provided me with enough screening to see and actors to analyse.
I am so envious ;) in a positive way that you had gotten the chance to se Hiddleston as Caius. Must've been amazing in his department. I will hint a reference to a movie of Coriolanus by Ralph Fiennes whom I deeply love and admire. The screening was overall very successful. Not sure how did American greet the Shakespearean language but he decided to be true to the original. Its theatratical side might've been a bit too much with the overall surrounding and postmodernist, warzone setting. Nevertheless, the acting was the epitome of brilliance.
Gosh I'd write much more but I just realised I will be late
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Re: Shakespeare on film, stage and TV

Postby portia » Sat Feb 01, 2014 8:59 am

I also saw the Ralph Feinnes movie of "Coriolanus." I liked it very much. But, I think I am trending to a more "gimmickless," no frills acting of Shakespeare. Shakespeare wrote for a stage nearly without scenery, and done in (what was for him) "modern" dress. So when there is too much scenery, costumes, etc. I think it takes away from the play.
I sympathise with your acting ambitions, as I was also interested in that in High School. You may want to see Hiddleston in a 20+ minute discussion about The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art on You Tube. I thought it was very insightful and explained to me some of the reasons I didn't choose acting (!!).
Last edited by portia on Sat Feb 01, 2014 5:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Shakespeare on film, stage and TV

Postby Arlaug » Sat Feb 01, 2014 9:51 am

Finally some time off to vent here.
What I love about Fiennes' version here is casting Vanessa Redgrave as Volumnia. Their chemistry is pitch perfect and it helps to distinguish the evolving Caius to Coriolanus. As for the seting it has its dis-adbantageous system but overall, acting and diversions were beyo d my expectations. Npt to mention the choice he made as Shakespeare had had more well written martial dramas. Would be lovely to see him on stage somedays. have you seen him? Have you seen the upcoming Cymbeline cast led by Ed Harris and The Scottish play with Michael Fassbender? They seem to be slowly navigating towards some less popular dramas,hiddlestone already did Richard III.
AS for that video he did for RADA, if I am not mistaken, I have seen it . Nothing frightened me even if I knewaready what can come a s difficulty. My worst fear is not being good enough. Also, being without any education other than my 11 years of amateur productions and self employed reading of Stanislavsky doesn t seem so favourable. I will perhaps give it a shot if dmy and my mom's future financial situation situation allows it. Sorry if I bore on this dream.

Have you seen RAGAD with Tim Roth and Gary Oldman? http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0100519/

edit: just found this and thought it wonderful so I might share it; it's from Tom's interview on Coriolanus:

How do you prepare to go on stage?

I come into the theatre at 4.30 for a 7.30 show. The fight scene in Coriolanus is complex, and we have to ensure our bodies are limbered up and do a rehearsal for it every night. At about seven we do a mental warm-up. Most actors agree that you need to rid yourself of your ‘day’ before you perform, and I’ve never been able to just walk on stage. You could have an argument with your partner, or you could have been to a birthday party, or whatever. To cleanse yourself of what has gone on before is important; you can’t let it affect your performance. Coriolanus starts the play possessed of an immense anger and I have to put myself into the right mood. Sometimes, I’ll listen to Holst’s The Planets, or run up and down the fire escape - and other days I’ll already be there! [x]
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Re: Shakespeare on film, stage and TV

Postby portia » Sat Feb 01, 2014 5:13 pm

DP. See below
Last edited by portia on Sat Feb 01, 2014 5:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Shakespeare on film, stage and TV

Postby portia » Sat Feb 01, 2014 5:17 pm

That is very interesting. I also loved Redgrave in Feinnes' Coriolanus.

II had not seen the quote about ridding oneself of the day, but it certainly makes sense. I am not surprised at the need to run through the fight scene every day, as it is very well done, and difficult. It reminds me of Hiddleston's comments about the need to remain fit.

I was convinced not to try acting by an acting class in College. I was doing a scene from "A Doll's House" with another student, and we really conected in the scene and it scared me "to death." The instructor praised it, but I knew I was too self-concious to do that all the time. But I can see the need to do that, now.(Acting's loss was the Law's gain :) :lol: :lol: :roll: :rofl: )
Very best of luck in acting.
Yes, I have seen "Rosenkrantz ..." It is very clever, and has a lot of sense and shakespeare knowledge i it.
Oh, Did you say that Hiddleston has done Richard III? I haven't seen anything on that, I love that play and think he would be very good as the evil yet charming Richard.
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Re: Shakespeare on film, stage and TV

Postby Arlaug » Sun Feb 02, 2014 2:25 am

It has been rumored that he could be taking his hands on RIII but perhaps not this year.
You are a lawyer or? I am on my senior year of law and I detest it with all my strengths and being, thus my family is very much agreed upon me not taking any more acting excursions :P
Must say I enjoyed too a bit that I got to see via short yt clips of sir Kenneth in Scottish play which is, by far and large, my fave. Have you had the chance to see it?
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Re: Shakespeare on film, stage and TV

Postby portia » Sun Feb 02, 2014 2:06 pm

No, I haven't seen Branagh in "Mc____" Somehow, he seems too mentally organized to fall apart enough, but I will look around for it.

Well, i am sorry you detest the law so much, but that is usually the way of it. You love it--as I do--or hate it. Maybe it will be a secondary career for you, if acting is uneven.

I am tired of plays that have Richard as unrelieved evil. Shakespeare didn't write totally bad people; he always understood that there were reasons and strengths in bad people.Many years ago I saw a Richard III that let the audience see into why he was behaving evilly. It was MUCH better.
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Re: Shakespeare on film, stage and TV

Postby Arlaug » Sun Feb 02, 2014 3:34 pm

Indeed. I mean, even if we see it from another play's perspective say Coriolanus or even Titus Andronicus, blood will have blood but in a very human, sinful and meaningful way. Evil, even in its most prominent forms, is understood by S. Multidimensionaly, not forgetting the nature of a man as an animal and profoundly emotional being.
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Re: Shakespeare on film, stage and TV

Postby portia » Mon Feb 17, 2014 3:47 pm

I went to see a re-broadcast of the "Coriolanus." I picked up on things that I missed before.

I have been thinking about your comment about not seeing theater on stage. That is very sad. I was raised in San Diego and went to the Old Globe theater from age 14. My parents were not theater-goers but I nagged them into taking me an picking me up.

I do not know where you live, but PLEASE try to get train or bus tickets to see something on the stage. Actors who do both stage and screen talk a lot about how the feedback from the audience's emotions affects them. I can see how it would. One way to see that is to go to You Tube, search "Hiddleston and Comic-Con" and watch the bit where Hiddleston comes out on stage in costume as Loki and does a speech. The audience was extatic, and you could see how an audience could have a major effect on an actor.

Also, being in an audience and watching actors go through a whole play is a different experience from watching a movie. There is no "distance" and one can get really involved.
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Re: Shakespeare on film, stage and TV

Postby Arlaug » Tue Feb 18, 2014 1:55 am

Oh either I expressed myself wrongly or you misinterpreted me. I am sorry.
I've never seen a Shakespearean/Jacobean play on stage and, even if we don't have a proper theatre we do have one stage in town where I've seen numerous plays :D I am glad however that you remembered me. Moreover, since we have only an amateur acting group (very devoted people) we never staged any big productions. Since my mother-tongue is not English it'd be a bit harder to get everyone into stageing the Tempest. And I agree, the experience of being in an audience is something unique, even for folks who don't dig the raw sentiment of theatratical life.
Oh, that Loki-ish entrance was a thing to remember.
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Re: Shakespeare on film, stage and TV

Postby portia » Tue Feb 18, 2014 8:24 am

Oh, yes, I did misunderstand. I am glad you can and do go to theaters. Some people I know can't imagine why they would want to go to the theater, but they willingly go to very ordinary movies.
You are doing nicely in English. A while back, I tried to participate in a Spanish language thread (the only other language where I have any knowledge) and it was too hard.
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Re: Shakespeare on film, stage and TV

Postby Arlaug » Tue Feb 18, 2014 10:19 am

Well thankyou so much, I probably make more mistakes than native speakers but I try my best.
I have come to think that people are either drawn to theatre in early ages or in youth. Ig is a very pure, sensitivd bond that strikes your inmost cord. Agh it sounds pathetic and still it is not enough to do the justice.
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Re: Shakespeare on film, stage and TV

Postby Arlaug » Fri Mar 21, 2014 10:48 am

*ignores doubleposting*
Benedict has been casted as Hamlet in the upcoming production due to start this year. I will weep.
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Re: Shakespeare on film, stage and TV

Postby portia » Fri Mar 21, 2014 1:43 pm

Hmm. Benedict Cumberbatch as Hamlet.. . .
I am not sure what I think about that. I have a mental image of him growling. The melancholy Dane, but a new kind of "melancholy."
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Re: Shakespeare on film, stage and TV

Postby Frelga » Sat Mar 22, 2014 10:59 pm

Arlaug wrote:*ignores doubleposting*
Benedict has been casted as Hamlet in the upcoming production due to start this year. I will weep.


Further confirming my suspicion that there are a total of four actors in the UK. =:)
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Re: Shakespeare on film, stage and TV

Postby Arlaug » Sun Mar 23, 2014 6:12 am

It's fine by me :P
which are the other two (presuming Tom and Benedict as first and second one)? And I am sort of positive in expectations of Hamlet as his Khan proved the man can hold up some serious work.
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Re: Shakespeare on film, stage and TV

Postby Frelga » Sun Mar 23, 2014 1:20 pm

Tennant and Gatiss.
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Re: Shakespeare on film, stage and TV

Postby Arlaug » Sun Mar 23, 2014 4:31 pm

I knew I should have started dr. Who but the storyline never got to me.
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Re: Shakespeare on film, stage and TV

Postby Elrond Hubbard » Wed Oct 07, 2015 4:34 am

I, too, am fond of Shakespeare. I own all of his works and am always impressed with how versatile his plays have remained, to this day. Kenneth Branagh, in particular, seemed to understand this and I am a great fan of his movie versions of Henry V and Much Ado About Nothing. The soundtrack to Much Ado About Nothing is one of my favorites and one of the very rare few movie soundtracks I actually own. To my surprise, it was an American (the late actor Sam Wanamaker) who spearheaded the faithful rebuilding of Shakespeare's Globe in England, which opened in 1997: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shakespeare%27s_Globe
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Re: Shakespeare on film, stage and TV

Postby andurilwest » Fri Nov 13, 2015 3:33 pm

Was the new Macbeth movie good?
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Re: Shakespeare on film, stage and TV

Postby Morwenna » Thu Nov 19, 2015 10:45 am

I own a complete Shakespeare book but I blush to admit I've never read Coriolanus nor seen it. We have a Shakespeare theater in a nearby town which has been disused for decades now, but when it was still active I managed to see a couple of productions there. When I was in college, the professor who taught Shakespeare gave us two plays to read that the company was producing that semester, so we could study them by both reading them and seeing them performed.

I've seen several TV productions as well, and some movies: Olivier's Hamlet and Henry V, Branagh's Henry V and Much Ado. I enjoyed them all. But clearly I have much more yet to see.
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Re: Shakespeare on film, stage and TV

Postby portia » Fri Nov 20, 2015 11:46 am

That is indeed true.
I have some problems with Olivier's productions. This is probably the result of preferring a bare stage, and a less "theatrical" production.
I liked Branagh's Henry V, but the background music seemed completely out of sync with the action, so it drives me crazy.
l
I recently saw, on the stage, a production of Julius Caesar. The Actor who did Antony decided to take a risk with the "Friends, Romans and Countrymen" speech, and delivered it as if he was talking to a smaller group of people. It was very understandable, and effective.

In High School, we did a semi-staged version of J.C. The woman who played Cassius(too few men) was very good, but the Drama teacher was over-rehearsing everyone. In one run-through the woman scratched her palm during the words "I, an Itching palm?" It cracked everyone up, and I can't rid myself of the memory.

If you can, get the version of the productions on the internet, including Henry V that are introduced by other actors.
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Re: Shakespeare on film, stage and TV

Postby portia » Fri Nov 20, 2015 1:12 pm

Arlaug:

There is a new video of Tom Hiddleston talking about Shakespeare that you might enjoy. It has only been up on You Tube for 2 weeks, but I do not know when it was recorded.
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